While there is no doubt that guard play is crucial in college basketball, dominating up front is just as important. The LSU Tigers are now definitely going to be able to throw some talented bodies at teams in the front court.
For the second Monday in a row, LSU has landed a big time player. Last Monday it was four-star class of 2014 center Elbert Robinson, and then a week later it is five-star class of 2015 power forward Ben Simmons.
Those two alone would make for one of the most talented and biggest frontcourts in college basketball for the 2015-16 season, but consider that at power forward in the 2013 class the Tigers landed five-star Jarell Martin and four-star Jordan Mickey, and it is an embarrassment of riches for LSU at a time when most coaches are scouring all over for frontcourt help.
Now it is definitely possible that Martin isn't around when Simmons gets to campus for the 2015-16 campaign. Martin will have already spent two years on campus by then, and he could be off to the NBA, but if he isn't, the LSU coaches will really be able to wear opponents down.
Robinson is a 7-foot center who weighs over 300 pounds and is one of the most physically imposing people you will ever see on a basketball court. His hands are impressive, and as he works his way into shape he could be someone who gives opponents a lot of problems. Robinson isn't likely at all to be a one-and-done, and the first year will be spent adjusting to the speed of the game and getting in shape, but once that happens the upside is huge.
Simmons is kind of a hybrid power forward/center. He has the size at 6-foot-9 and 210 pounds to play on the block, but is also versatile enough to play in the mid-range as well. Simmons is a big time athlete who can run the floor, and is a beast on the glass. He is one of the absolute elite players in the 2015 class, and should be able to pair nicely with a kid like Robinson who can only play center.
Then there is Martin and Mickey from the 2013 class. Mickey will almost assuredly be on campus when Simmons and Robinson are there, and he is someone who shouldn't be overlooked. Mickey is a 6-foot-7 power forward who has very long arms and is a more than capable shot blocker and rebounder. Also Mickey continues to get more skilled shooting his jumper, but is at his best from 10 feet and in. His athleticism and length make him someone who can defend both interior positions.
Martin might or might not be around, but in the short term he gives LSU a great option as well. He was a five-star prospect, and his athleticism and skill are impressive. Martin can hit threes, attack off the bounce, and also is strong enough to bang down low and attack the glass.
All four of those prospects bring a little something different, and all are high level players. Add in Darcy Malone who is a bit of an unknown from Australia, but some are very excited about at 7-feet tall, and all of the sudden LSU has as much post depth as any school in the country, and that alone makes the future very bright in Baton Rouge.