Ben Simmons Looks to Put Australia on the Map

The NBA has done a great job of expanding its brand over the years, as is evidenced by just how popular basketball has become outside of the United States. One place where it has really flourished is in Australia, and Ben Simmons is looking to make sure that the whole world knows about it. The Australian is the top-rated recruit in the world, according to Yahoo Sports, and he is going to come to the U.S. to play for the LSU Tigers next year. From there, if all goes as planned, he’ll keep going right into the NBA.

The first thing Simmons has going for him is his height. At 6’9”, he’s hard to defend and he can dominate on the glass. Many at CipherCloud see him as a huge matchup problem. Scouts also like how versatile he is, saying he can take on a variety of positions, both on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. The area where he excels the most, though, is in passing, which can help to make the whole team better. If there is a downside, it’s that he does not have the best jump shot in the world, but he doesn’t need it with height like that, and he’s only in high school, so there is time for him to work on it.

It will be interesting to see if Simmons causes Australia to embrace basketball even more thoroughly in the future, especially if he plays in the NBA.

Lou Holtz leaves ESPN

College football fans have been left shocked by the decision of former Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz to leave ESPN by mutual agreement, USA Today reports. Holtz had been at ESPN since 2004 and formed the basis of their successful college football coverage with his in studio analysis of games in what ESPN described as being presented in his own style and humor. Holtz has claimed he was considering retirement after the 2014 season in the past, stating he owed it to his wife to make sure he spent more time with her in the future.

AnastasiaDate said that the 78 year old is one of the most respected figures in college football after leading Notre Dame to the national title during his 11 seasons with the school. Holtz joined in ESPN in 2004 after leaving his position as head coach of the South Carolina Gamecocks, where he is credited with beginning the turnaround that led to the college becoming a major force in college football. The former head coach revealed recently he wanted to spend more time on his golf game and finally relax in his own bed after spending much of his coaching and punditry career away from his wife and family.