Sports Illustrated writer says LSU signee Ben Simmons 'was the most tantalizing NBA prospect' at the McDonald's All-American game _lowres

Advocate Photo by VERONICA DOMINACH-- Montverde's Ben Simmons, 20, runs past Helen Cox's Marlain Veal, 5, during the Allstate Sugar Bowl Classic at the Alario Center in Westwego on Thursday, January 8, 2015.

After a hectic two-week stretch in which he has played coast to coast and in between as well, LSU men’s basketball signee Benny Simmons decided to slow down a little.

Simmons, the nation’s top recruit and winner of three major player of the year honors, was supposed to cap his high school career in the Jordan Brand Classic all-star game in New York on Friday night. But USA Today reported Monday that Simmons, a 6-foot-10 forward who has played in Chicago, New York and Portland, Oregon, in the past two weeks, withdrew from the game.

“I’ve decided not to play in the Jordan game,” he said. “I want to turn my focus to finishing my senior year and preparing for my next step at LSU.”

Simmons played in the McDonald’s All-American game in Chicago on April 1 and led Montverde Academy to a third straight high school national championship with three games in three days from April 2-4 in New York. He also participated in the Nike Hoop Summit on Saturday in Portland.

No visits for Newman

Five-star guard Malik Newman, who lists LSU among his six college finalists, likely won’t take any official visits before making a decision, the Jackson (Mississippi) Clarion-Ledger reported.

Newman’s father, former Mississippi State basketball star Horatio Webster, said there isn’t time to take visits.

Like Simmons, Newman played in the McDonald’s All-American game and the Nike Hoop Summit. Newman will play in the Jordan Brand Classic.

In addition to LSU, Newman’s list includes Kentucky, Kansas, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and N.C. State.

Newman, rated the nation’s top combo guard and No. 4 overall prospect on the ESPN 100, made unofficial visits to LSU, Kentucky, Ole Miss and Mississippi State during his senior year at Callaway High.

“Now that basketball season is over with, I don’t think he’ll take visits,” Webster told the Clarion-Ledger. “If he does, fine. If not, that’s fine, too.”