Simmons, who could very well be playing himself into the lottery, is one of the more intriguing frontline players in the draft. After barely playing as a freshman at N.C. State, the 6-foot-9, 223-pound North Carolina native was the Wolfpack’s best player this past season after Julius Hodge’s departure.
However, while he holds no grudge against Sendek, Simmons did acknowledge that the Princeton-style offense may not have suited his game. “I didn’t really get to show my face-up game,” he said.
I hate the fact that NC State fans effectively only had one season to watch and bond with the multi-talented and extremely likeable Simmons.
When Simmons gets drafted later this month in the NBA draft, he will become the SECOND first round draft pick from NC State’s 2004-2005 squad – a squad that finished 7th in the Atlantic Coast Conference with a losing record and a #63 Ratings Percentage Index, the worst RPI of an at large NCAA Tournament participant that season. The senior class of the Wolfpack’s ’04-’05 squard was ranked as the #3 recruiting class in America coming out of high school and was enhanced by the additions of Tony Bethel, Cameron Bennerman, Andrew Brackman, Gavin Grant, Engin Atsur, and NBA first-rounder Simmons.
Despite the ridiculous arguments made by many blind believers at the time, it is obviously no surprise in hindsight why Herb Sendek’s 2005 squad was labeled as the most disappointing in the country by ESPN and criticized by others, like Fox. How could State’s “entire body of work” in the 2005 and 2006 seasons have been so lackluster with so much talent the last few years?
In parting, I have to take a shot at the good old Charlotte Observer. While every national and local media outlet is discussing Simmons’ rise up the draft order, the Observer reminded us on Saturday why they deserve so much criticism for their bias – who would want to discuss NC State’s Cedric Simmons when you could discuss a UNC-Chapel Hill player that MIGHT be drafted in the 2nd round like David Noel? (Link)