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LSU basketball team limping toward UAB game

The LSU basketball team is hurting as the Tigers prepare for their next game on Thursday night at UAB.

Point guard Josh Gray and guard Tim Quarterman, who has excelled as the Tigers’ sixth man this season, sat out Monday’s practice after being injured in Saturday night’s 76-67 win against Sam Houston State and their availability for Thursday’s game is unknown.

Gray injured his right ankle about three minutes into the second half and didn’t return as LSU won for the seventh time in nine games.

Coach Johnny Jones said Monday that Gray, who left the team’s practice facility Saturday night on crutches and wearing a black protective boot on his right foot, was being aggressively treated.

Quarterman suffered an undisclosed injury in the waning minutes of the game, Jones said before Tuesday’s practice.

“Both guys were treated. … Neither of them practiced (Monday),” Jones said. “They’ve gone through treatment.

“We had a visit as a team at Our Lady of the Lake to go the children’s ward, and neither of those guys were able to accompany us there because they were being treated. We will know a little bit more about both (Tuesday).”

Jones noted, however, that there was a chance Quarterman could be available for the UAB game.

Shaquille O’Neal ‘s son Shareef is a chip off the old block

The ability to block shots is there. So is the willingness to rebound, play defense and score.

But the rest is all hidden in the gangly potential that comes from being a growing, high school basketball player.

Shareef O’Neal may not have his father’s girth or ability to dominate games yet, but it is apparent that the 6-foot-7 freshman forward from Windward School Premier College Prep in Los Angeles, Calif. is definitely Shaquille O’Neal’s son all the way from his mannerisms to his movements. videographer Heston Quan shot video of Shareef O’Neal playing for Windward in a game it won against El Segundo 88-38.

Click here to see the video.

LSU point guard Josh Gray injures ankle in win over Sam Houston

LSU junior point guard Josh Gray rolled his right ankle early in the second half of a 76-67 victory over Sam Houston State on Saturday night and left the team’s practice facility on crutches.

Gray, who scored the game-winning basket in a 74-73 road upset of then-No. 16 West Virginia on Dec. 4, played only three minutes of the second half before coming down awkwardly on the ankle.

He took a seat on the bench and never returned as the Tigers, who trailed by as many as eight points in the first half before rallying to grab a 34-31 lead at intermission, held on for the win.

LSU coach Johnny Jones said the team has Sunday off and that Gray, who has averaged 11.1 points and 4.7 assists in nine games, will be evaluated Monday once the swelling in the ankle goes down.

Gray’s duties as the point guard were shared in the second half by sophomore Tim Quarterman, the team’s sixth man, and freshman Jalyn Patterson, who logged a career-high 24 minutes against Sam Houston.

Jones said Quarterman, who is averaging 11.8 points and 2.9 assists per game, would likely get the starting nod if Gray is sidelined for the Tigers’ next outing on Thursday night at UAB.

Patterson will be available as well because Quarterman plays the two-guard spot as well in relief of starter Keith Hornsby.

Opening Tip: Sam Houston State at LSU

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

General Info

  • What: Sam Houston State (5-3) at LSU (6-2)
  • When: 6 p.m. Saturday
  • Where: Pete Maravich Assembly Center
  • All-time series: LSU leads 1-0
  • Last meeting: LSU 85, Sam Houston 67 (Dec. 18, 1999)
  • TV: SEC Network
  • 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 UAB in Birmingham, Ala., on Thursday at 8 p.m.

Starting Five

  • LIGHTING ’EM UP: In each of their six wins, LSU has shot better from the field in the second half than in the first half and has hit at least 50.0 percent of its shots in five of them (Texas Tech was the exception). All told, LSU is shooting 55.5 percent (101 of 182) in the second half of those six games.
  • LOOK AT US: With a 288-171 record and two NCAA tournament bids since 2000 (in 2003 and ’10) with a trip to the tournament last season, Sam Houston State ranks second behind only Texas in victories by Division I teams in the entire state.
  • SCORERS ABOUND: In contrast to LSU, which lost about half of its scoring from a year ago, SHSU has seven players back who accounted for 52.4 percent of its 75.6 points. Guard Jabari Peters, the Southland Conference’s Newcomer of the Year, averaged 12.6 per game.
  • FAMILIAR FOES: While Sam Houston State and LSU are meeting on the basketball court for only the second time (LSU won the only other matchup in 1999), Tigers coach Johnny Jones faced Sam Houston four times — all when he was at North Texas — and is 3-1 against the Bearkats.
  • RALLY CATS: LSU is 3-1 this season when trailing at halftime. The Tigers came back to defeat Gardner-Webb (down one), Texas Tech (down 12) and West Virginia (down five) and lost to Old Dominion (down three).

Know Your Opponent

  • Sam Houston State visits the PMAC with a veteran-laden squad that posted a solid 24-11 mark a year ago. The Bearkats reached the Southland Conference tournament final for the fourth time, but eventually lost to Stephen F. Austin. Sam Houston, which has six upperclassmen among its top eight players, has already played two nailbiters on the road this season before falling by two points at UNLV and three at Texas A&M.

The Lineups

Sam Houston State (5-3)

Probable Starters

  • G Kaheem Ransom, 6-0, Sr., 11.3 ppg, 4.4 apg
  • G Jabari Peters, 6-3, Sr., 7.1 ppg, 5.0 rpg
  • G Paul Baxter, 6-1, Jr., 7.0 ppg, 2.5 rpg
  • G DeMarcus Gatlin, 6-4, Sr., 10.9 ppg, 4.6 rpg
  • C Michael Holyfield, 6-11, Sr., 8.3 ppg, 7.0 rpg

Top reserves

  • G Dakarai Henderson, 6-2, So., 9.1 ppg, 2.6 rpg
  • C Aurimas Majauskas, 6-8, So., 8.6 ppg, 4.0 rpg
  • F Marcus Burwell, 6-5, Jr., 3.4 ppg, 3.9 rpg

LSU (6-2)

Probable Starters

  • G Josh Gray, 6-1, Jr., 12.0 ppg, 4.9 apg
  • G Keith Hornsby, 6-4, Jr., 12.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg
  • F Jordan Mickey, 6-8, So., 15.6 ppg, 9.4 rpg
  • F Jarell Martin, 6-10, So., 16.1 ppg, 9.4 rpg
  • C John Odo, 6-10, Sr., 3.0 ppg, 1.5 rpg

Top reserves

  • G Tim Quarterman, 6-6, So., 11.9 ppg, 5.4 rpg
  • G Jalyn Patterson, 6-1, Fr., 2.0 ppg, 1.6 rpg
  • F Brian Bridgewater, 6-5, So., 3.3 ppg, 1.1 rpg

LSU signee Ben Simmons has triple-double in Montverde win

LSU signee Ben Simmons, the nation’s top recruit, recorded a triple-double in a 78-64 victory for Montverde (Fla.) Academy over Bishop O’Dowd of Oakland, California, on Friday night in a game televised by ESPN2.

The 6-foot-10 Simmons displayed his versatility with 22 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists to lead the nation’s No. 1 team, according to MaxPreps, to its seventh win in as many outings this season.

Bishop O’Dowd (2-1) was ranked seventh by MaxPreps, but Montverde easily won the matchup of two of the nation’s top players as Simmons outdueled Bishop O’Dowd’s 6-10 center Ivan Rabb, who also scored 22 points.

Rabb is a consensus top-10 recruit who is viewed by some as the second-best player in the Class of 2015 behind Simmons, who signed his national letter of intent with LSU on Nov. 12.

Rabb is ranked fifth in the latest ESPN 100 list of recruits.

ESPNU will carry a replay of the game at 11 p.m. CST Friday.

‘Inside LSU Basketball’ show to debut Sunday night

“Inside LSU Basketball” with Tigers coach Johnny Jones will make its 2014-15 debut Sunday night on the LSU Sports Television Network.

The show makes its debut with Jones and the Tigers coming off impressive back-to-back wins over UMass and previously-undefeated and 16th-ranked West Virginia.

LSU (6-2) is on a three-game winning streak counting a victory last Saturday night over McNeese State.

The show will air for two weeks on Sunday and Dec. 14 before taking a break for Christmas and New Year’s and will return on Jan. 4 before the start of Southeastern Conference play.

The show can be seen in Baton Rouge (WBRZ-TV, 10:35 p.m. Sunday and Cox Cable 4, 9:30 p.m. Monday), in New Orleans (WWL-TV, 10:30 p.m. Sunday) and in Lafayette (KLAF-TV/KADN-TV, 11:30 p.m. Sunday).

The show can also be seen in the Geaux Zone at

Opening Tip: LSU at West Virginia

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

General Info

  • What: LSU (5-2) at West Virginia (7-0)
  • When: 6 p.m. Thursday
  • Where: WVU Coliseum, Morgantown, West Virginia
  • All-time series: Series is tied 1-1
  • Last meeting: LSU 71, West Virginia 68 (Nov. 26, 2005)
  • TV: ESPN2
  • Radio: WDGL-FM, 98.1; WWWL-AM, 1350; KLWB-FM, 103.7
  • In game Twitter updates: @MicklesAdvocate
  • Up next: LSU will take a break for final exams and will play Sam Houston State on Dec. 13 at 6 p.m.

Starting Five

  • ON A ROLL: West Virginia is on a nice early-season roll with seven victories in as many outings. The Mountaineers have won those seven games by an average margin of 19.6 points. Its closest call was against Boston College (70-66) on Nov. 21, which UMass beat 71-62 five days earlier. LSU, of course, crushed UMass 82-60 on Tuesday night.
  • SNAPPING THE STREAK: In the first meeting of West Virginia and LSU in men’s basketball on Nov. 27, 2004, the Mountaineers ended the Tigers 56-game home winning streak against nonconference opposition with an 84-69 victory. LSU, returned the favor a year later, winning 71-68 in Morgantown.
  • IMPROVED SHOOTING: LSU has shot better than 50 percent from the field in three of seven games — including its last two against McNeese State and UMass. The Tigers shot 54.1 percent vs. McNeese and 53.8 percent vs. UMass. LSU is hitting 46.3 percent of its field-goal attempts for the season.
  • SLOW STARTERS: LSU has led at halftime in just three of its seven games this season. They led Weber State and Clemson by one point each and jumped on UMass for a 12-point halftime advantage on Tuesday night. When trailing at halftime, they are 2-1. They were tied at halftime against McNeese State.
  • HUGGINS AT 675: West Virginia coach Bob Huggins, who’s never faced LSU as a head coach, is tied for fifth among active Division I coaches with 675 wins at that level — which is tied for 20th all-time. He also had 71 victories at the outset of his career at Walsh College, an NAIA school in Ohio.

Know Your Opponent

  • Undefeated through seven games after Saturday’s 86-57 clubbing of Charleston, which will visit LSU on Dec. 22, the Mountaineers already have four wins of 26 points or more. West Virginia, ranked 16th in the AP poll and 17th by the coaches, has won by 26, 27, 29 and 31 points. West Virginia went 17-16 a year ago and played in the NIT four seasons after Bob Huggins, a WVU alum, led the Mountaineers to a school-record 31 wins and its first Final Four appearance in 51 years.

The Lineups

LSU (5-2)

Probable Starters

  • G Josh Gray, 6-1, Jr., 12.7 ppg, 4.6 apg
  • G Keith Hornsby, 6-4, Jr., 11.9 ppg, 5.3 rpg
  • F Jordan Mickey, 6-8, So., 17.5 ppg, 10.0 rpg
  • F Jarell Martin, 6-10, So., 15.9 ppg, 8.7 rpg
  • C John Odo, 6-10, Sr., 2.8 ppg, 1.6 rpg

Top reserves

  • G Tim Quarterman, 6-6, So., 10.6 ppg, 5.1 rpg
  • G Jalyn Patterson, 6-1, Fr., 1.6 ppg, 1.4 rpg
  • F Brian Bridgewater, 6-5, So., 3.7 ppg, 1.3 rpg

West Virginia (7-0)

Probable Starters

  • G Juwan Staten, 6-1, Sr., 15.1 ppg, 4.3 apg
  • G Jaysean Paige, 6-2, Jr., 7.3 ppg, 1.7 rpg
  • G Daxter Miles Jr., 6-3, Fr., 7.7 ppg, 2.3 rpg
  • F Devin Williams, 6-9, So., 11.0 ppg, 8.4 rpg
  • F Jonathan Holton, 6-7, Jr., 12.9 ppg, 8.0 rpg

Top reserves

  • G Jevon Carter, 6-2, Fr., 9.3 ppg, 1.6 rpg
  • F Elijah Macon, 6-9, Fr., 5.2 ppg, 4.3 rpg
  • G Gary Browne, 6-1, Sr., 3.9 ppg, 0.9 rpg

LSU coach Jones to host second Tipoff Luncheon Tuesday

Former LSU player Collis Temple III will be the guest speaker for the December edition of the Tipoff Luncheon with Tigers coach Johnny Jones on Tuesday at L’Auberge Resort.

Jones, whose team plays at West Virginia on Thursday night, will speak about the Tigers and the 2014-15 season to date heading into a Dec. 13 home game against Sam Houston State.

Jones will take questions from the media and audience on hand.

Temple III played on the NCAA Sweet 16 team and SEC Championship team of 2000 and the 2003 team that beat No. 1 Arizona and went to the NCAA tournament.

His father, Collis Jr., played for legendary LSU coach Dale Brown in the early 1970s and his young brother, Garrett, played on two SEC Championship teams and is now with the NBA’s Washington Wizards.

The L’Auberge Resort is located off Nicholson Drive in Baton Rouge at the Bon Temps Buffet, which costs $14.99 per person. Lunch begins at 11:30 a.m. with the program starting at 12:10 p.m.

McKinley High grad Chatman facing LSU as member of UMass staff

Fans attending LSU’s basketball game with UMass on Tuesday night may recognize one of the Minutemen assistant coaches, Baton Rouge native and McKinley High School grad Shyrone Chatman.

Chatman, who played his final year of college basketball for John Calipari at Memphis, has been a member of the UMass staff for seven years — including the last four seasons as an assistant to current coach Derek Kellogg.

Kellogg was an assistant on the Memphis staff when Chatman played there and Kellogg brought Chatman with him to UMass when he got the job there before the 2008-09 season.

Chatman served as UMass’ director of player personnel for three years before joining Kellogg’s coaching staff on a fulltime basis for the 2011-12 season.

Opening Tip: UMass at LSU

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

General Info

  • What: UMass (5-2) at LSU (4-2)
  • When: 6 p.m. Tuesday
  • Where: Pete Maravich Assembly Center
  • All-time series: UMass leads 1-0
  • Last meeting: UMass 92, LSU 90 (2013)
  • 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 West Virginia in Morgantown, West Virginia, at 6 p.m. Thursday as part of the SEC-Big 12 Challenge

Starting Five

  • THE REMATCH: Tonight’s game is the back half of a home-and-home arrangement between UMass, a member of the Atlantic 10 Conference, and LSU. The Minutemen won 92-90 last November in Amherst, Massachusetts, in the Tigers’ season opener, which was part of the ESPN Tipoff Marathon.
  • WELCOME BACK: This will be only the second time UMass has played a basketball game in Louisiana. The Minutemen traveled to Lafayette back on Feb. 11, 1995 to take a 73-56 win over UL-Lafayette. UMass is 5-0 all-time against Louisiana schools with three of the wins against the Ragin’ Cajuns.
  • GETTING HOT: LSU has shot better than 60 percent from the field in the second half of two recent games — connecting on 61.3 percent of its shots after halftime in defeating Weber State on Nov. 22 and 65.5 percent in Saturday night’s 83-72 victory against McNeese State.
  • SEC RANKINGS: Through the early portion of the nonconference schedule, LSU is sixth in scoring (73.2) despite ranking eighth in field-goal percentage (45.0) and 14th in 3-point shooting (25.5) in the Southeastern Conference. The Tigers are ninth in scoring defense (68.3), but are third in rebounding (40.7).
  • MICKEY HONORED: Tigers forward Jordan Mickey, who was held out of Saturday’s game with a slight ankle injury, was named player of the month for November by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association. Mickey averaged 17.8 points and 10.0 rebounds and also had nine blocks and six steals.

Know Your Opponent

  • UMass is 5-2 with its best wins over Florida State and Manhattan, while the only losses were to Harvard and Notre Dame. Seven lettermen are back from last year’s team that went 24-9 (10-6 Atlantic 10 Conference) and earned an NCAA tournament bid for the first time since 1998. Derek Kellogg, a former UMass point guard who’s in his seventh season at his alma mater, got his team into the national rankings for the first time since the 1998-99 season — climbing as high as No. 12 in late January.

UMass (5-2)

Probable Starters

  • G Trey Davis, 6-0, Jr., 11.3 ppg, 3.3 apg
  • G Derrick Gordon, 6-3, Jr., 13.6 ppg, 5.0 rpg
  • F Maxie Esho, 6-8, Sr., 13.1 ppg, 6.3 rpg
  • F Seth Berger, 6-7, So., 2.3 ppg, 2.3 rpg
  • C Cady Lalanne, 6-9, Jr., 14.9 ppg, 10.1 rpg

Top reserves

  • G Jaborie Hinds, 5-11, Jr., 9.4 ppg, 0.9 rpg
  • G Donte Clark, 6-4, Fr., 7.7 ppg, 2.0 rpg
  • C Tyler Bergantino, 6-9, Jr., 1.4 ppg, 2.0 rpg

LSU (4-2)

Probable Starters

  • G Josh Gray, 6-1, Jr., 10.7 ppg, 4.5 apg
  • G Keith Hornsby, 6-4, Jr., 12.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg
  • F Jordan Mickey, 6-8, So., 17.8 ppg, 10.0 rpg
  • F Jarell Martin, 6-10, So., 16.5 ppg, 9.3 rpg
  • C John Odo, 6-10, Sr., 2.3 ppg, 1.5 rpg

Top reserves

  • G Tim Quarterman, 6-6, So., 9.8 ppg, 5.0 rpg
  • F Brian Bridgewater, 6-5, So., 4.3 ppg, 1.5 rpg
  • G Jalyn Patterson, 6-1, Fr., 1.8 ppg, 1.7 rpg