Last year the Gaels power forward position didn’t preform nearly as well as it has in recent years. While Beau Levesque filled in nicely for the departed Mitchell Young, he often times found himself in foul trouble. Junior transfer Garrett Jackson never really found his shot, and missed a significant chunk of time with a knee injury, while freshman Dane Pineau was essentially thrown into the fire with Jackson’s injury.
The addition of Simmons is essentially a like-for-like replacement for Beau Levesque: both are 6-7 and are known for going above and beyond on the court. While Levesque is a better shooter, Simmons is more athletic, and will most likely play a traditional four rather then a stretch-four that Levesque was.
Time at Washington
Last year, Simmons got off to a slow start after missing ten games due to arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. He averaged 5.2 points and 4.6 points in 21 minutes, with his season high being 14 points in a win at Utah. As the season wore on, Simmons got more and more minutes. In his final eight games, Simmons averaged 28.6 minutes a game, with 6.6 points and 6.4 rebounds.
Time at Saint Mary’s
While Simmons replaces Beau Levesque, he isn’t penciled in a starter just yet. While Calvin Hermanson is an ideal 3, at 6’6″ he could possibly play a 4 role. Freshmen Jock Landale and Evan Fitzner, while listed at Center, could possibly see some time at the power forward slot as well.
Ultimately, Simmons playing time will come down to his execution on the defensive end, his ability to finish down low, and the kind of match up Randy Bennett wants on offense. Pineau would be the stretch four (a PF who can knock down the three), Jackson would play a mix of a stretch four and a traditional PF, while Simmons’s game is a traditional four (he only hit two three pointers on nine attempts last year).