Hoops Teams Begin Practices For 2002-03 Season
BATON ROUGE — First John Brady and the LSU Tigers took to the floor of the Maravich Assembly Center for the opening practice of the 2002-03 basketball season.
Then Sue Gunter and the Lady Tigers stepped up for their opening drills Saturday on a day when both coaches found themselves with plenty of players to teach and to handle the drills of a normal basketball practice.
Brady had 16 players for the start of practice, missing returning starter Collis Temple (eye) and Thomas Davis (ankle) who were injured in pickup games earlier in the week. Paul Wolfert would end up missing a significant portion of the three-hour, 40-minute practice with a strained Achilles.
“It was a good first day. We do have a number of first year players that we had to teach a lot, especially defensively,” said LSU men’s head coach John Brady, entering his sixth year at the Tigers’ helm. “We went three hours and 40 minutes and about 2:40 of that was defending, footwork, rebounding and things that are the most important things to establish in your team early on.
“We’ll go through the same practice (Sunday) and try to get some defending and rebounding into our team. It was a good first day. The attention was good. “They were trying to do right and get some detail into their play. As we move along if they keep that kind of approach we’ll be fine.”
Most notable on the court of the dozen Lady Tigers was All-American center DeTrina White, who missed all of last year after foot surgery. Kisha James, was also back after knee surgery, and it was the first practice for prep All-American Simone Augustus. The Lady Tigers worked out for a little over two and a half hours.
“For one thing, it was nice to see that many players on the floor,” women’s coach Sue Gunter said afterwards of her 21st opening day at LSU. “I think that was exciting for everyone. The effort today was very good. The coaching staff was talking afterwards that physically we were a little bit better than we were mentally. When you get a little bit tired you don’t think quite as well as when you are fresh, but overall it was a nice job, a good first day.”
The two teams will make their first public appearance of the season this coming Friday night at 7 p.m. in the Assembly Center at the Fan Jam. Both teams will have an on court appearance as well as sign autographs and one LSU student will have the chance to make a basket for free tuition.