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LSU's Ben Simmons not eligible for Wooden Award

LSU star freshman Ben Simmons is not listed on the 15-player final ballot for the Wooden Award, which is given annually to the nation’s top player.

He was, however, listed on the most recent list of candidates, on Feb. 10. LSU spokesman Kent Lowe confirmed to USA TODAY Sports that Simmons “did not meet the criteria for inclusion on the final ballot.”

ESPN reported Saturday that it was for academic-related reasons. The requirement for this award is a 2.0 GPA. Simmons was previously benched for the start of LSU’s Feb. 20 game against Tennessee for an academic issue.

According to the Wooden Award website, here is the full set of criteria for candidates:

► Candidates must be full-time students in an accredited NCAA college or university.

► Consideration should be given to scholastic achievement and aspirations. All candidates must have a cumulative 2.0 grade point average since enrolling in their current university.

► Candidates must exhibit strength of character, both on and off the court.

►Candidates should be those who contribute to team effort.

► Candidates must excel in both offense and…

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