BATON ROUGE - Coach Trent Johnson announced on Wednesday that the LSU athletics department had received and approved two National Letters of Intent from players for the 2011-12 men's basketball season.
The players are John Isaac, a 6-4, 215-pound guard from New Llano, La., who attends Pickering High School; and, Johnny O'Bryant, a 6-9, 245-pound power forward from Cleveland, Miss., and East HS.
"It is a good day for Tiger basketball," said Coach Johnson. "Obviously, these are two quality young men who happen to be very, very good basketball players. They fit into the direction in which our program is headed, and that means playing elite level college basketball."
Isaac missed all of last season with a torn left ACL, but as a sophomore he averaged a double double with 18.5 points and 11.5 rebounds. He shot 59 percent from the field and averaged 8.6 assists and 1.8 steals. He was First-Team All-District that year in his fourth season of varsity competition for Pickering. He has been a starter on the Pickering varsity since the seventh grade.
"John Isaac is a very physical wing player who missed junior year because of an ACL injury," said Johnson. "If that injury had not occurred, he probably would have been one of the top 50 or 60 players in the country. He is a very physical and athletic young man. When you talk about physical, he is also playing football this season."
O'Bryant is the nation's No. 6 ranked power forward by ESPNU (21st overall in the country) and the No. 8 power forward and nation's 38th player overall according to Rivals.com.
He averaged 15 points and 7.2 rebounds last season as a junior as East reached the Class 3A semifinals. Two years ago, O'Bryant was a member of the USA Basketball U16 team that captured gold in Mendoza, Argentina at the FIBA Americans Championship and followed that up with another gold medal in Hamburg, Germany with the U17 national team.
"Johnny O'Bryant, if he was in a Tiger uniform today he would be one of our three best players," the third-year LSU Coach said. "He has a wealth of experience with USA Basketball and is one of the top players in the country. He gives us a physical presence with some durability on the front line and a strong skill set. He is a young man that Tiger fans need to enjoy every second of every day because he has a chance to be an impact player and play basketball for a long time.
"My assistant coaches did an excellent job, especially Brent Scott, in the recruitment process of both these young men. All that being said, fans should judge this recruiting class at the end of their career, not at the start of it. There is a lot of hard work in front of us. There is a lot of hard work in front of both of these young men. But they are looking forward, as much as I am, to achieving their goals at LSU and beyond."
The 2010-11 edition of the LSU Tigers basketball team opens the season on Friday night at 7 p.m. in the Maravich Center against Northwestern State.