By now, Tim Quarterman is used to being asked about Ben Simmons.
The former LSU point guard declared for the NBA draft following his junior season and enter the same draft in which Simmons, the freshman phenom, is projected to be the No. 1 or No. 2 pick.
As Quarterman goes through his own pre-draft process, it's inevitable he'll have to field questions about his former teammate he calls “his little brother” along the way.
“He’s a great passer, he can handle the ball and he’s always there to cheer you on,” Quarterman said Monday following a workout with the Sixers on Monday. “He likes for other people to accomplish great accomplishments. He’s a great teammate.”
Simmons came under criticism during his freshman year for “quitting” on the Tigers. The team went 19-14 and failed to make the NCAA Tournament. They also chose not to participate in any other postseason tournaments. Even though Simmons averaged a team-high 19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2.0 steals per game, there was question over his effort.
Quarterman said that wasn’t the case.
"Ben is a great person, a great player and he's a great competitor, so I don't think throughout the season he ever quit on us," Quarterman said. “I think he continued to play hard. I think us losing frustrated a lot of us as competitors because we always wanted to win.”
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The Sixers have an edge evaluating Simmons. While he grew up thousands of miles from Philadelphia in Australia, it just so happens Brett Brown coached Simmons' father David during his extensive coaching career in Australia. Not only does Brown know Simmons’ family, he still is closely connected to those involved in his basketball career.
“I know the people that have worked with him all across the board,” Brown said. “That’s just one of the benefits of living in the country and 20 minutes from where he grew up for 17 years, short of my Sydney days where it makes it 12 years.”
Of course Quarterman didn't work out with the Sixers just to speak on Simmons. He is also fighting for a place in the NBA as well.
"Tim did a very good job creating for others," Brandon Williams, Sixers vice president of basketball administration, said. "What I'm impressed by is he's such a nuisance defensively, his length and athleticism. Then he showed his ability to create off the bounce."