Jones names Leonard and Forrest assistant coaches

LSU MEDIA RELATIONS

BATON ROUGE – New LSU men’s basketball head Coach Johnny Jones announced Thursday that Shawn Forrest and Charlie Leonard will be joining the basketball staff at LSU.

Forrest served the last four years on Jones’ staff at North Texas, while Leonard has worked with Jones as far back as his interim season as head coach at Memphis in 2000.

The exact staff duties and approval by the LSU Board of Supervisors is still pending for both coaches.

Prior to joining Jones at North Texas, Forrest, who was born in Little Rock, Ark., spent six seasons at Arkansas State, where he also served part of the 2007-08 season as interim head coach.

In his four years at North Texas, Forrest played a key role in recruiting several of the players who helped make a six-year run of averaging 21 wins possible, including Tony Mitchell, the 6-8 forward who this past year was named the Sun Belt’s Freshman of the Year and also a first-team all-conference selection.

Forrest also played a lead role in recruiting several other top players from the Dallas-Fort Worth area, including Dallas Kimball forward Jordan Williams.

“Shawn Forrest will be a tremendous addition to the LSU Tiger family,” said Coach Jones. “With his ability to recruit and identify players on the recruiting front will be valuable to this program. Shawn’s ability to develop relationships and maintain them will be essential in the recruiting efforts here at LSU. He is a tremendous basketball coach as well with a great feel for the game that will also prove valuable for us moving forward.”

In his six seasons at Arkansas State, Forest was heavily involved in recruiting and academics. Forrest helped recruit a pair of two-time All-SBC players, a Sun Belt Newcomer of the Year, a leading scorer in the league and two others who ranked in the top three in scoring in the conference.

A former basketball star at Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Forrest joined the Red Wolves after serving as the recruiting coordinator at Florida A&M. While there, he recruited Terrance Woods, a two-time first team All-MEAC selection and winner of the NABC All-Star Three-Point Contest at the Final Four in San Antonio. Forrest has also served as an assistant at Troy State (1998-01).

Forest received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff in 1998 and a Masters of Education from Troy in 2000.

Leonard comes to LSU with a varied background, including his 11 years as a member of the Mean Green coaching staff. It was Jones who selected Leonard to join his staff in Memphis during the 1999-2000 season. It marked a return to college basketball for Leonard, who at that time was the owner of an advertising and consulting firm in Memphis.

Among Leonard’s duties at UNT was to handle the program’s scouting department, compiling and updating reports on each team North Texas played throughout the season. He also assisted in game and practice coaching duties and coordinated team travel and the planning and organization of the Johnny Jones Basketball Camps each summer.

“Charlie Leonard has been with me for 12 years and has done a tremendous job assisting us in different areas,” Jones said. “He is a great on-the-floor basketball coach and he has a tremendous basketball mind.  We look forward to the impact that he will have on this LSU basketball program.”

Leonard’s experience in coaching basketball originally dates back to 1975 when he started a career that began at Memphis (Tenn.) Prep school and includes a 12-year tenure at Christian Brothers High School. Later, he served for seven seasons heading the program at Christian Brothers University in Memphis.

Leonard was a two-time NAIA District 24 Coach of the Year at CBU and was the school’s second winningest coach with 137 victories. The Buccaneers had six consecutive winning seasons and had 20 or more wins three consecutive years during Leonard’s 1990-97 tenure.

As assistant athletic director at CBU, he also gained valuable experience in the administrative side of the basketball program, including working in promotions, fund raising and with the NCAA.

At Christian Brothers High School, he won a state championship in 1987 and sent 28 of his players on to play college basketball.

Leonard graduated from Christian Brothers University in 1975.

Nikki Caldwell speaks on Tennessee coaching change

LSU women’s basketball coach Nikki Caldwell spoke Wednesday about the coaching change at Tennessee. The school announced legendary coach Pat Summitt will be moving into a coach emeritus role, while long-time assistant Holly Warlick will become head coach.

Caldwell played at Tennessee from 1990-94, and was an assistant coach under Summitt from 2002-08.

Caldwell, who gave birth to her first child, Justice Simone Fargas, six weeks ago, said she and Warlick will do a scaled-down version of their Champions for a Cause motorcycle ride for breast cancer awareness and research. They are working on a trip from Baton Rouge to New Orleans this summer, with plans to be announced later this week.

On Pat Summitt:

“You know how much she’s meant to the game and to so many of us. For her to be transitioning into a new role is going to be different, but any time you can still have coach around is going to be a positive.

“She’s been an inspiration for so many of us, and when I think of how she’s dealt with her own issues with the first stages of dementia shows how much she’s a giver and how much she wants to bring something positive to every situation.”

On Holly Warlick being named Tennessee’s head coach:

“I’m excited for her. Holly Warlick’s resume is that of coach Summitt, when you look at all the victories and the championships. It will be a smoother transition for the team. Holly is a huge mentor for these kids. Holly is definitely more than ready for this position. I know she will do an exceptional job.”

On Summit’s legacy:

“I know it will be different for the game not having coach Summitt right there, but I know her legacy and who she is will live on within that program. She’s still going to be an integral part of it. Holly, like a lot of us who have played or worked under coach Summitt, we have a tendency to take on coach’s tendencies. We may not have that stare, but we have that drive and competitive spirit. We still believe in defending and rebounding. Her footprint is still stamped on that program.”

Here is a statement from Caldwell on the Tennessee coaching transition released Wednesday through the LSU Sports Information Department:

“Coach Summitt is the reason I am a coach and why I am here (at LSU) today. She gave me an opportunity to go into coaching as a graduate assistant in 1998. More importantly, she has always been there for me since I was 18 years old. She’s my mentor, my friend and a part of my family and that will last forever. She has been a pioneer in opening doors for women in so many areas. Those who have played or coached for Coach Summitt always take a part of her with us wherever we go in our respective jobs. I’ve taken her with me in teaching young ladies to be the very best they can be. Her influence on this game, the University of Tennessee and the Southeastern Conference will always be impactful. That will continue in any role she plays.

“Holly is so deserving of this and she is going to do an unbelievable job. She is someone who shares the same resume, if you will, as Coach Summitt because she has been there for every practice, every workout and every championship. She has carried the responsibilities of a head coach. I’ve known Holly for a long time and she bleeds orange and white. She is going to be a tremendous leader as head coach of the Lady Vols.”

 

Brown comments on LSU’s hiring of Jones

Dale Brown coached Johnny Jones when he played for LSU from 1980-84 and later served as his boss as Jones as an LSU assistant for 13 years.

A statement from Brown regarding LSU’s hiring of Jones:

“I compliment Joe Alleva for making a thorough search with his staff (without
hiring an expensive search firm) to find the very best basketball coach for
LSU, Louisiana and all the LSU fans scattered around the world. We all got much more than just a basketball coach.  We got a person of integrity, humor, superb work ethic, strong-willed, a unifier, a disciplinarian and a bright and pleasant gentleman.  There is no down side with the ‘Bullet’ from DeRidder.

“HOLD ONTO YOUR SEATS. THIS WILL BE AN EXCITING RIDE!”

Jones to be LSU’s next basketball coach

Johnny Jones played guard for an LSU team that reached the Final Four in 1981, and he served as an assistant coach under Dale Brown when the Tigers made it back to the Final Four in 1986.

As the new face of the LSU program, Jones will now have a chance to take the Tigers there as the head coach.

LSU announced Friday that Jones will be named the replacement for Trent Johnson, who went 67-64 in four seasons before leaving Sunday for TCU. The school will formally introduce the DeRidder native as the school’s 21st basketball coach at a Monday news conference, Associate Athletic Director Herb Vincent said.

Jones becomes the fifth LSU alumnus to coach the team, the first since A.L. Swanson finished the 1944-45 season.

“I am extremely excited about this opportunity and I can’t wait to get back there to Baton Rouge and LSU to get started,” Jones said in a university news release. “I look forward to the challenges ahead and to having an opportunity to come back and be a part of a special program at LSU. This is certainly a dream come true to return to a place that has so many memories for me.”

Jones, 51, leaves North Texas, where he went 190-146 in 11 seasons as coach, turning the Mean Green into a perennial Sun Belt Conference power and leading two of his teams to the NCAA tournament. He returns to the school where he earned the nickname “Bullet” as an LSU guard and then served 13 seasons as an assistant.

Jones was a controversial figure late in his tenure as an LSU assistant, when he was alleged to have funneled payments to star recruit Lester Earl. However, the NCAA eventually cleared Jones of any wrongdoing.

His ties to LSU’s golden era resulted in a groundswell of support from Brown and his ex-players.

LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva interviewed Jones on Tuesday and later expressed their meeting went well. But Alleva also spoke to Minnesota coach Tubby Smith about the opening, according to a CBSSports.com report published Friday morning.

Jones was also a candidate in 2008, after John Brady was fired and before Johnson was hired.

“My mother and father always told me the cream will rise to the top,” ex-LSU standout Collis Temple Jr. said. “Johnny has been a loyal LSU guy. He’s been as loyal as loyal can be. He was always supportive of Trent — of whatever coach was here. I thank God he has this opportunity. I think he’s going to be very good for the LSU community and the state of Louisiana at large.”

Temple said he spoke to Jones about 15 minutes after he accepted the job.

“Johnny Jones darn-near would have come to LSU for free,” Temple said. “That’s how much he loves this place.”

Vincent said both sides were still sorting out the details of a contract, but Jones is expected to get a significant bump in salary.

The former North Texas coach made a little more than $400,000 a year at his previous stop, according to the Denton (Texas) Record. Johnson made $1.3 million per season at LSU.

“I have followed Johnny closely since my first meeting with him four years ago when he was very impressive in my interview with him the last time the head coach job was open at LSU,” Alleva said in the university news release. “I have taken every opportunity to visit with him since that time and I have come to know him well. He is the solid coach and recruiter that we need and I am particularly impressed with his passion for LSU.”

Jones led North Texas to NCAA tournament appearances after winning the Sun Belt Conference in 2007 and 2010. The Mean Green went 18-14 with a young roster this past season, but still found its way back to the Sun Belt title game for the third year in a row.

“The former players stood up and said we wanted him,” said Rudy Macklin, the star of the 1981 team. “We didn’t have a say in the decision-making process, but we all said — from Shaquille (O’Neal) down to the guys that sat on the bench — that we would like to see Johnny in the job.”

Macklin said Jones is so excited about coming home, he was already out on the recruiting trail hours after accepting the job.

Wednesday marked the start of college basketball’s spring signing period. Prospects have until May 16 to sign.

“He’s already gone — he’s already out there,” Macklin said. “He didn’t even pack.”

LUNG CANCER SYMPTOMS IN WOMEN

Symptoms of lung cancer in women can differ from symptoms of lung cancer in men. One of the reasons that symptoms can lung cancer symptoms in women differ between the sexes is that most common types of lung cancer vary between sexes and also different types of lung cancer tend to have different symptoms. Swelling is one of commonest and the important sign in clinical diagnosis and it is associated with pain. Indeed, “Pain” is the most common symptom causing patients to seek attention.

What is a Cancer? Cancer is a cell that has lost its normal control mechanism and thus has unregulated growth. The first lung cancer symptoms and signs step in the process is initiation, in which a change in the cell’s genetic material triggers the cell to become cancerous. The lungs, the largest of the respiratory system, look like a large pink sponges that almost fill the chest. The left lung is a little smaller than the right lung because it shares space with the heart in the left side of the chest. Each lung is divided into sections (lobes): three in the right lung and two in the left. The primary functions of the respiratory system are to bring oxygen into the lungs, transfer oxygen to the blood and expel the waste products called carbon dioxide. The inhaled oxygen enters the lungs and reaches the alveoli. Of all people with lung cancer may have no symptoms when the cancer is diagnosed. The cancers are usually identified incidentally when an X-ray is performed on routine examination or another reason. Most lung cancers originate in the cells of the lungs; however cancer may also spread (metastasis) to the lung from other par of the body. Lung cancer is the most common in both men and women.

One of the reasons that symptoms can differ between the sexes is that most common types of lung cancer vary symptoms lung cancer between sexes and that different types of lung cancer tend to have different symptoms. Another cogent reason is that more non-smoking women than men develop lung cancer. What’s more? The most common types of lung cancer found in non-smokers are also often different than the most common types found in people who smoke. There are three types of non-small cell lung cancers namely, Adenoma-carcinoma, Squamous Cell Carcinoma and Large Cell Carcinoma. The most common type of lung cancer in women is adenocarcionoma which tend to grow in the outer regions of the lungs and the tumors grow quite large and spread before they can cause any symptoms. The initial symptoms in women include shortness of breath, back, shoulder pain, and fatigue. The symptoms of lung cancer depend of its type, its location and the way it spreads. Usually the main symptoms are a persistent cough. People with chronic cough who develop lung cancer often notice that their coughing becomes worse. Their sputum may be streaked with blood. If the cancer grows into the underlying blood vessels it may cause severe bleeding. Symptoms of primary lung cancers include cough, coughing up blood, chest pain and shortness of breath. A cough in a smoker or a former smoker should raise concern for lung cancer. Also, a persisting cough that does not go away or gets worse over time should be evaluated by a health-care-provider. Importantly, coughing up blood occurs in a significant number of people who have lung cancer. Thus, any amount of coughed-up-blood is a cause for concern. Chest pain is symptom in about one-fourth of people with lung canacer.The pain is dull, aching and persistent. Shortness of breath usually results from a blockage to the flow of air in part of the lung, collected around the lung, or the spread of tumor through out the lungs. More than 90% of lung cancers start in the bronchi, the large airways that supply the lungs. This type of cancer is called bronchogenic carcinoma. There are also squamous cell carcinomas typically originated in the lungs large breathing tubes (bronchi); small cell carcinoma, or oat cell cancer because of its oat-grain-like shape when viewed under the microscope. This is the presentation of lung cancer symptoms in women.

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Coleman awaiting LSU hire, may visit Oregon State

Howard College forward Shavon Coleman said Thursday morning he will probably take one more official visit before deciding on a school.

In the meantime, Coleman said he is interested to see where LSU goes in its search for a new coach. 

“After I take another visit, I should know for sure, but I’m still trying to see who will come in at LSU,” Coleman said via text.

Coleman visited LSU in mid-March between visits to Oklahoma and Texas Tech. He said all three of those schools are still in the mix.

He had considered visiting Memphis and Nebraska. Instead, he said he might make a trip to Oregon State.

“I don’t think I’m going to visit (Memphis or Nebraska) anymore,” he said. “I think I’m going to go to Oregon State.”

Coleman, a former Thibodaux High standout, 16.6 points and 6.6 rebounds for Howard College this past season.

He has until the end of the spring signing period May 16 to pick a school.

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Alleva discusses interview with Jones, disputes Dixon candidacy, says Amaker not interested

LSU athletic director Joe Alleva on Wednesday night confirmed that he interviewed North Texas coach and former LSU player and assistant Johnny Jones on Tuesday.

Alleva also disputed reports that say he has spoken to Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon about the LSU vacancy.

Alleva went on to say that Harvard coach Tommy Amaker, who was a player and assistant coach at Duke when Alleva worked there, is not interested in succeeding Trent Johnson at LSU.

Alleva called Jones “a great candidate and a great interview,” but denied internet reports that said he spoke to Dixon in Atlanta on Wednesday. A reporter covering Pittsburgh basketball for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette tweeted that Dixon declined comment on the LSU job and was attending a Pittsburgh Penguins hockey game Wednesday night.

Alleva called Amaker a friend and said he spoke to him three times, but “He’s happy where he’s at.”

More in Thursday’s editions of The Advocate.

 

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Howard College prospect Shavon Coleman waiting to sign

LSU may still be in the mix for Howard College forward Shavon Coleman, who had considered the Tigers prior to coach Trent Johnson’s departure for TCU earlier this week.

The spring signing period for college basketball prospects began Wednesday. Coleman did not pick a school.

Howard College coach Mark Adams said he does not expect Coleman, a former Thibodaux High standout, to sign with anyone this week. He said it would be hard to grade LSU’s position in the player’s recruitment until the Tigers have Johnson’s successor in place.

“I don’t think it’s out of the question,” Adams said of Coleman signing with LSU. “I don’t think LSU’s in the equation right now because they don’t have a coach. I think he’s going to take some other visits, so there will be time. The good news (for LSU) is that he is not signing this week.”

Coleman took an official visit to LSU in mid-March after visiting Oklahoma earlier in the month. He took his other official visit to Texas Tech.

The MVP of District 8-5A as a Thibodaux senior, Coleman was part of the same class that produced fellow Louisiana stars Matt Derenbecker from Country Day, Langston Galloway from Christian Life, Brian Williams from Glen Oaks and Markel Brown from Peabody.

Rivals listed him as the nation’s No. 127 propect, the No. 23 small forward.

This past season, Coleman averaged 14.6 points and 6.8 rebounds, helping Howard College reach the NJCAA Region V tournament’s title game, where the Hawks lost to eventual national champion South Plains. Coleman had 22 points and 13 rebounds for Howard in the Region V final.

Colleges have until May 16 to land prospects during the spring signing period.

LSU returns only seven scholarship players from last year’s NIT team. Johnson signed John Curtis wing Malik Morgan in the fall.

 

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Thoughts on LSU basketball coaching search

From what we’ve learned in the last couple of days about the LSU coaching search, here’s a few thoughts on the subject:

  • Memphis coach Josh Pastner told the Memphis Commercial-Appeal on Tuesday that he hasn’t reached out to LSU. That’s good, because at this point he isn’t on LSU’s radar either.
  • The same goes for Virginia coach Tony Bennett (though his wife is from Baton Rouge and is an LSU graduate) or Notre Dame coach Mike Brey.
  • Once again, expect LSU to hire a current head coach or someone with head coaching experience. In most of its major hires of late, LSU has sought out and landed sitting head coaches, the most notable exception being Van Chancellor coming out of retirement in 2007 to coach women’s basketball.
  • To review the six names we had in Tuesday’s paper, they include (alphabetically) Middle Tennessee coach Kermit Davis Jr., Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon, UTEP coach Tim Floyd, North Texas coach Johnny Jones, Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall and former New Mexico State and Sacramento Kings coach Reggie Theus. Not saying these are LSU’s finalists by any stretch, just six prominent names to watch.

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Johnson likely to take TCU job, source says

LSU men’s basketball coach Trent Johnson is expected to resign to become head coach at Texas Christian University but had not tendered his resignation as of Saturday afternoon, a source said.

However, Johnson is almost certain to take the TCU job because of the lucrative nature of the Fort Worth school’s offer, the source said.

A report by WAFB quoted sources that said Johnson’s compensation at TCU would be in the neighborhood of $2 million per season.

A source told The Advocate that LSU is unlikely to counter TCU’s offer.

Johnson makes $1.3 million per year at LSU, plus $200,000 per year which is placed in a “length of service” fund that would pay Johnson $1 million if he did not leave LSU before June 2014.

If Johnson were to be terminated by LSU, he would get a pro-rated amount from the fund up to $1 million.

Johnson did not return calls for a second straight day seeking comment. Lead assistant Donny Guerinoni also declined comment when reached Saturday afternoon.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported Friday that Johnson will be named TCU’s coach Monday, according to an unnamed high-ranked TCU official.

TCU athletic department spokesman Andy Anderson said by email Saturday that no announcement has been made regarding the school’s coaching vacancy and that no introductory news conference is scheduled at this point.

 

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