If you thought it was tough to stop Montverde (Montverde, Fla.) forward Ben Simmons before, you can thank Dante Calabria for upgrading that to daunting task to near impossible.
“Coach Dante has my shot working a lot better,” said Simmons, the No. 1 overall player in the ESPN 100. “Everything about it is better.”
Coming into the season, Simmons’ key offensive focus was improving his perimeter and mid-range jump shots so he teamed up with Calabria, head coach of Montverde’s prep team, every day after offseason workouts running countless drills and correcting basic shooting mechanics.
Simmons is draining 50 percent of his threes and averaging 31 points, 10 assists and seven assists a game this season. The Eagles are ranked No. 1 in the USA Today HSS Super 25.
Calabria won a national title as a sharpshooter at North Carolina and scored 1,098 points in his four-year career as a Tar Heel (1992-96). He ranks fifth all-time for the Tar Heels in 3-point field goal percentage (41.2).
“I definitely credit Coach Dante with how much better I’m shooting,” said Simmons, an LSU signee who has led Montverde to back-to-back national titles. “I didn’t’ even know I was doing this, but I’d release my shot on the way coming down on a jump shot. Now, after working with him, I’m letting it go at the top of my release. It’s made all the difference; I definitely feel like I’m a better scorer now. That’s good for me.”
Bad for the opposition.
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY