Sleeper Alert: Marcus Simmons

There's a reason why Marcus Simmons hasn't made a name for himself. The Peabody High (La.) junior swingman didn't play AAU ball and also played at a small

HOUSTON - Marcus Simmons doesn't play AAU ball, so it's only fitting that he hasn't received much exposure.

That's about to change.

The Peabody High (La.) 6-foot-5, 200-pound junior shooting guard had a pair of impressive performances at the Academy National Invitational and could emerge as a legitimate high-major prospect.

Simmons scored 10 points on Wednesday in a loss to Oak Hill Academy before getting into foul trouble and then finished with 17 points in a setback to Kingwood on Thursday afternoon.

One day, the long Alexandria, La., native had to check North Carolina-bound floor leader Tywon Lawson. Less than 24 hours later, he had the unenviable task of having to stop Arizona-bound point guard Nic Wise.

Simmons came from a small school – Menard High – where his high school coach didn't allow him to play AAU ball.

``I also wanted to go Peabody," Simmons said. "Why not? Look at all the success they've had."

Simmons played in one tournament, the under-16 AAU National, with the Louisiana Stars – and got a few looks.

Peabody coach Charles Smith said that LSU, Oklahoma State, Charlotte have all expressed interest in Simmons. However, Simmons said that the only schools he's spoken with are USC and Tulsa. He added that Texas Tech and Kansas State are also sending letters.

``I knew he had good potential when he came here," Smith said. "Defense is his strong suit right now. He's still learning. He wanted to come here and get more exposure."

Simmons is still making the conversion from playing in the post at Menard to learning how to play on the perimeter. While his ballhandling skills need improvement, he sees the floor well, defends and can also make shots from the perimeter.


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