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Opening Tip: LSU vs. Old Dominion

GREETINGS FROM PARADISE

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

General Info

  • What: LSU (2-0) vs. Old Dominion (2-0)
  • When: 5:30 p.m. Friday
  • Where: UVI Sports and Fitness Center, Charlotte Amalie, Virgin Islands
  • TV: CBS Sports
  • In-game updates on Twitter: @MicklesAdvocate
  • On deck: If LSU wins tonight, it will play the winner of the Illinois State-Weber State game at 8 p.m. CST on Sunday. If LSU loses tonight, it will play the loser of that game at 4 p.m. CST Saturday.

Starting Five

  • Tournament veterans: The LSU men’s basketball program is playing in its 53rd regular-season tournament all-time, with the first coming in 1947 in the Fort Worth Collegiate Classic. The Tigers went 2-1 in the Old Spice Classic last season in Orlando, Florida.
  • Atlantic Standard Time: While LSU has played in the Hawaiian islands 11 times over the years, the Tigers are playing in the Atlantic time zone, which is two hours ahead of Central time, for the first time. It’s LSU’s first appearance in the Paradise Jam tournament.
  • They’ve been Jammin’: Old Dominion, has played in the Paradise Jam twice before. The Monarchs first came to the Virgin Islands to play here in 2005 and lost to Wisconsin in the championship game. They returned five years later and won the 2010 title, beating Xavier in the final.
  • Old foes meet again: ODU coach Jeff Jones, who starred collegiately at Virginia, played against LSU coach Johnny Jones when the Cavaliers and Tigers met in the Final Four consolation game in 1981. That was the last time a third-place game was played in the Final Four.
  • Nice to meet you: This will be the first meeting between Old Dominion, a Conference USA member which went 18-18 a year ago and reached the semifinals of the CBI tournament last March, on the basketball floor.

Know Your Opponent

  •  Old Dominion, which was picked to finish fourth by the C-USA coaches, opened the season with wins over UNC Wilmington (76-56) and Richmond (63-57). Monarchs guard Aaron Bacote, a 6-foot-4 junior who averaged 15.5 points a game last season, was chosen to the 10-man preseason all-conference team by the league’s 14 coaches.

Probable Lineups

LSU (2-0)

  • G Josh Gray, 6-1, Jr., 16.0 ppg, 3.5 apg
  • G Keith Hornsby, 6-4, Jr., 14.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg
  • F Jordan Mickey, 6-8, So., 19.5 ppg, 10.5 rpg
  • F Jarell Martin, 6-10, So., 19.0 ppg, 11.5 rpg
  • C Elbert Robinson III, 7-1, Fr., 1.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg

Top reserves

  • G Tim Quarterman, 6-6, So., 6.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg
  • G Jalyn Patterson, 6-1, Fr., 2.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg
  • F Aaron Epps, 6-9, Fr., 1.0 ppg, 2.5 rpg

Old Dominion (2-0)

  • G Aaron Bacote, 6-4, Jr., 5.5 ppg, 2.5 rpg
  • G Jordan Baker, 6-2, So., 8.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg
  • G Trey Freeman, 6-2, Jr., 18.0 ppg, 4.0 apg
  • F Richard Ross, 6-6, Sr., 9.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg
  • F Jonathan Arledge, 6-9, Sr., 12.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg

Top reserves

  • F Denzell Taylor, 6-7, So., 7.0 ppg, 8.5 rpg
  • G Ambrose Mosley, 6-2, So., 7.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg
  • G Keenan Palmore, 6-1, Jr., 3.0 ppg, 3.0 apg

LSU ready for start of Paradise Jam

CHARLOTTE AMALIE, Virgin Islands – One day after arriving in the Virgin Islands, the LSU basketball team made its final preparations Thursday for its opening game in the Paradise Jam on Friday with a practice that lasted just under two hours.

LSU (2-0) practiced at the University of Virgin Islands Sports and Fitness Center, the site of Friday’s 5:30 p.m. game with Old Dominion University (2-0) after landing in St. Thomas a day earlier.

“It’s a great opportunity for our young men and this basketball team and staff to bond and spend a lot of time together,” coach Johnny Jones said. “It’s been great because it’s going to simulate a late-season tournament, whether it’s the conference tournament or postseason, and we’ll get an opportunity for our guys to understand how quick the turnarounds are in preparation.

“It will be a really good for us. This is a great early-season tournament for us to be in. The competition is really good. We will certainly be challenged and it is something we are looking forward to.”

Considering his freshman- and sophomore-laden team hasn’t been together for all that long, an extended road trip early in the season isn’t such a bad thing for Jones.

The way he sees it, it can be an invaluable tool for a team that, in the early stages of the season, can use as much time together as possible — both on and off the court.

“When you take teams on a trip like that and you’re away, it’s a special time for bonding, teaching and closeness — especially in the early part of the season,” Jones said.

They’ll get plenty of that with three games in four days. The outcome of Friday’s game will determine if LSU plays again on Saturday or Sunday.

If the Tigers beat ODU, they won’t play again until Sunday at 8 p.m. against the Illinois State-Weber State winner. If they fall to the Monarchs, they would meet the Illinois State-Weber State loser at 4 p.m. Saturday.

They’ll conclude play in the eight-team tournament on Monday.

FRIDAY’S SCHEDULE

All Times Central

Game 1: Clemson vs. Gardner-Webb, 12:30 p.m.

Game 2: Nevada vs. Seton Hall, 3 p.m.

Game 3: LSU vs. Old Dominion, 5:30 p.m.

Game 4: Illinois State vs. Weber State, 8 p.m.

Opening Tip: Texas Tech at LSU

Opening Tip will be posted 30 minutes to an hour before each game this basketball season.

General Info
• What: Texas Tech (1-0) at LSU (1-0)
• When: 8:30 p.m. Tuesday
• Where: Pete Maravich Assembly Center
• TV: ESPN2
• In-game updates on Twitter: @MicklesAdvocate
• On deck:  LSU will play Old Dominion in the Paradise Jam tournament in the Virgin Islands at 5:30 p.m. CST Friday

Starting Five

  • Wooden Watch: LSU sophomore forward Jordan Mickey, who scored 21 points and pulled down six rebounds in the Tigers’ 93-82 season-opening win against Gardner-Webb on Saturday, was named Monday to the Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 Watch List.
  • Tipoff Marathon: For the second straight season, LSU is playing in the 24-hour ESPN Tipoff Marathon. This one is starting a lot later than a year ago as the Tigers dropped a 92-90 decision to UMass in Amherst, Massachusetts, in a game that started at 11 a.m. Baton Rouge time.
  • The Rematch: Tonight’s game is the back end of a home-and-home series for LSU and Texas Tech. The Tigers and Red Raiders met in Lubbock, Texas, on Dec. 18, 2013 with LSU coming away with a 71-69 victory. The four players who scored in double figures for LSU are no longer with the program.
  • Young Pups: Texas Tech started three freshmen, a sophomore and a senior in its season opener with Loyola Maryland on Friday night. It was the first time in program history that three freshmen started the season opener and first time four underclassmen were in the lineup.
  • Tubby Gets No. 526: Hall of Fame coach Tubby Smith, who is in his second season with Texas Tech, claimed victory No. 526 in his career when the Red Raiders won their season opener. Smith is tied for 67th all-time in Division I and ranks 17th among active head coaches in the D-I ranks.

Know Your Opponent

•Texas Tech, which was 14-18 in 2013-14, opened its season on Friday night with a 71-59 win over Loyola Maryland in Lubbock, Texas. Freshman forward Norense Odiase had a double-double in his college debut with 16 points and 10 rebounds. He also blocked three shots.

Starting Lineups

Texas Tech (1-0)
• G Randy Onwuasor, 6-3, So., 8.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg
• G Robert Turner, 6-3, Sr., 7.0 ppg, 3.0 apg
• G/F Justoin Gray, 6-6, Fr., 2.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg
• F Zach Smith, 6-8, Fr., 0.0 ppg, 0.5 rpg
• F Norense Odiase, 6-9, Fr., 16.0 ppg, 10.0 rpg

Top reserves
• G Devaugntah Williams, 6-4, Jr., 13.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg
• G Keenan Evans, 6-3, Fr., 10.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg
• G Toddrick Gotcher, 6-4, Jr., 10.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg

LSU (1-0)
• G Josh Gray, 6-1, Jr., 17.0 ppg, 3.0 apg
• G Keith Hornsby, 6-4, Jr., 18.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg
• F Jordan Mickey, 6-8, So., 21.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg
• F Jarell Martin, 6-10, So., 21.0 ppg, 11.0 rpg
• C Elbert Robinson III, 7-1, Fr., 0.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg

Top reserves
• G Tim Quarterman, 6-6, So., 7.0 ppg, 0.0 rpg
• G Jalyn Patterson, 6-1, Fr., 5.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg
• F Aaron Epps, 6-9, Fr., 2.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg

LSU forward Jordan Mickey on Wooden Award Watch List

LSU forward Jordan Mickey was among the players named Monday to the Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 Watch List.

Mickey, a sophomore from Dallas, scored 21 points and had six rebounds in the Tigers’ season-opening 93-82 win against Gardner-Webb on Saturday.

As a freshman, Mickey, a preseason first-team All-Southeastern Conference selection by the media and coaches, averaged 12.7 points, 7.9 rebounds and a league-leading 3.1 blocked shots a game.

The Wooden Award list will be trimmed to 25 names in January with the finalists announced in March.

LSU, Jones ready for debut of weekly radio show

“The Johnny Jones Show,” LSU’s weekly men’s basketball radio show, will make its season debut Monday at 7 p.m. from TJ Ribs on Acadian Thruway.

The show, the first of 14 this season featuring men’s coach Johnny Jones, will be broadcast LSU Sports Radio Network affiliates, including Eagle 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge and in the Geaux Zone at LSUsports.net. Jim Hawthorne will again host the show.

There will be no radio show on Monday, Nov. 24 because LSU will be completing play in the Paradise Jam tournament in the Virgin Islands. Most of the shows will be on Monday night, but three were changed to Wednesday because of game or travel considerations.

Fans can ask a question during the show by calling (225) 578-4826 in Baton Rouge or (800) 315-8255.

The Tigers began the 2014-15 regular season with a 93-82 win over Gardner-Webb on Saturday and will host Texas Tech on Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. in the final game of the ESPN Tipoff Marathon.

THE JOHNNY JONES SHOW SCHEDULE

(all shows on Monday at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Show #1 — Nov. 17, 2014

Show #2 — Dec. 1, 2014

Show #3 — Dec. 8, 2014

Show #4 — Dec. 15, 2014

Show #5 — Dec. 23, 2014 (Tuesday, 8 p.m.)

Show #6 — Jan. 5, 2015

Show #7 — Jan. 12, 2015

Show #8 — Jan. 21, 2015 (Wednesday)

Show #9 — Jan. 26, 2015

Show #10 — Feb. 2, 2015

Show #11 — Feb. 9, 2015

Show #12 — Feb. 18, 2015 (Wednesday)

Show #13 — Feb. 25, 2015 (Wednesday)

Show #14 — March 2, 2015

LSU freshman Aaron Epps not dressed for exhibition game

LSU freshman forward Aaron Epps did not dress out for Friday night’s exhibition game against Division II Morehouse College.

There was no immediate explanation from LSU officials concerning Epps’ absence, which should be addressed after the game by coach Johnny Jones.

UPDATE: LSU coach Johnny Jones said after the game that Epps had stomach issues on Thursday and was held out as a precautionary measure.

LSU basketball hopes to wow recruits with Tiger Stadium excitement

While the annual football showdown between LSU and Alabama in Tiger Stadium on Saturday night is huge, it will be a big weekend as well for the team that plays its games just across the street.

As is the case almost every weekend during a contact and evaluation period, the LSU men’s basketball coaching staff will host several recruits when the 14th-ranked Tigers and fourth-ranked Crimson Tide meet in front of about 100,000 excited fans — or more.

“It’s unbelievable, the atmosphere there in Tiger Stadium,” said LSU coach Johnny Jones, who will be in the throng Saturday night. “It’s like none other. It’s the No. 1-rated stadium in the country, and anytime you expose that type of atmosphere (to recruits) some things happen to you.

“It’s always important for us to try and get as many recruits on campus as possible, and I think that’s throughout all our sports at LSU. That’s a huge recruiting tool.”

Among those expected to be on campus are Ben Simmons, a 6-foot-8 small forward from Montverde, Florida, who committed to LSU more than a year ago. Simmons is the nation’s top-rated player for the Class of 2015.

Also in for an official visit will be 6-4 guard Antonio Blakeney, according to his Twitter account.

Blakeney, a Sarasota, Florida, native who’s ranked as the nation’s No. 15 overall prospect and No. 3 shooting guard by 247 Sports, de-committed from Louisville in mid-September. He recently took official visits to Kentucky and Missouri.

LSU forwards Mickey, Martin in ESPN’s top 100

As the beginning of a new season nears, LSU sophomore forwards Jordan Mickey and Jarell Martin have earned spots in ESPN’s top 100 players for the 2014-15 campaign.

The 6-foot-10 Martin, a former Madison Prep star, was picked at No. 98 after averaging 11.4 points per game in Southeastern Conference play as a freshman despite missing time after spraining an ankle in the Tigers’ season opener.

The 6-8 Mickey, a preseason All-Southeastern Conference first-team choice, checks in at No. 48 after averaging 12.7 points, 7.9 rebounds and a league-leading 3.1 blocked shots per game.

In choosing Mickey, the ESPN selectors wrote: “The Tigers haven’t reached the NCAA tourney since 2009. But Johnny Jones hopes to break that streak as Jarell Martin and Mickey, an athletic forward who topped 100 blocks last season, lead the program.”

Also, Jon Rothstein of CBSsports.com included point guard Josh Gray, who averaged 34.7 points a game at Odessa (Texas) College last season, as one of his top 10 (in no particular order) junior college transfers.

Rothstein also picked shooting guard Keith Hornsby, who played two seasons at UNC-Asheville before sitting out a year after joining the Tigers’ program, as one of the nation’s top transfers to watch.

 

LSU men’s non-conference tickets now on sale

Individual tickets for eight non-conference LSU men’s home basketball games are now on sale at the LSU Athletics Ticket Office and online at LSUtix.net.

The athletic department announced that group tickets, season tickets and mini-plans in the Pick 3 and Pick 5 variety are also still available.

The Tigers will play a Nov. 7 exhibition game against Morehouse at 7 p.m. that will be free and open to the public the night before the LSU-Alabama football game. The first non-conference game is the regular-season opener against Gardner Webb on Nov. 15 at noon.

Individual game tickets for eight SEC games will be available starting Dec. 8. Tickets for the Feb. 10 game with Kentucky go on sale Jan. 12.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the Website at www.LSUtix.net or call (225) 578-2184 or (800) 960-8587.

LSU has six former players on NBA rosters

The NBA opened its 2014-15 season Tuesday night with six former LSU players on rosters of the 30 teams.

Four of the six are Baton Rouge natives: Brandon Bass (Capitol) and Marcus Thornton (Tara) are now teammates with the Boston Celtics, while Garrett Temple and Glen Davis (University High) are with the Washington Wizards and Los Angeles Clippers, respectively.

Also making Opening Day rosters were Justin Hamilton with the Miami Heat and Johnny O’Bryant III with the Milwaukee Bucks.

O’Bryant, a second-round pick of the Bucks in June, starts the season on the injured list after suffering a sprained knee earlier this month.