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LSU declines postseason tournaments, and Ben Simmons is free to be a pro

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The freshman phenom's college career is likely finished after the SEC Tournament.

After missing out on the NCAA Tournament, LSU won't participate in any postseason tournaments beyond the SEC's, the school announced on Sunday. That means Tigers freshman and potential No. 1 overall NBA Draft pick Ben Simmons is free to go pro, and his college career is likely finished after one season and no Big Dance in Baton Rouge.

Simmons had a great individual season, but LSU didn't have success around him. The five-star Australian prospect averaged an incredible 19 points and 12 rebounds, as the Tigers went 19-14 and lost in gory fashion to Texas A&M in the SEC Tournament this weekend. That devastation turned out to be a fitting end.

The NBA is likely on Deck for Simmons. He stands a good chance to go first overall in June's draft, although Duke's Brandon Ingram has a legitimate shot to go ahead of him. Simmons would've been a candidate for the college game's Wooden Award this year, but he was declared ineligible because of his grades.

LSU will likely have to find a way to break through without Simmons' remarkable talent.

"We will be able to utilize this time to get better and start preparations for next season," LSU coach Johnny Jones said in a team statement. "We fell short of the mark of getting to the NCAA Tournament; I take full responsibility for this team, and will do the things necessary to make sure we are able to reach one of our main goals at LSU in the future."

That future probably won't include Simmons.