LSU freshman Ben Simmons says he is declaring for NBA draft

Published Mar. 21, 2016 4:44 p.m. EDT

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) LSU freshman forward Ben Simmons, who led the Tigers in scoring, rebounds and assists this season, says he is leaving the Tigers to turn pro.

Simmons, who made his announcement in an interview published Monday by ESPN, says he will soon hire an agent and enter the NBA draft, for which Simmons has been widely projected as a top overall pick.

Simmons, who grew up in Australia before moving to Florida for three years of high school, averaged 19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists this season with LSU. However, his presence did not improve LSU's fortunes. After making the NCAA tournament the season before Simmons arrived, the Tigers finished this season 19-14, missing the NCAA Tournament after failing to reach 20 victories for the first time in three years.