Eds. Note: We decided to watch two of the highest touted players in this year’s upcoming NBA Draft, LSU’s Ben Simmons and Duke’s Brandon Ingram. We basically flipped back and forth between the games and did ad-hoc eye tests of the two players. Be warned: This is not an analytics piece, it’s a fun comparison piece. Your mileage may vary. Have fun.
Andy G: Ben Simmons can’t do better than the ESPN U slot? Not a good sign. LSU-Bama just tipped off.
AG: Simmons is huge, and I’m pretty sure he dribbles better than most Timberwolves. I’ll forgive the ESPN U factor.
AG: An LSU player just passed it back to Simmons for a backcourt violation. I’m quickly seeing why his team sucks.
AG: Simmons runs the floor for an easy layup. (No dunk?)
AG: Before I finished typing that, he did the exact same thing; this time a reverse layup. I guess the Wolves have enough dunking, and not enough running the floor, so it works.
AG: Simmons dribbles into an easy 15 footer. I guess I didn’t know he was left handed before that.
Patrick J: Finding this game wasn’t easy. Tuning in with 15:57 to go in the first half. ESPN U! Meanwhile, CBS should be showing Brandon Ingram soon…if G’town @ UCONN ever ends.
AG: I bet Alabama and LSU pay their players more than most power-conference schools. (Despite the fact that they’re never very good.)
PJ: Their football programs must have reserves.
AG: Simmons and Towns could do 4-4 pick-and-rolls. That’d be interesting.
AG: As ESPN U goes to commercial break, I flipped over to CBS for Ingram, which is also on commercial break. Have these major networks no courtesy to a WordPress blog trying to cover both games at once?
PJ: No, they don’t. 1% problems. On the 4-4 ball screens: Towns would be the perennial “pop” guy, no? Simmons’ jumper doesn’t look..advanced at this point? I want to see how well he scores in traffic, after getting a high ball screen.
AG: Yep, Towns is the screener. The thing that sticks out about Simmons (through 3 minutes!) is the handles for that size. Kind of Blake Griffin-esque in that respect.
PJ: That’s why I want to see with my own eyes how well he fares in traffic. (Duke just kicked off on CBS.)
AG: Instant Reaction: Is Ben Simmons cool?
PJ: Not really. But he’s effective. Not an oxymoron. Your #instantreaction?
AG: That’s my take, too. #GreatMinds (?)
PJ: Or else it’s just obvious that, while not cool, Ben Simmons has the body and game to be strong in today’s NBA? (Eds. Note: It could be both.)
AG: He’s got a pretty ordinary hairstyle, no tattoos, a pretty bland jersey number (25), and, well, his name is “Ben Simmons.” He’ll have to let his game define his style, I guess.
PJ: He’s Australian. Quick take: who weighs more, Brandon Ingram or Longar Longar? (Honest question.)
AG: Longar Longar now, or ROCHESTER JOHN MARSHALL Longar Longar? (I think that determines my answer.) Nice hook shot by Simmons with his off hand. Impressive.
AG: I just flipped over to Ingram and Duke vs. NC State. cc: Sid Lowe
PJ: Ingram looks malnourished. Tapeworm? He moves well though. (Just getting my first look at him, give me a break!)
AG: Tayshaun Prince was doing the malnourished look before it was cool, and isn’t he the prototype for what we’re looking to fit between Wiggins and Towns? (Well, unless Ben Simmons happens.) Ingram seems cooler than Simmons, FWIW.
PJ: Ingram looks quicker and more agile. But Simmons looks more deliberate and decisive. Simmons has a star quality (in a good, self-assured way) NOW that would put some NBA rookies and sophomore to shame. Yes/No?
AG: Ingram just bricked that three, but I like how quickly he released it. Damn it, do the Wolves ever need some of those instincts?
AG: SIDE NOTE: Is it wrong that I like Grayson Allen?
PJ: What’s wrong is right.
AG: Okay, you’re right. Ingram is incredibly frail.
AG: I just flipped back to Ben Simmons. Ingram wasn’t doing much.
AG: Nice high-low pass from Simmons. Another thing he could do with Towns. Or Pek, whatever.
PJ: I did too. I’m changing my assessment: Ben Simmons is FAR cooler than Brandon Ingram. He just dropped a great dime from the top of the key to another big for an easy drop step layup. Then he posted his guy up and destroyed him down low for a dominant bucket. Methinks that’s a cool skillset.
AG: He let him know about it, too. I see your point.
PJ: Do you wish any Wolves players would let more fools know about it like Ben S just did?
AG: Towns does, and probably will continue to do that more. He talks a lot and is trying to become Kevin Garnett, so…
PJ: One of the frustrating things is that Wiggins can be so dominant down low, and so quiet about it (both to opponents and refs). He’s more than adequately Canadian polite and/or Minnesota nice. I hope Wig emulates Karlito and Ben Simmons even more! (Eds. Note: Mostly tongue in cheek.)
PJ: Do you have any grainy-ass Anthony Randolph LSU footage to put side-by-side with this Ben Simmons joint?
AG: I wish. I was going to mention that this ESPN U (LIVE IN 2016) footage is pretty grainy!
PJ: (!!!) #Correct #SECHoops
PJ: Are you still watching Ingram? (I’m not).
AG: I’m watching Simmons, but if the CRIMSON TIDE don’t get out of this stank-ass 2-3 zone I might be forced back to Ingram.
AG: AVERY JOHNSON COACHES BAMA? (!) WHY DIDN’T I GET THE MEMO?
PJ: UALREDDYKNOWHOITIZ! (MAYNHOLUP voice). Why the stanky-leg D?
AG: I guess Avery J was getting tired of Ben Simmons doing so much stuff. Simmons checked out. flips over to Ingram
PJ: Okay, going there now. (4:06 left in first half of LSU-Bama)
AG: We’re one more cool Grayson Allen play away from me tweeting about him from @PDWolves. I don’t care if he’s Ted Cruz doppelganger.
PJ: Ricky Rubio > Marko Jaric > Marco Rubio
AG: The Punch-Drunk Theorem. (?)
PJ: Yes. Also, BAYNO-SIKMA 2016!
AG: Ingram might have a little Bruno Cabaclo (sp?) “2 years away from being 2 years away” going on. But he’s got an interesting skillset.
PJ: He reminds me a little bit of last year’s Duke star Justize Winslow (sp?). Except BI is taller and quicker, while Winslow looked like more of a compact (talented) classic NBA three. Am I wrong? PREMATURE CONVENIENT COMPARISONS!
AG: I think you answered your own question, if only because Winslow was kind of built like a brick shithouse and we alreddy discussed Ingram’s scrawny physique. But I think Coach K is using them similarly. (Read: small-ball 4.)
PJ: Just flipped back to LSU-Bama. I’m hooked on Simmons vs. Avery. 34-33 LSU with 2:00 left in the first half.
AG: Just occurred to me that Ingram and Wiggins would have a pretty serious afro rivalry.
PJ: Wiggins is the frontrunner in that battle IMO, but we don’t want to threaten team chemistry.
PJ: Seriously, we need a four to put between Wiggins and Towns on the front line. Are we tanking for SImmons? (Or, should we be?)
AG: It certainly seems more realistic having watched 15 minutes of Simmons. He’s like a tank that can pass. Sort of like LeBron. (!)
PJ: I bet Avery Johnson is THE MAN in Tuscaloosa.
AG: Good call. More of a “mayor” than Hoiberg was whilst coaching ISU?
PJ: Probably NICK SABAN’s deputy.
AG: Ah, good call. That’s football country. Did they put Simmons back in? Sounded like he was out til halftime with the 2 fouls, so I flipped back to watch Ingram float around the perimeter and not do stuff.
AG: I think I just saw a Plumlee brother screaming encouragement to his Duke teammates. A tradition unlike any other.
PJ: Pretty sure I saw it too.
AG: Do we know if the #turrible cameras in the Simmons game are an LSU issue, or an ESPN U issue?
PJ: I can’t tell. Maybe our discerning readers will know?
AG: Hey, Ingram just dunked.
PJ: HEY YO!
AG: Ingram for 3! (Rattled it home, but the point stands. (!))
AG: Duke playing zone. I thought K was a Bob Knight disciple.
AG: Ingram again!
PJ: Ingram definitely stepping up here late in the first.
AG: The LSU-Alabama basketball game halftime show is focused on NICK SABAN so methinks your earlier assessment of Tuscaloosa mayor figures was spot on.
PJ: I think so. It’s almost halftime of the Duke -NC STATE game – any parting shots on Ingram or Simmons?
AG: Well, in this ultra-reliable sampling of 20 game minutes, I like Simmons more. He’s bigger, more aggressive, and more skilled. Here’s hoping the Wolves can acquire the 2016 Number 1 draft pick, just like they have with the past three years’.
PJ: Sames. The Wolves’ season has taken a dramatic turn for the worse. The vaunted eye test, in combination with other tools, is a big part of what we have left. Perhaps this will become part of a series if things continue on their current course!