LSU Tigers: SEC basketball

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."

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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."

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North Texas has changed its stance on highly-regarded junior college center John Odoh.

Odoh, a Nigerian who led the nation in rebounding as a sophomore at Hill College (Texas), was released from his NCAA letter of intent by UNT head coach Tony Benford, according to a North Texas news release. He is allowed to explore any program not in the Sun Belt Conference, North Texas' current league, or Conference USA, where the Eagles are headed starting in the 2013-2014 school year.

That's a change in North Texas' stance. Last week, athletic director Rick Villarreal said he would not grant Odoh a release to LSU, where former North Texas coach Johnny Jones is now head coach. Jones was North Texas' coach when Odoh signed in the early period. It's widely assumed Odoh would be interested in maintaining his association with Jones at LSU.
LSU center Justin Hamilton, who surprised many when he decided to leave LSU a year early to try a pro career, is ranked No. 70 on ESPN's Chad Ford's top 100 players in the NBA draft.

If that holds true, he'd be out of the 60-pick draft (two rounds per team) and would be a free agent.

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Hammink follows dad's footsteps to LSU 

April, 23, 2012
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On Monday afternoon, LSU landed its first Johnny Jones basketball recruit in Shavon Coleman. Just hours later, news of another Tigers recruit surfaced.

[+] EnlargeJohnny Jones
AP Photo/Danny JohnstonNew LSU coach Johnny Jones landed his second commit on Monday.
Shane Hammink, a 6-foot-6 guard/forward from Holland via Canarias Basketball Academy in Spain, joined Coleman in the LSU signing class. The son of former LSU star Geert Hammink is considered one of the top prospects his age in Europe.

In the 2011 U18 European Championships, he averaged 12.3 points in seven games for the Netherlands. He was named the MVP of a major tournament recently at Tourcoring, France after he averaged 14 points a game for CBA. In the 2010 U16 European championships, he averaged 17.8 points and 8.9 rebounds.

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LSU's Hickey says he will stay

April, 16, 2012
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As the remaining LSU players trickled into the room for the news conference introducing Johnny Jones as their new head coach, point guard Anthony Hickey was conspicuously absent.

[+] EnlargeTrent Johnson, Anthony Hickey
Derick E. Hingle/US PresswireAnthony Hickey (left) said he is excited about the hiring of coach Johnny Jones.
But he arrived just before the news conference started and took a seat at a table with teammates. It's a seat that, much to the relief of Jones and LSU basketball fans, he's willing to keep.

"I'm in here for the long run," he said. "I wasn't really thinking about leaving. It was just rumors, you know, when the coach is leaving."

Those rumors centered around Hickey's desire to be closer to family in his home state of Kentucky. Instead, he referred to the LSU team as "my family here."

With Hickey on board, all seven scholarship players returning from the 18-15 team said they would return to play for Jones. That includes starters Hickey, forward Johnny O'Bryant and wings Andre Stringer and Ralston Turner.

Hickey's return is crucial, given LSU's lack of depth at point guard.

The 5-foot-11 former Kentucky Mr. Basketball made the SEC's All-Freshman team after averaging 8.9 points and a team-high 3.8 assists in 2012. He started 31 of LSU's 33 games and showed defensive prowess, ripping off an SEC-best 2.1 steals a game.

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Temple: Jones is the man for the job 

April, 7, 2012
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There's no secret that folks tied to the Dale Brown era at LSU are loyal to their own.

So it makes sense that one of the more prominent names associated with that period would endorse another Brown-coached Tiger for the now-vacant LSU position.

"Johnny Jones is the man," said Collis Temple, Jr., the first African-American player in LSU history who played for for both Brown and Press Maravich in the early 70s. Two of Temple's sons, Collis Temple III and Garrett Temple, also played at LSU. Garrett played his senior season for Trent Johnson, who left LSU Saturday to take the TCU job.

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Hamilton weighing options 

April, 4, 2012
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As the day progressed Wednesday, rumors that LSU would lose as much as 60 percent of its men's basketball starting lineup went from a whisper to the buzz around Baton Rouge.

At day's end, it's safe to say the rumors are probably wrong ... at least two of them.

The one rumor that may prove correct is the one concerning center Justin Hamilton, the Tigers' leading scorer and rebounder last season. Team spokesman Kent Lowe confirmed that Hamilton is weighing his options and the junior could decide to go pro instead of coming back for his senior season.

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