Men's Basketball Set to Host UNO on Tuesday

by Kent Lowe (@LSUkent)
Men's Basketball Set to Host UNO on Tuesday

BATON ROUGE – LSU and the University of New Orleans will meet for the first time in a men’s basketball game since December 2005 when the Tigers and Privateers meet on Tuesday night at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

Game time is 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast on the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network (Eagle 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge) and in the Geaux Zone at The game will also be regionally televised on Cox Sports TV (Channel 37 on Cox cable in Baton Rouge).

Tickets are available starting at $6 for adults and children under three are free of charge. LSU Students are admitted to the student section free at the upstairs student gate. There will be free giveaways for students sitting in the Roar Zone.

The teams will honor the memory of former LSU Basketball star, SEC television analyst and LSU AD, the late Joe Dean, with a video and moment of silence at the start of pregame activities just after 7 p.m.

LSU is 1-1 on the season and coming off an 88-74 win over Northwestern State on Saturday night. UNO has not played since Nov. 12, when the Privateers defeated Millsaps, 81-45.

LSU has been led in scoring in the first two games by Johnny O’Bryant III and Andre Stringer, both of whom have scored 20 points in each of the two games. O’Bryant III has had double doubles of 25 points and 11 rebounds at UMass and 21 points and 14 rebounds versus the Demons. Stringer has had 21 points in each of the two games, going over 1,000 career points in the process.

Jordan Mickey, from Arlington, Texas, has posted double doubles in each of the first two games and was named on Monday as the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week, the first time an LSU freshman has won the honor since Storm Warren in Nov. 2009.

UNO was led by Cory Dixon who had 18 points and 12 rebounds in their opening win. This will be the 15th time LSU and UNO have met with LSU holding a 10-4 advantage.

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Here are some of Coach Johnny Jones‘ comments at his Monday media session:

Opening Statement …
“First of all, sympathies and condolences go out to the Dean family. Joe Dean – the impact that he’s made on not only LSU, but college basketball in general – I’m very happy that I had an opportunity to spend a lot of time with him during my time here as an assistant. Over the years even when I left here, I had an opportunity to engage in conversations and just learn more about the impact that he had. I would pick his brain quite often. He will certainly be missed in the college basketball profession. But at the same time, the footprint that he left behind will live on forever.”

On the impact Joe Dean had on his professional development …
“It was good because he was one of those guys who had a lot more insight. He had a much better understanding of the profession. From the seat in which he was sitting, he understood the impact of that job. Sitting down with him, I didn’t have any (head) coaching experience at the time. He thought that was something I should probably seek and have an opportunity to do prior to taking over a job of this magnitude. After going away and having the opportunity to be around other programs – then getting head coaching experience. When I look back, that was some great advice that he had an opportunity to give me at that time. It was something that was tough at the time to possibly accept, but that was exactly what was needed. The great thing is, years later down the road, he had followed up with my career at North Texas. We would talk periodically [about] the things we had talked about during that time had come to pass. We just talked about the impact that he watched me make at the University of North Texas. It meant a lot. Then getting back to Baton Rouge and having the opportunity to spend some time with him recently – it was good. I had an opportunity to go visit him months ago after a little procedure he had there in the hospital. I would keep in touch with him and see him at a couple of functions. But he’s always fired up and full of energy as recently. I saw him when they were inducting Coach Brown into the Hall of Fame. Knowing that he was slow, but you could still tell that it was in his heart and in his spirit.”

On Jarell Martin’s status for Tuesday’s game …
“Jarell has worked with us a little bit yesterday. He went up and down. He will be probably questionable at best for tomorrow’s game, but he did try to do a little bit yesterday. We will kind of see where he is today. As early as tomorrow morning, we will know exactly where he is. I’m hopeful that he can do a little bit more today but not certain if we will put him in tomorrow. So I’ll say he is questionable.”

On the impact of Jarell Martin not being on the floor …
“Rebounding – he has the ability to create opportunities for other folks out there on the team. It’s really size match-ups where he gives us an advantage out there because of his size and strength he has at that three spot [small forward]. Other teams, it’s really difficult for them to really match. We’re just excited to see him at this level night in and night out. But I think he will give us the additional size and strength that we need to compete at a certain level night in and night out.”

On Jordan Mickey’s defensive prowess …
“In high school, he was a tenacious shot-blocker – really quick off of his feet. He has long and rangy. The thing I think most people try to compare him to somewhat like Tyrus Thomas is the person most recently that was here, but that’s the type of impact he can have on the game. The thing is he can really go out of his area and get rebounds as well. He’s very strong and has a good, strong physique as a freshman. And Tyrus, I think was a redshirt freshman and this guy [Mickey] is coming in as a true freshman and making that kind of impact night in and night out. He’s one of those guys who’s extremely poised out there on the floor.”

On Anthony Hickey’s role off the bench …
“Not so much him coming in – it’s just him accepting that responsibility and that role. The way that he’s handled it – I think it says a lot about Anthony Hickey because he’s going to impact the game. He could start and get quality minutes. He’s always done well. I’m just more impressed in putting him in that type of role. For him to come out, not be pouting and have that positive effect that he’s had on his teammates. What’s he had on the game – the energy that he shows on the bench when he’s not in towards his teammates and making sure that they’re going. Advising them and saying things when he’s not in the game. He’s really staying locked in, and I think that’s really a good sign.”

On the importance of guards grabbing rebounds…
“I think the way that we were beat on the boards last year, and the way teams were a little bit more physical at times because of the size and strength of teams – it hurt us. I think when you have the three guys generally that we can have at the three [forward], four [forward] and five [center] spots and as physical as they are – it gives our guards a little roaming area. It gives them a little better opportunity to maybe run down loose balls and get balls out of there. If those other guys do a good job of striking the other post guys that are historically going to the basket on the defensive end, we’ve done a lot better. But I think with the big number that we had the other night in terms of offensive rebounds, I think that had to do with a big size advantage that we had. Our guys were still aggressive in terms of getting to the boards and finishing, so that was huge for us.”

On his message on his team’s defensive effort …
“We’ve got to get better. One, it’s tough to try to defend some of the shots that they’re going to take because of the new rules that have taken place. But at the same time, my biggest concern is second chance opportunities. When teams get second shots or offensive rebounds, one of the things I’ve been concerned about is some of the penetration that teams have gotten. And I thought Northwestern State got to the rim a few times. Not only in half-court sets, but in their fast break. I thought after we’d scored a couple of times the other night, they came right back and shot layups against us because we didn’t do a great job of getting back and contesting or containing those guys. That’s something we certainly have to work on. We have to really build that wall and really paint that picture defensively when we get back in transition to prevent penetration.”

On preparation for next week’s Old Spice Classic in Orlando…
“The good thing is that it’s a process. I think that’s why the season is like it is, and that’s why you want to kind of taper your schedule. That way you’ll have some tests and then certainly Orlando because of the teams that will be in that event. The talent level and some of them are ranked – it’s really going to be a tough test for us. It’s going to be a process for us, and we’ve got to keep trying to build and get ready. Hopefully when that time comes on next Thursday, we’re prepared and ready to go. To be able to execute at a different level on both ends of the floor – not only offensively, but defensively you’re going to have to make sure you’re at your best. If not, you’ll be exposed and teams will take advantage of you. On the offensive end, we’ve certainly got to get better in executing. Although we’ve shot decent percentages, we’ve got to get better. Turning the ball over 20-something odd times, we’ve got to do a much better job of that as well.”

On his thoughts on Tim Quarterman after two games…
“He’s a freshman. A typical freshman – he’s one of those guys that there’s a learning curve for him and something he’s got to go through. These games will be great for him because we’re going to certainly need him throughout the year, and we feel that he’s one of those guys that’s going to be able to deliver for us. He and Hickey both are really going to handle that point guard spot. We’ve just got to make sure that when either one of those guys are in there that we’re getting positive production. Both are very capable doing that. With Hickey being more experienced [player], I think it’s evident and clear that he’s been through it before. It’s just been a little bit of a learning curve for a guy that’s talented enough to make it happen. It’s just going to take him a little bit of time and some games and minutes to get under his belt at this level.”