BREAKDOWN: Marcus Simmons, a 6-foot-6, 220-pound senior guard is a versatile and athletic player with superb defensive instincts who is expected to play a significant role for the Trojans this season. He has the ability to lock down the opposition's top scorer. He can play various positions on the court and is a tireless worker.
2009-10: Started the first six games of the season for the Trojans and showed signs of what he is capable of with extended minutes. Scored a career-high 18 points (9 straight in the second half) and matched a career-best with five rebounds in the season-opening win vs. UC Riverside on Nov. 17. In his eight games playing 25 or more minutes, Simmons averaged 8.5 points. He scored in double figures two more times, tallying 11 points vs. LMU on Nov. 21 and at ASU on March 4. For the season in 29 games, Simmons averaged 3.0 points and 2.0 rebounds while playing the role of the key defensive stopper. He drastically improved at the free throw line, hitting 71.9 percent of his shots from the charity stripe after making 45.5 percent in his first two seasons. He also hit a team-high 42.9 percent from three-point range (3-for-7). He was given the Tom Kimmel Award (6th Man) and was the co-winner of the Forrest F. Twogood Award (Best Defensive Player) the 2009-10 USC team banquet.
2008-09: Was not healthy enough to play significant minutes early in the 2009 season, but developed as a key member for USC down the stretch both as a starter or coming off the bench. Was slowed in the beginning of the season as he rehabilitated his ankle due to a Sept. 16 surgery to remove additional bone growth in his left leg due to complications from his ankle injury as a freshman. He then suffered another early-season sprain which slowed him further. He was able to play in 18 of USC's first 26 games, but only played 10 or more minutes four times. After the Feb. 26 game at California where he came off the bench and played 22 minutes and scored six points, he played double-figures in minutes in seven of USC's final nine games, including five starts. Scored a career-high 11 points at Stanford on Jan. 28. Started and played a key roll in all three of USC's Pac-10 Tournament games en route to the title. He scored six points, had four rebounds and contained Cal's Jerome Randle for much of the game. In the semifinal vs. UCLA, Simmons had another six points and four rebounds, while hounding UCLA's Darren Collison into 1-for-9 shooting and seven turnovers. Started at guard in USC's NCAA first-round win vs. Boston College on March 20.
2007-08: He was expected to contribute right away for the Trojans during his freshman season suffered a high ankle sprain in the preseason which limited his practice time before the season, then continued to experience pain throughout the season. Appeared in a total of 15 games and played 101 minutes. Played in his first game on Nov. 15 at The Citadel and had two rebounds in nine minutes. Played at South Carolina on Nov. 17 and had three rebounds in two minutes. Did not play again until Dec. 17 vs. Delaware State when he had three rebounds and an assist in 13 minutes of action. Scored his first career points by making two free throws vs. Cal Poly on Dec. 22. Was out of action again from Jan. 24-Feb. 23, but was fitted with a new ankle brace in mid-February and made steady improvement after that. Had a season-high four points and five rebounds in a season-high 16 minutes on Feb. 23 vs. Oregon State. Also played 16 minutes on March 1 at Arizona State and had two points, two rebounds and two steals. Played in all three of USC's postseason games, playing three minutes vs. Arizona State and two vs. UCLA (one steal) in the Pac-10 Tournament and then playing a minute vs. Kansas State in the NCAA Tournament.
HIGH SCHOOL: Simmons averaged 18.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 3.0 steals per game as a senior at Peabody H.S. in Alexandria, La. Helped lead Peabody to a 37-4 record and the 2006-07 4-A Louisiana state championship, winning their last 17. He was selected to the All-District 4-A team and earned All-State honors. Was ranked as the No. 47 small forward in the 2007 recruiting class by Rivals.com. As a junior, Simmons led Peabody to a 34-5 record and a No. 2 ranking in the state of Louisiana, averaging 18.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and six assists per game. Simmons was coached at Peabody High by Charles Smith.