The first stop on this year’s countdown is Aamir Simms, a 6’7 swing man out of Clemson. Simms will ascend to the forefront of the Clemson scoring options by natural progression. After serving as the third or fourth option the last two years for the Tigers, he finds himself being the elder statesman on a team that welcomes seven new players to the roster in 2019-20.
Last season, Simms ranked fourth on the team in scoring at 8.1 points per game and third in rebounding at 4.6 rips per game. He is the leading returner to the roster in both categories for the upcoming season. With the loss of Clyde Trapp to a knee injury, he also sports the highest returning assist number for the Tigers at 1.0 per game.
In the out of conference schedule last season, Simms averaged 10.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, and shot 37% from behind the arc.
Simms has shown progression during his first two seasons in the ACC, improving both his three point shooting (minimally) and his free throw shooting while maintaining a nice two point field goal percentage despite a significant uptick in volume. I expect him to lead the Tigers in field goal attempts in 2019-20, although Tevin Mack will certainly attempt to inefficiently contest that notion.
The Tigers are not expected to be as strong of a squad as in recent seasons, however they were able to secure the gold in the World University Games this summer. While I don’t put a ton of stock in those tournaments, Simms was rumored to have played extremely well, including a 17 point, 13 rebound effort against Finland.
Regardless of his club’s win-loss record, Simms will be one of the most experienced and versatile players in the league whose team is going to feed him the rock as he plays a ton of minutes.