Former LSU forward Ben Simmons was chosen as a second-team All-American by The Associated Press on Tuesday.
Simmons, who officially announced last week that he was entering the NBA draft and three days later hired an agent, was chosen earlier this month a first-team All-American by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association. He was also a third-team pick by USA Today.
The 6-foot-10, 240-pound Simmons was named national freshman of the year by USA Today, The Sporting News and USBWA. He was the Southeastern Conference freshman of the year as well as a first-team All-SEC pick.
University of Louisiana at Lafayette forward Shawn Long earned honorable mention.
Simmons was one of three SEC players named to the AP All-America squad: Kentucky guard Tyler Ulis was a first-team pick; and teammate Jamal Murray, also a guard, was on the third team.
Other first-team selections were Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield, Michigan State’s Denzel Valentine, Virginia’s Malcolm Brogdon and North Carolina’s Brice Johnson.
Joining Simmons on the second team were Utah’s Jakob Poeltl, Providence’s Kris Dunn, Kansas’ Perry Ellis and Iowa State’s Georges Niang.
The third team was made up of Murray, Iowa’s Jarrod Uthoff, Indiana’s Yogi Ferrell, Duke’s Grayson Allen and Oakland’s Kay Felder.
Hield and Valentine were unanimous picks, garnering all 65 votes from a national media panel.
Both led their teams to successful seasons, and their numbers lifted them above all the other players.
Hield, a senior, became a highlight reel staple with his ability to shoot the ball from long range and with defenders right on him.
The 6-4 Hield shot 46.4 percent from 3-point range.
“He has had a fantastic year and has been very consistent,” Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger said of the Bahamas native, a third-team selection last season. “He worked hard and has that passion and focus that makes him what he is.”
Hield, the player of the year in the Big 12, averaged 25 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.0 assists. Valentine, the Big Ten’s top player, averaged 19.4 points, 7.6 rebounds and 7.6 assists.
“I don’t know many guys that have improved in every aspect of the game like he has,” Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said of the 6-5 Valentine.
In a day and age when one-and-dones usually dominate the college basketball landscape, Valentine and Hield were joined on the All-America team by two fellow seniors: Johnson and Brogdon.
The 6-10 Johnson was a walking double-double for North Carolina, averaging 16.6 points and 10.6 rebounds, while Brogdon, who was on the second team last season, was the Atlantic Coast Conference’s player and defensive player of the year.
Brogdon averaged 18.7 points and 4.1 rebounds while shooting 40.9 percent from 3-point range.
The 5-9 Ulis became the shortest All-American since 5-9 Johnny O’Brien of Seattle in 1953. Ulis was the SEC’s player of the year and was named its top defender.
The voting was done before the NCAA tournament.