LSU's ties to Simmons continue to strengthen

2015 LSU target Ben Simmons

Ben Simmons, one of the nation's top players for 2015, was in Baton Rouge this weekend for an unofficial visit to LSU. Simmons spoke with TSD's Matt McCurdy about his "great time" and what Sunday's commitment from prep teammate Jalyn Patterson means in his recruitment.

As if LSU didn't already have a deep connection to 2015 basketball recruit Ben Simmons, those bonds increased in strength and number over the last few days.

Simmons, an Australian playing at Montverde (Fl.) Academy, is a 5-star forward. He is the Godson of LSU assistant coach David Patrick. Today, his Montverde teammate and friend Jalyn Patterson committed to LSU.

Last week, it was announced that his brother, Liam Tribe-Simmons, was hired as an assistant coach at Nicholls State. It is the first college job for Tribe-Simmons, who had previously been a high school coach in Arizona. Nicholls is also where Patrick got his first college job, also under Colonols' coach J.P. Piper, who also coached Patrick in high school.

Confused yet? The connections continue all the way back to Australia, where Patrick played professionally with Ben's father, Dave. Of course, there is nothing wrong with any of this, as both coaching and recruiting are built on relationships. It is simply an interesting circle.

The Tribe-Simmons hire has already helped out LSU, as Simmons took an unofficial visit to the LSU-Florida football game this weekend while visiting his brother in Thibodeaux, just an hour away from Baton Rouge.

It was Simmons' first college football game.

"I had a great time," Simmons told TSD by phone from Montverde Sunday evening. "The football game was a great experience. The fans were crazy. I've been to a lot of NFL games, but I like the college game better."

Simmons was driven to LSU on Saturday morning by his brother and was taken on a tour of LSU's facilities, and also participated in an open gym where he played basketball with the LSU players.

"I got to play with Jarell Martin, who I know from the Pangos Camp," he said. "It was great playing with the college players. I think I adjusted well."

Patterson was at LSU this weekend also, although his was an official visit and they did not travel together.

"I think it's great for him," Simmons said of Patterson's commitment. "I think he will play well at LSU."

Simmons said that having Patrick as a godfather is an overall benefit in his recruitment, not just for LSU.

"He's really going to tell me the truth about recruiting and help me out, answering questions," Simmons said. "But when it comes down to it, I'll go where I feel the most comfortable, not based off of who is there."

While he was not ready to name a final list of schools, he did name six that he said were recruiting him the hardest: LSU, Duke, Kansas, North Carolina, Ohio State and Texas.

LSU is the only school on that list Simmons has visited to this point. He said he has no timetable set for a commitment, but would make an announcement when "it feels right."

Discuss Ben Simmons' visit with the TSD crew

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