Simmons' team opened against Team Disciples, and quickly ran them out of the gym behind Curry's 15 points in the first quarter. However, it was Simmons' thunderous dunk over Ben Roberson that ignited the sparse crowd. While not getting many touches throughout the contest, Simmons scored 13 points on 6-9 shooting, while sinking his only free throw attempt. He also added four rebounds and three blocks, one of the "Wow!" variety. Although Simmons didn't seem to assert himself at all times, it was obvious that he was the most athletic player on the court. He has a ton to learn, and he'll pick up much valuable information and skill throughout the summer on the AAU circuit and during his senior season in '03-04.
Simmons showed nice instinct for the ball, and the tenacity to finish strong when he got the ball near the rim. While hesitant with his back to the basket, he never really seemed to get the ball in a comfortable position on the blocks. He also showed a nice touch on developing mid-range jumper which he used only once in the contest. He did appear very comfortable taking the shot during warm-ups, knocking down most of his jumpers.
He doesn't have all of the basketball skills on either end of the floor, but when he learns them, he's going to be an absolute stud, and there's no reason he can't be the kind of guy who explodes on the AAU scene during summer camps if he plays with the same tenacity that he expressed when he served up a facial on Roberson.
More on Rivers tomorrow...