Thursday November 13th, 2014

The nation’s No. 1 high school basketball recruit, Ben Simmons, signed his national letter of intent to play at LSU.

Simmons announced his decision on Wednesday, the first day of the early signing period.

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Simmons is a native of Melbourne, Australia, and attends Montverde Academy in Florida. A 6-10 forward who is capable of playing guard, Simmons averaged 18.5 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.7 assists a game for Montverde as a junior, while leading his team to a 28-0 record.

Simmons had 24 points and 12 rebounds, earning MVP honors in a 71-62 victory over Oak Hill Academy in the championship game of the DICK'S Sporting Goods High School National Tournament in April.

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"Committing to LSU is great for me because it has always felt like another home for me," Simmons said Wednesday, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune. "I feel comfortable there."

The Advocate reports that the Tigers are believed to be recruiting Sarasota, Fla., shooting guard Antonio Blakeney and Brandon Sampson of Baton Rouge. Blakeney is rated No. 13 overall by and Sampson, a four-star prospect, is No. 40 on the list.

"I have been trying to get other guys to join me instead of listening to them recruit me," Simmons said. "Once I committed and kept saying LSU was where I was going, everybody pretty much backed off."

LSU went 20-14 and 9-9 in the SEC last season, losing in the second round of the NIT to SMU. The Tigers have not been to the NCAA tournament since 2009.

- Scooby Axson

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