No rest for Sims

After winning a state championship for University High, LSU legacy Wayde Sims is showing no signs of complacency. The 2016 forward discussed the growth in his game this summer as well as where his recruitment stands.

There's always room to grow, even for a high school basketball player that's experienced the level of success 2016 prospect Wayde Sims has at such a young age.

A member of the Red Storm 15U national championship team last summer, Sims added to his hardware haul this spring when he helped deliver a 3A state title to University High, scoring 19 points and grabbing nine rebounds in the final victory over Richwood. He was named Most Outstanding Player of the tournament for his efforts.

But there's hardly been time for the 6-foot-6, 205-pounder to rest on his laurels during an eventful summer.

"I've been trying to develop my outside game and trying to dribble a little bit more, push the ball up the court," Sims informed TSD. "For the Red Storm we've been playing in some big EYBL tournaments. We didn't qualify for the Peach Jam, but we're still going to a showcase tournament in South Carolina (in July)."

Sims recognized he's slowly trying to make the transition to where he figures to play on the collegiate level – on the perimeter.

"Right now I have to basically play the four and the five, big man," acknowledged Sims. "But in college I'm probably going to have to play guard because there will be a lot of taller players. That's why I've been trying to work on my outside game."

When it comes to pushing Sims and keeping him hungry, no one has been in his corner longer than father Wayne, who played for Dale Brown and LSU in the late eighties and early nineties.

Said the younger Sims of his father's impact: "He still gives me big tips, and he helps me get in the gym. He tells me to go work out, and that's what I do."

Wayne's connection to LSU has led many to believe the Tigers will be a major player in his son's recruitment. Of course there's also the fact that Wayne, a native of DeRidder, is a first cousin of LSU head coach Johnny Jones, an assistant during Sims' playing career in Baton Rouge.

The Tigers have indeed expressed strong interest in Wayde since his freshman season, when Jones, whose son John played on the U-High state title team, took over the LSU program. But TSD is told neither side discusses recruiting much when the two family members get together. Jones, it would appear, wants Sims to enjoy his recruiting process with no outside pressure.

That message seems to have gotten through to Sims, who admitted interest in LSU but also said he's not leaning in any direction at the moment, preferring to wait until after things pick up for him as a junior on the recruiting trail.

"I'm pretty open to everybody. I really haven't decided yet," explained Sims. "I'm still just going to be a junior this year, so I'm not in too much of a rush."

There has been one other SEC school to show interest in Sims over the past few days.

"College coaches haven't been able to talk to us until June 15," Sims said. "But on that day my dad got a text from Coach [Derrick] Jones at Vanderbilt."

Look for a growing number of programs to try to keep up with the Joneses – Derrick, Johnny and any other that steps forward – in the chase to land Sims' collegiate services.

Publisher's Note: Also, be on the look-out for a longer story next week from TSD examining the relationship between Wayde Sims and teammate/friend Skylar Mays, a 2016 LSU point guard commitment.

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