Caldwell, LSU women’s team assist the community

LSU media relations

LSU women’s basketball head coach Nikki Caldwell, her staff and the Lady Tigers continue to make an impact in the lives of others this holiday season in the Baton Rouge community.

Caldwell and her team last week made a trip to Southside Gardens Retirement Home and visited with residents. On Tuesday, the squad spent over an hour putting on a free basketball clinic at the Louisiana School for the Deaf and its students during an exercise period.

The Lady Tigers ran drills with the children, held a shooting contest, signed autographs and distributed trading cards. Following the clinic, the team went through its normal practice in the Maravich Center a day prior to its game.

“It’s amazing to be able to have that impact on young people,” said Caldwell. “We make sure our student-athletes don’t take anything for granted. When we went out to the Louisiana School for the Deaf, even though we put smiles on their faces, they put smiles on us as well. That’s something we should all be appreciative of. Our ability to make people smile and to make their day, we all have that in us.”

Following Tuesday’s practice, Caldwell and her coaching staff continued the holiday spirit at the Nikki Caldwell Show presented by Capital One Bank at TJ Ribs in Baton Rouge. The staff sponsored a family through the Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Baton Rouge. Caldwell and the staff paid for the family’s dinner, bought presents for the entire family, signed autographs and gave them free tickets to the Lady Tigers’ next two games prior to Christmas.

“We all should remember what this time of year is about,” said Caldwell. “It’s about giving back to the community and putting smiles on people’s faces. We are fortunate to be in a position where we can give back and help people out this holiday season. Our staff and players can each learn something from every event we do that can play an impact in our lives.”

LSU basketball chat with Advocate sportswriter Scott Hotard

LSU basketball team stops by OLOL to visit children

LSU Media Relations

The LSU men’s basketball team continued one of the program’s long-standing traditions on Wednesday when it visited the children’s ward of Our Lady of the Lake Hospital.

Children of all ages received presents and heard Christmas carols from the players and coach Johnny Jones, signing basketballs and posters for the children and their parents as the Tigers tried to bring a little of the holiday season.

The Tigers worked their renditions of “Jingle Bells” and “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” and with each room appearance, the group seemed to ad-lib and adapt the song to their vocal styling.

In regard to the team’s version of jingle bells with a rap beat, junior Jalen Courtney said, “It’s something we started working on a couple of years ago, and it always gets a good reaction. I’m trying to get coach Jones to join in. Maybe he could do a solo or something.”

“I can’t sing to save my life, but my teammates and I just wanted to make those kids smile, and if it takes us making a fool out of ourselves, that’s what we’re going to do,” said Charles Carmouche of his first OLOL visit.

The annual visit will be spotlighted on “Inside LSU Basketball with Johnny Jones” presented by Academy Sports and Outdoors, this coming Sunday night (10:35 p.m. WBRZ in Baton Rouge) on the LSU Sports Television Network). It has turned into a tradition that makes patients smile, but brings a smile and a wave from staff members who look forward to the team’s visit each December.

“We got a chance to see some smiles, we got a chance to sing Jingle Bells, and it was a good opportunity for us to get out and interact with the children,” junior guard Andre Stringer said of his third visit to the hospital. “These kids battle every day, and for us to come out, I know it’s big for them, and it’s big for us, too. We feel good about doing things like this.”

And, as they go room to room, you see the players begin to understand how important their appearance is to those who are at OLOL at this holiday time.

“It’s wonderful, to put a smile on a kid’s face during the holiday time just melts my heart,” said Carmouche. “I’m not an emotional-type guy, but it’s been a great experience (Wednesday).”

“Inside LSU Basketball” tips off Sunday

The new season of Inside LSU Basketball with coach Johnny Jones presented by Academy Sports and Outdoors, begins its new season Sunday on the LSU Sports Television Network.

In Baton Rouge, the show will air on Sunday at 10:35 p.m. on WBRZ-TV.

Jones will be joined by returning host and former LSU player Jordy Hultberg. The pair on the opening show taped earlier this week will look at LSU’s rally from 16 points down to defeat Seton Hall in the SEC-Big East Challenge in LSU’s last outing, and they will look at the players on this year’s team.

There will be one more show on Dec. 16 before breaking for the holidays. The show will return on Jan. 6 and will run throughout the Southeastern Conference schedule.

Here are the other affiliates that are scheduled to carry Inside LSU Basketball this coming season and the first airing time:

Inside LSU Basketball Affiliates

Geaux Zone (watch online, on-demand, free)
Cox Sports TV – Wednesday, 10:30 p.m.
Cox 4 (BR, NO, Lafayette) – Monday, 9:30 p.m.
KLAX-TV, Alexandria – Sunday, 10 p.m.
HTV 10 – Houma – Monday, 8 p.m.
KLAF-TV, Lafayette – Sunday, 11:30 p.m.
KVHP-TV, Lake Charles – Sunday, 10 p.m.
KLOC-TV, Lake Charles – Tuesday, 6:30 p.m.
KNOE-TV, Monroe – Sunday, 10:30 p.m.
KWBJ-TV, Morgan City – Sunday, 9 p.m.
WGNO-TV, New Orleans – Sunday, 11 p.m.
KMSS-TV, Shreveport – Sunday, 10 p.m.
KBMT-TV, Beaumont, Texas – Saturday, 7 a.m.
KYTX-TV, Tyler, Texas – Friday, 8:30 p.m.
KCEN-TV, Waco, Texas – Sunday, 1 a.m.
Fox Sports SW/New Orleans – Tuesday, 2:30 p.m.
Comcast/CSS – Monday, 3:30 p.m.
Comcast/Houston – Monday, 4:30 p.m.

2012-13 Schedule of Shows

Show #1: Dec. 9, 2012
Show #2: Dec. 16, 2012
Show #3: Jan. 6, 2013
Show #4: Jan. 13, 2013
Show #5: Jan. 20, 2013
Show #6: Jan. 27, 2013
Show #7: Feb. 3, 2013
Show #8: Feb. 10, 2013
Show #9: Feb. 17, 2013
Show #10: Feb. 24, 2013
Show #11: March 3, 2013
Show #12: March 10, 2013

Anthony Hickey suspended indefinitely

Unbeaten through five games on the court, the LSU men’s basketball team suffered a major loss Friday off of it.
First-year coach Johnny Jones announced point guard Anthony Hickey has been suspended from the team indefinitely for a violation of athletic department and university policies.
“We will cooperate fully with the athletic department and university on the matter,” Jones said Friday in a university news release. “There is a responsibility that comes with playing college basketball. If a player doesn’t take care of his responsibilities, then he loses the privilege of being able to play. We look forward to continuing to focus on our upcoming game Tuesday and our three-game road trip that follows.”
LSU, off to its best start in four seasons, looks to remain unbeaten when the Tigers (5-0) face Chattanooga on Tuesday at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. The Tigers have upcoming games at Boise State, UC Irvine and Marquette, their first three road games, beginning late next week.
Hickey started 31 of 33 games for LSU last year after being named Kentucky’s Mr. Basketball as a senior at Christian County High in Hopkinsville, Ky.
His fast start to 2012-13 has him leading the Southeastern Conference in steals with 4.4 per game and ranking second in the league with an average of 5.2 assists. He is LSU’s third-leading scorer at 10.2 points and has connected on 35.7 percent of his 28 shots from 3-point range.
Hickey’s mother, Monica Moore, said Friday she had no information on her son’s status beyond the school’s announcement.
“That’s all I know,” she said. “I talked to my son not too long ago and am waiting to hear back from him and his coach.”
Hickey expressed in a written statement that Friday’s suspension will be used as a learning experience.
“I know I have made mistakes and sometimes it takes mistakes in life to make you a better person,” Hickey said. “I’m not perfect and need to move forward and make better decisions. I know I have let my family down, my team down and LSU down. I will come out of this a much stronger individual. I pray to be back in my LSU uniform as soon as I can.”
Although a key cog in LSU’s early season success, Hickey has been plagued by off-court setbacks.
 
He was suspended for LSU’s exhibition game against Arkansas-Monticello, along with freshman wing Shane Hammink, for disciplinary reasons.
 
He faced additional disciplinary punishment Nov. 24 when he was left out of the starting lineup for a rout of Mississippi Valley State.