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Aamir Simms, one of the top offensive engines in the ACC, withdraws from the NBA Draft

Earlier this week, Clemson basketball received significant news: after testing the NBA Draft waters, Aamir Simms will return for his senior season.

A 6-foot-8 forward/center, Simms has long been an important fixture of Clemson basketball; however, he took his performance to a new level as a junior. During the 2019-20 season, Simms averaged 13 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game. For his efforts, Simms was named a third-team All-ACC.

Simms did more than just rebound and score, though. As the fulcrum of Clemson’s half-court offense, Simms morphed into one of the toughest covers in the ACC. The Tigers played small, for the most part; Simms was surrounded by four other shooters or secondary play-makers. (Tevin Mack fit in pretty well as a small-ball 4.)

Clemson ran the offense though Simms, who could pull opposing centers away from the basket with his ability to stretch the floor: 34-of-85 3PA (40 3P%). This is a brutal matchup for opposing big guys; in turn, Simms opened up all kinds of handoff actions and backdoor lanes.

Simms is the best passing big man in the ACC.

The passing ability of Simms was on full display this season, especially when he helped spring wins over NC State, Duke and UNC — in Chapel Hill.

With the floor spaced, Simms was more than willing to play pass-happy distributor — 18.7 percent assist rate — and pick apart gaps and backdoor lanes.

 

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