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LSU guard Patterson expected to try and practice

LSU freshman guard Jalyn Patterson was expected to try and practice Thursday after being sidelined for Wednesday night’s comeback victory over South Carolina — reportedly with concussion-like symptoms.

LSU coach Johnny Jones stopped short of saying Patterson, who was injured late in Saturday night’s win at Vanderbilt, suffered a concussion while diving for a loose ball.

“He’s supposed to do some things (Thursday), and it kind of depends on how much he’s able to get through — whether or not we’ll test him or whatever,” Jones said before his team began preparing for Saturday’s game with Mississippi State in Starkville.

“He got hit, and he got hit hard,” he said of Patterson, who’s averaged 5.4 points in the first 19 games. “You can’t call it (a concussion). I’m not sure if that’s exactly what it is; that’s why they want to see where he is today. If he can’t get through (practice), that may be something they would suggest.”

LSU signee Simmons, commit Blakeney to play in McDonald’s game

LSU signee Benny Simmons and Antonio Blakeney, who committed earlier this month to the Tigers’ program, were chosen Wednesday night to play in the 38th annual McDonald’s All-American game.

The McDonald’s game, a showcase for the top seniors among boys and girls in the country, will be played April 1 at the United Center in Chicago and will be televised by the ESPN family of networks.

Simmons, a 6-foot-10 forward, is rated as the nation’s No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2015 and the headliner of the 24-player McDonald’s game.

The Montverde (Florida) Academy star signed with LSU in the early signing period in November after committing to Johnny Jones’ program 13 months earlier.

Blakeney, a 6-4 shooting guard from Oak Ridge High School in Orlando, Florida, is rated as the 14th overall prospect in this year’s class and is the No. 2 shooting guard on the ESPN 100 list.

Blakeney, who was a teammate of Simmons in summer ball last year, committed on Jan. 2. He chose LSU over Kentucky and Missouri.

Simmons and Blakeney will play for the East squad in the McDonald’s game.

LSU missing two reserves against South Carolina

The LSU basketball team is playing with a short bench in Wednesday night’s Southeastern Conference game against South Carolina.

Freshman guard Jalyn Patterson is sitting this one out after being banged up in the Vanderbilt game and freshman center Elbert Robinson III is ill, coach Johnny Jones said on his pregame radio show.

LSU will likely need to get some minutes from forwards Brian Bridgewater and Aaron Epps to offset the absence of Patterson and Robinson — especially Patterson.

Patterson is averaging 5.4 points per game off the bench; Robinson hasn’t played in the Tigers’ last five games.

Opening Tip: South Carolina at LSU

Opening Tip is posted about five hours before each game this season.

General Info

  • What: South Carolina (10-8, 1-5 SEC) at LSU (15-4, 4-2 SEC)
  • When: 6 p.m. Wednesday
  • Where: Pete Maravich Assembly Center
  • All-time series: South Carolina leads 15-14
  • Last meeting: LSU 71, South Carolina 68 (at Columbia, S.C., Jan. 11, 2014)
  • TV: SEC Network
  • Radio: WDGL-FM, 98.1; WWL-AM, 870; KLWB-FM, 103.7
  • In game Twitter updates: @MicklesAdvocate
  • Up next: LSU will play at Mississippi State on Saturday at 1 p.m. (SEC Network)

Starting Five

  • DOUBLING UP: In a 79-75 overtime win at Vanderbilt on Saturday, LSU sophomore forward Jordan Mickey had 25 points and 11 rebounds for his 11th double-double in 18 games this season. In 52 career games, he’s scored in double digits 41 times and has at least 10 rebounds in 23 games.
  • BONUS BASKETBALL: LSU is 3-1 in overtime this season and has already tied the school record for most overtimes in a season. It’s happened four other times — most recently in 2011-12. LSU is 39-52 all-time in overtime games, while Johnny Jones is 5-4 in his three seasons.
  • SEC SUCCESS: The win against Vanderbilt was the 22nd SEC regular-season win for Jones. It’s the most for an LSU coach in his first three seasons — one better than his mentor, Dale Brown. Jones’ predecessors, John Brady and Trent Johnson, each won 18 league games in their first three seasons.
  • HOLDING ON: LSU has posted a 12-2 record this season when the Tigers have the lead with five minutes remaining in a game. Since Jones took over for the 2012-13 season, LSU is 45-5 when trying to hold on to a lead in the final five minutes of play.
  • GETTING TO KNOW YOU: Prior to joining the SEC for the 1991-92 school year, South Carolina had met LSU on the basketball court just once with the Gamecocks taking a 77-64 win on Dec. 21, 1974 in Columbia. Since then, they’ve played 28 times as league foes with each team winning 14 times.

Know Your Opponent

  • South Carolina has had a rough start in SEC play with a 1-5 record, but three of the setbacks for the Gamecocks, who are 10-8 overall, were by four points or fewer. In its last outing on Saturday, South Carolina ran into top-ranked and undefeated Kentucky and took a 58-43 loss. The Gamecocks, however, posted some huge wins in nonconference play in crushing Oklahoma State by 26 points and Iowa State, which is currently ranked 15th in the nation, by four. South Carolina also trashed Clemson, which defeated LSU on Nov. 24, by 23 points. Sophomore Sindarius Thornwell, a 6-foot-5 guard, is averaging 11.2 points and 5.4 rebounds per game, but has only hit 34.8 percent of his field-goal attempts — including 24.3 percent from 3-point range.

The Lineups

South Carolina (10-8, 1-5 SEC)

Probable Starters

  • G Tyrone Johnson, 6-3, Sr., 10.1 ppg, 3.7 apg
  • G Duane Notice, 6-2, So., 11.4 ppg, 2.6 rpg
  • G Sindarius Thornwell, 6-5, So., 11.2 ppg, 5.4 rpg
  • F Demetrius Henry, 6-9, So., 6.7 ppg, 4.1 rpg
  • F Michael Carrera, 6-5, Jr., 5.6 ppg, 4.9 rpg

Top reserves

  • F Laimonas Chatkevicius, 6-11, Jr., 8.8 ppg, 5.1 rpg
  • F Mindaugas Kacinas, 6-7, Jr., 6.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg
  • G Marcus Stroman, 6-2, Fr., 4.7 ppg, 3.7 apg

LSU (15-4, 4-2 SEC)

Probable Starters

  • G Josh Gray, 6-1, Jr., 9.0 ppg, 4.8 apg
  • G Keith Hornsby, 6-4, Jr., 12.4 ppg, 4.5 rpg
  • F Jordan Mickey, 6-8, So., 16.1 ppg, 10.7 rpg
  • F Jarell Martin, 6-10, So., 17.0 ppg, 9.0 rpg
  • C Darcy Malone, 7-0, So., 1.4 ppg, 1.1 rpg

Top reserves

  • G Tim Quarterman, 6-6, So., 12.1 ppg, 5.5 rpg
  • G Jalyn Patterson, 6-1, Fr., 5.4 ppg, 1.9 rpg
  • F Brian Bridgewater, 6-5, So., 2.4 ppg, 1.0 rpg

LSU basketball teams to get lots of air time this week

The LSU basketball programs will be displayed prominently on the SEC Network in the next week with live coverage of three men’s and women’s teams.

The men’s team will host South Carolina at 6 p.m. Wednesday and play at Mississippi State on Saturday at 1 p.m. on the league’s network.

The Lady Tigers will meet Ole Miss at 8 p.m. Thursday in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center in a game that will also be televised live by SEC Network.

The SEC Network will also show replays of the men’s game with South Carolina at 3 a.m. and 11 a.m. Thursday.

Opening Tip: LSU at Vanderbilt

Opening Tip is posted about five hours before each game this season.

General Info

  • What: LSU (14-4, 3-2 SEC) at Vanderbilt (11-7, 1-4 SEC)
  • When: 5 p.m. Saturday
  • Where: Memorial Gymnasium, Nashville, Tennessee
  • All-time series: Vanderbilt leads 60-51
  • Last meeting: LSU 57, Vanderbilt 51 (at Nashville, March 6, 2014)
  • Radio: WDGL-FM, 98.1; WWL-AM, 870; WWL-FM, 105.3; KLWB-FM, 103.7
  • In game Twitter updates: @MicklesAdvocate
  • Up next: LSU will host South Carolina on Wednesday at 6 p.m. (SEC Network)

Starting Five

  • ROAD WARRIORS?: LSU is 4-1 on the road after Tuesday night’s 79-61 belting of Florida in Gainesville. The last time the Tigers, who earlier topped West Virginia, UAB and Ole Miss and lost to Missouri, won four of its first five road games was 1988-89.
  • SECOND-HALF SUCCESS: LSU has been a hot-shooting team in the second half of those four road victories. The Tigers have connected on 57-of-111 shots from the floor for 51.4 percent. Their best showing of the four was in hitting 56.7 percent (17-of-30) at UAB.
  • A RISING STAR: Vanderbilt sophomore Damian Jones, a Baton Rouge native, has become one of the SEC’s top men this season. The 6-foot-10 center is tied for fifth in scoring (15.7 points per game) and is sixth in rebounding (7.2 rpg) and is hitting 54.4 percent of his field-goal attempts.
  • JONES MOVING UP: Johnny Jones has 21 SEC wins in his third season as head coach at his alma mater and needs one to break a tie with his mentor, Dale Brown, for most league wins by an LSU coach in his first three seasons. Jones won nine games each his first two seasons and has three so far this year.
  • GOING FOR 70: LSU has reached the 70-point mark in 13 of its 18 games this season. The Tigers have won all 13 games and are now 40-14 under Jones since he took over when they score at least 70 points.

Know Your Opponent

  • Tabbed to finish 11th in the 14-team Southeastern Conference in a preseason poll of media, Vanderbilt, which plays five freshmen and two sophomores among its top eight players, is off to a tough start. After beating Auburn in its league opener, VU has dropped four in a row with one of the setbacks to Mississippi State — which was picked to finish last in the conference. The Commodores do have two big scorers in center Damian Jones, who averages 15.7 points and hits 54.4 percent of his shots, and guard Riley LaChance, who averages 13.4 points a game and connects on 41.8 percent of his 3-point field-goal attempts.

The Lineups

LSU (14-4, 3-2 SEC)

Probable Starters

  • G Josh Gray, 6-1, Jr., 9.6 ppg, 4.9 apg
  • G Keith Hornsby, 6-4, Jr., 12.5 ppg, 4.6 rpg
  • F Jordan Mickey, 6-8, So., 15.5 ppg, 10.6 rpg
  • F Jarell Martin, 6-10, So., 16.9 ppg, 8.8 rpg
  • C Darcy Malone, 7-0, So., 1.3 ppg, 1.0 rpg

Top reserves

  • G Tim Quarterman, 6-6, So., 12.1 ppg, 5.6 rpg
  • G Jalyn Patterson, 6-1, Fr., 5.2 ppg, 1.8 rpg
  • F Brian Bridgewater, 6-5, So., 2.6 ppg, 1.0 rpg

Vanderbilt (11-7, 1-4 SEC)

Probable Starters

  • G Wade Baldwin IV, 6-3, Fr., 6.7 ppg, 4.3 apg
  • G Riley LaChance, 6-2, Fr., 13.4 ppg, 3.2 rpg
  • F Luke Kornet, 7-0, So., 8.1 ppg, 4.0 rpg
  • F Jeff Roberson, 6-6 Fr., 4.3 ppg, 3.2 rpg
  • C Damian Jones, 6-10, So., 15.7 ppg, 7.2 rpg

Top reserves

  • F James Siakam, 6-7, Sr., 9.0 ppg, 5.4 rpg
  • G Matthew Fisher-Davis, 6-5, Fr., 6.5 ppg, 2.1 rpg
  • F Shelton Mitchell, 6-3, Fr., 5.1 ppg, 4.2 apg

DaShawn Harden will not play at Tennessee

LSU senior guard DaShawn Harden will not play Thursday night when the Lady Tigers take on No. 5-ranked Tennessee at 6 p.m. in Knoxville, Tennessee, team spokesman Matt Dunaway said.

Harden took an elbow to the eye Sunday about four minutes into the second half of LSU’s 84-79 upset of then No. 10 Kentucky at the PMAC.

She didn’t suffer any bone fractures, LSU coach Nikki Caldwell said, but did suffer some significant swelling around her eye. Caldwell said Harden was not checked for a concussion.

Harden was LSU’s leading scorer with 11.5 points per game until Danielle Ballard became eligible. She is averaging 14.3 points per game in four games since returning from a 14-game suspension to start the season.

The LSU-Tennessee game will be televised on the SEC Network.

LSU has only 2,000 tickets left for Kentucky game

Only about 2,000 tickets remain for LSU’s matchup with top-ranked Kentucky on Feb. 10 in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

Tickets went on sale 10 days ago, and the lower two levels (100 and 200 sections) have sold out. The 2,000 tickets available are in the upper level (300 sections).

Tickets are available at, at the LSU Athletic Ticket Office or by calling (800) 960-8587.

Prices start at $16 for adults and $5 for youths ages 3-12. The Kentucky game is also available as part of the Pick 5 Mini Plan, along with four other SEC games, for $76.

Opening Tip: LSU at Florida

Opening Tip will be posted about five hours before each game this season.

General Info

  • What: LSU (13-4, 2-2 SEC) at Florida (10-7, 3-1 SEC)
  • When: 6 p.m. Tuesday
  • Where: O’Connell Center, Gainesville, Florida
  • All-time series: LSU leads 60-43
  • Last meeting: Florida 79, LSU 61 (at Gainesville, March 1, 2014)
  • TV: ESPN
  • Radio: WDGL-FM, 98.1; WWL-AM, 870; WWL-FM, 105.3; KLWB-FM, 103.7
  • In game Twitter updates: @MicklesAdvocate
  • Up next: LSU will play at Vanderbilt on Saturday at 5 p.m. (ESPNU)

Starting Five

  • TOUGH ON TIGERS: Florida has won its last six matchups against LSU with three of those wins coming in the O’Connell Center. The Tigers haven’t won on the UF campus since Feb. 13, 2008 when they took an 85-73 victory under interim coach Butch Pierre.
  • GET HIM TO THE LINE: LSU wants to get forward Jarell Martin to the free-throw line more after he’s had just 10 attempts from the stripe in his four SEC games. Martin is 64-of-89 this season (71.9 percent) and has 28 more attempts and 21 more makes than any other player on the roster.
  • DISHING THEM OUT: LSU point guard Josh Gray, who missed two games with a sprained ankle in December, is averaging 6.4 assists a game in his last five outings — racking up 21 in the last three games alone. He’s tied for second in the SEC with 5.2 per game for the season.
  • SHORT BENCH: LSU used seven players Saturday against Texas A&M, the fewest coach Johnny Jones has called on this season. In addition to starters Jordan Mickey, Keith Hornsby, Darcy Malone, Martin and Gray, the only players to leave the bench were Tim Quarterman and Jalyn Patterson.
  • STREAK SNAPPED: Florida will likely be mad after having its 24-game SEC winning streak end with a 73-61 setback at Georgia on Saturday. It was the second-longest streak in the SEC in 50 years; Kentucky had a 26-game winning streak in 1995 and ’96.

Know Your Opponent

  • Picked to finish second in the SEC in the preseason off a Final Four appearance a year ago, Florida played a tough nonconference schedule and was 7-6 entering league play. The record was understandable, however, as three of the losses were to North Carolina, Kansas and UConn. While lots of people gave up on them, they’re 3-1 in the league after a 73-61 loss at Georgia on Saturday. Forward Dorian Finney-Smith and guard Michael Frazier both average more than 13 points with Finney-Smith just a shade under 14.0 a game. UF is hitting 45.2 percent from the field, while holding its opponents to just 39.5 percent.

The Lineups

LSU (13-4, 2-2 SEC)

Probable Starters

  • G Josh Gray, 6-1, Jr., 9.9 ppg, 5.2 apg
  • G Keith Hornsby, 6-4, Jr., 12.4 ppg, 4.6 rpg
  • F Jordan Mickey, 6-8, So., 15.6 ppg, 10.4 rpg
  • F Jarell Martin, 6-10, So., 16.6 ppg, 8.9 rpg
  • C Darcy Malone, 7-0, So., 1.2 ppg, 1.1 rpg

Top reserves

  • G Tim Quarterman, 6-6, So., 11.9 ppg, 5.6 rpg
  • G Jalyn Patterson, 6-1, Fr., 5.1 ppg, 1.7 rpg
  • F Brian Bridgewater, 6-5, So., 2.8 ppg, 1.1 rpg

Florida (10-7, 3-1 SEC)

Probable Starters

  • G Kasey Hill, 6-1, So., 8.0 ppg, 4.4 apg
  • G Chris Chiozza, 6-0, Fr., 4.6 ppg, 1.8 rpg
  • F Dorian Finney-Smith, 6-8, Jr., 13.9 ppg, 5.4 rpg
  • F Devin Robinson, 6-8 Fr., 6.2 ppg, 2.8 rpg
  • C Chris Walker, 6-10, So., 5.3 ppg, 4.2 rpg

Top reserves

  • G Michael Frazier, 6-4, Jr., 13.4 ppg, 4.8 rpg
  • G Eli Carter, 6-2, Jr., 7.5 ppg, 1.8 rpg
  • F Jacob Kurtz, 6-6, Sr., 4.6 ppg, 4.8 rpg

Danielle Ballard named USBWA national player of the week

Another day another major honor for junior guard Danielle Ballard – her biggest yet.

Ballard was named Tuesday as the Ann Meyers Drysdale National Player of the Week by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association. This followed honors Monday from the SEC, ESPNW and LSWA.

Ballard averaged 24.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 3.0 steals in LSU’s two upset wins over top 15-ranked teams.

She had 24 points in a 71-69 double overtime win Thursday at then No. 15 Misssissippi State and a career high-tying 25 points Sunday in an 84-79 win over then No. 10 Kentucky.

Ballard is averaging 14.3 points per game in her four games since returning from a 14-game suspension to start the season.

Ballard was not made available for interviews Tuesday.