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Top 25 MAC Basketball Players: #9 John Simons (F - Central Michigan Chippewas)

Poised to play an integral role for the Central Michigan squad, senior forward John Simons comes in at No. 9 on our list.

Rob Leifheit-USA TODAY Sports

Entering further into our Top 25 MAC men's basketball player countdown, we reach Central Michigan senior forward John Simons. Standing at 6-foot-8, 220 pounds, Simons is a big body for the Chippewas who thrives on the perimeter, as well, with an uncanny ability to shoot the three ball. He has started every game for Central Michigan since his freshman season alongside fellow senior Chris Fowler. The duo has been a major reason for the program's prominence in the MAC in recent seasons.

The Cadillac, Michigan native provided Chippewa fans a season to remember in 2014-15, averaging a career high 12 points per game, good enough for second on the team. His big frame also provided valuable help on the boards, shown by his 6.5 rebounds per game, which lead the team. Simons is irreplaceable for Central Michigan, as he boasts a unique skill set for a player of his size. As a true scorer, he is gifted with deadly precision from the field, three-point territory in particular.

Last season was the first time that Simons was recognized for his extraordinary abilities on the court. He received Third Team All-MAC honors, as well as a spot on the MAC All-Tournament Team, alongside Fowler. These honors are justified by his talents, including his tremendous inside-out play making abilities. It is unusual for a player of Simons' height to be able to help spread the floor and pose a viable threat beyond the arch and outside the paint in general.

Simons' aforementioned three-point prowess has been a trait of his since his arrival in Mt. Pleasant. His 40 percent career mark from three-point range ranks fourth in Central Michigan history, and last season he shot 45.5 percent from three-point land, one of the top percentages among forwards in the country. He is also an extremely disciplined player, exemplified by his 84 percent free-throw average.

Not only is Simons a force on the court, but he is also a gifted student. In every season since his sophomore year, Simons has earned a position on the MAC All-Academic team. The former Michigan Mr. Basketball finalist has excelled in the classroom, despite countless rigorous hours spent with basketball.

As a member of the MAC West Division Preseason All-MAC Team, Simons has garnered some high expectations for his senior season. He is the second-highest scorer for the favorite to win the conference and with the tremendous talent surrounding him, Simons is poised to produce another fantastic season in his final year as a Chippewa.

Simons will need to up his assist total from last season, where he averaged less than one assist per game. This is a reasonable goal, because he does not have to rely on himself to provide scoring for his team. Two other starters from last season averaged double digit points per game, proving that Simons has the necessary tools around him to be successful.