LSU Tigers: LSU basketball

Watch: LSU's Del Piero former tuba player

February, 23, 2013
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Greg Garber profiles LSU center Andrew Del Piero, who used to play tuba in the LSU band.

No. 15 Martin highlights LSU class 

November, 15, 2012
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Five-star prospect Jarrell Martin (Baton Rouge, La./Madison Prep), No. 15 in the ESPN 100, signed his official letter of intent for LSU on Wednesday.

"Jarell Martin is an exceptional talent who has the ability to play both outside and inside," first-year coach Johnny Jones said. "With his ball-handling, passing and ability to score, he will be able to create opportunities for other players on his team. He could be a difficult matchup for our opponent."

Martin is part of a class ranked No. 7 according to ESPN's RecruitingNation. Also signing with the Tigers were ESPN 100 recruits Jordan Mickey (Arlington, Texas/Prime Prep) and Tim Quarterman (Savannah, Ga./Johnson). LSU also signed John Odo (Nigeria/Hill College) to an SEC Aid Agreement. Odo is scheduled to enroll in January.

"This class consists of four young men of exceptional talent that will allow us to continue to compete in the highest level in the near future," Jones said. "The versatility of this class is what we were looking for from the beginning. We are excited about the future of LSU Basketball."
BATON ROUGE, La. -- How big is it for LSU to land Jarrell Martin, the No. 14-ranked player in the ESPN 100?

Martin, who committed to the Tigers on Thursday in an assembly at Madison Prep Academy, is the most coveted recruit to commit to the Tigers since Glen "Big Baby" Davis, who was ranked as the nation's No. 13 player when he pledged in 2004. If LSU coach Johnny Jones was hired to improve recruiting, Martin's pledge is proof that he's delivering.

Jarell Martin
David Helman/ESPN.comNo. 14 hoop prospect Jarrell Martin, decked out in an LSU hat, committed to the Tigers on Thursday.
That makes Martin the the most coveted player to commit to LSU since Davis who, like Martin, prepped at a local high school, as Davis attended University Lab.

Martin should provide Jones with plenty of the firepower he wants in implementing an up-tempo, fast-break offense at LSU.

At 6-foot-7, Martin projects as a power forward, but he said he hopes to move inside and out, depending on how he's matched up -- and Jeff Jones, Martin's coach at Madison Prep, agreed with his star player's assessment, comparing him to North Texas standout and former Johnny Jones pupil Tony Mitchell.

"Really what will help Johnny with his system are the guys he'll have in John Udoh and Deng Deng and [Jordan] Mickey and [Tim] Quarterman," Jeff Jones said. "... There will be a lot of places to move Jarrell around. And whatever you ask Jarrell to do, he's going to do it."

Martin sees his versatility as being similar to a particular player who never even considered attending North Texas.

"I'd say I see my game like LeBron James -- I just take whatever is there," Martin said. "If a big guy is on me I'll go out and use my perimeter game, if a small guy is on me I'll go down low."

In light of that versatility and willingness, the presence of other big men among LSU commits could be a boon for Martin offensively.

Add in LSU's previous commitment from forward Jordan Mickey, the No. 46 player in the ESPN 100, and LSU has two Top 50 players in the same class for the first time since 2005 when Mitchell and Magnum Rolle both signed with the Tigers as top 50 recruits on Rivals.com. LSU also has a pledge from Tim Quarterman, the No. 66 player on the Rivals 100 and junior college forward Deng Deng. John Odoh, a junior college center, will join the team in January.

Better than that, Jones' new batch of recruits already have some experience playing with each other.

"I actually played against Tim Quarterman and Jordan Mickey," Martin said. "Me and Jordan Mickey used to be together at the camps, and he was one of the guys that we'd be together at the camps and become close friends."

But it's Martin who stands out among the trio of prospects. LSU has had other top players since Davis, but stars such as Tasmin Mitchell (No. 20, Rivals) in 2005, J'Mison Morgan (No. 26, ESPN), Aaron Dotson (No. 45, ESPN) in 2009 and Johnny O'Bryant (No. 46, ESPN) in 2011 were all highly regarded recruits, but not as much as Martin.

It should also be noted that Morgan signed with LSU when John Brady was still head coach and was let out of his letter of intent by Trent Johnson, eventually winding up at at UCLA before transferring to Baylor.

Tiny Tigers have big dreams 

October, 11, 2012
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- Anthony Hickey has a new look this season.

Gone are the thick dreadlocks that became his signature look during a freshman season in which he averaged 8.9 points and 3.8 assists. He now sports a close-cut look that makes him look more streamlined, perhaps a bit shorter and altogether different from last year.

Kind of like his LSU team.

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Big recruiting week for LSU's Jones

September, 30, 2012
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- When Johnny Jones was hired as LSU's basketball coach in the spring, he came with the reputation of being a top-notch recruiter.

Evidence of that has been pouring in this week.

Just two days after the Tigers landed a commitment from ESPN 100 forward Jordan Mickey, Jones added a second ESPN 100 commitment Sunday when point guard Tim Quarterman (Savannah, Ga./Johnson) pledged to sign with the Tigers. They are the first two ESPN 100 commitments Jones has landed for the Tigers since he arrived on campus to replace Trent Johnson, who left LSU for TCU.

It's huge for LSU, a program that hasn't been to an NCAA tournament since winning the SEC in 2009 and hasn't consistently been able to land top-tier talent. In Jones' short tenure, all of his recruits before this week -- point guard Corban Collins and wings Shane Hammink and Shavon Coleman in the 2012 class and junior college big men John Odoh and Deng Deng as early commitments in the 2013 class -- were relatively unknown, sleeper-type recruits.

What this week proves is LSU won't necessarily have to rely on the under-the-radar guy -- Jones can contend for top talent.

The addition of Quarterman also further clarifies the picture of what kind of team Jones wants to have. In Coleman and Hammink, Jones signed a pair of long, 6-foot-6 wings and Deng and Mickey are both versatile, athletic, 6-8 players. With big point guards like the 6-foot-5 Quarterman and the 6-3 Collins, LSU's future lineups appear to be ones of across-the-board athleticism and length.

A lineup with Quarterman at the point, Deng and Mickey inside and Coleman and Hammink on the wings would be all players 6-5 and taller, but not taller than 6-8, with the interchangeable ability to switch on screens and get in passing lanes with long arms and athleticism on defense and run with explosiveness and skill on the fast break on offense.

With four commitments already, LSU has one more scholarship to give in the class.

And there is at least one more ESPN 100 player who shares a mutually strong interest with LSU, 6-foot-7 forward Jarrell Martin, a local talent from just a few miles north of LSU's campus in Baton Rouge. If Jones can add Martin -- another versatile, athletic forward -- it would further establish the identity of Jones' Tigers teams going forward.

And it would also further establish LSU, under Jones, as a legitimate player in the national recruiting scene.

Odoh commits to Tigers 

September, 4, 2012
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LSU landed its second basketball commitment in one day when 6-foot-11 Hill College center John Odoh chose to commit to LSU on Monday.

Odoh, a native of Nigeria, originally signed with North Texas last spring, but got out of the letter of intent after head coach Johnny Jones left UNT for LSU. Odoh was unsuccessful in an attempt to become academically eligible to play for the Tigers in summer school and had to return to junior college.

His juco coach, Swede Trenkle, confirmed the commitment via email Monday night.

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LSU lands juco forward Deng 

September, 3, 2012
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- LSU landed its first recruit for the 2013 basketball signing class when Deng Deng, a 6-foot-8, 215-pound Australian playing at Lee College in Baytown, Texas committed Monday, his coach confirmed.

Lee's coach, Roy Champage, said LSU is getting a skilled, international-style small forward with SEC length.

"He's a 6-8 small forward who has the ability to have mismatches and play big close to the basket," Champagne said. "He's not a thick body type, but he's constantly working. He has a cut upper body, but a slender lower body, so he's not what I would call a power forward."

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Charles Carmouche added to LSU roster 

August, 25, 2012
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- Charles Carmouche, a New Orleans native and former University of New Orleans player, will play his senior season for LSU, the school announced Saturday.

Carmouche, a 6-foot-3 guard, graduated from Memphis, where he averaged 7.4 points as a junior in 2010-11 where he started 28 of the 32 games he played. He played seven games in his senior season before being sidelined because of tendinitis in both knees. He was eventually granted a medical redshirt by the NCAA and sought a transfer after receiving his degree in interdisciplinary studies from Memphis.

Because he's a graduate seeking a post-graduate program, he is able to transfer without sitting out a year.

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Men's hoops: Tigers look to small ball 

August, 24, 2012
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BATON ROUGE -- If you are waiting for a last-minute arrival of a mystery big man for LSU's men's basketball team, don't bother.

[+] EnlargeJohnny Jones
Ronald Martinez/Getty ImagesFirst-year LSU coach Johnny Jones will make due with a roster than lacks depth down low.
Head coach Johnny Jones said Friday in an exclusive interview with GeauxTigerNation he's counting on what will probably be an 11-man roster for the 2012-2013 season made up primarily of guards. There are 10 players currently on the roster and, though Jones would not confirm it, it is believed former Memphis guard Charles Carmouche might be the 11th player.

Memphis coach Josh Pastner has said he expects Carmouche, a New Orleans native who graduated from Memphis in May and is looking for another school where he can enroll in graduate school and play as a senior, to transfer to LSU.

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David Patrick, a graduate of the Dunham School in Baton Rouge, La., and a native of Bermuda with extensive international basketball ties, was hired as an assistant men's basketball coach at LSU, it was announced Wednesday in an LSU news release.

Patrick, who was a player personnel scout for the Houston Rockets when he was hired by LSU, replaced Shawn Forrest, who resigned for personal reasons.

"We are definitely excited about the addition of David Patrick to our staff," LSU head coach Johnny Jones said. "He will not only be able to help us with game planning and practice preparation, but we look forward to forward to him helping us raise our level of recruiting at LSU, both regionally, as well as nationally."

(Read full post)

Collins gives LSU 'complete' look 

June, 19, 2012
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When point guard Corban Collins became LSU's fifth recruit for the 2012 basketball signing class last week, it gave a look of completion for Johnny Jones' first Tigers signing class.

[+] EnlargeJohnny Jones
Ronald Martinez/Getty ImagesJohnny Jones' 2012 recruiting class is impressive considering he was named head coach of LSU less than three months ago.
Sort of.

Collins gives LSU two true point guards (along with returning starter Anthony Hickey) to go with four wings (returning starter Andre Stringer and recruits Shavon Coleman, Malik Morgan and Shane Hammink), two "face-up," perimeter-shooting forwards (Eddie Ludwig and Jalen Courtney) and two "true" post players (returning starter Johnny O'Bryant III and recruit Calvin Godfrey).

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GTN writers Gary Laney and David Helman answer your questions in this week's mailbag. You can send questions to glaneyespn@gmail.com or helmanespn@gmail.com or their Twitter accounts, helmanespn or glaneyespn.

Today, they'll discuss:

1. Recruiting grades

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Recently hired LSU assistant men's basketball coach Shawn Forrest resigned for personal reasons, head coach Johnny Jones announced Monday in an LSU news release.

Forrest was on Jones' staff at North Texas and joined Jones at LSU in April.

"I appreciate the opportunity given to me by Coach Jones and LSU," Forrest said in the news release. "There are personal matters that have taken priority that I need to give immediate attention."

(Read full post)

LSU hosts three top 100 players 

May, 29, 2012
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LSU coach Johnny Jones isn't done recruiting for the class of 2012, but that doesn't mean he and is staff aren't already working on the 2013 class.

LSU hosted three players ranked in the 2013 ESPN 100 during the weekend when members of the stacked Dallas-based Urban DFW Elite grass roots team made an unofficial visit to LSU on Memorial Day. Center Karviar Shepherd (Dallas/Grace Prep), the No. 29 player in the 2013 100, forward Jordan Mickey (Dallas/Grace Prep) the No. 41-ranked player, and guard Kendal Harris (Richardson, Texas/Berkner), the No. 93-ranked player, were among the players who made the visit.

Also notably present was guard Shirmane Thomas (Dallas/Skyline).

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With the 2013 ESPN 150 released and thoroughly dissected, it's time to take a look at this year's ESPN 100, which was released on Thursday.

After the disappointment of seeing only four Louisiana prospects on the ESPN 150, this year's list of elite basketball prospects offers up some tantalizing possibilities for LSU. Two of the 100 players listed -- No. 17 prospect Jarrell Martin and No. 71 Damian Jones -- don't just hail from Louisiana, but from the Baton Rouge area.

With talent like that located at such a close proximity to LSU, it seems like a no-brainer that Johnny Jones needs to have his eyes on his area this summer and fall. Martin will begin his second high school season with Madison Prep this fall, while Jones is at Scotlandville. Both players have enjoyed a big upswing in exposure this past spring, and that looks likely continue as basketball season approaches.

The full ESPN 100 is here. The ESPN 60 for the class of 2014 also came out Thursday, as did the 2015 ESPN 25.

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