On Eve of SEC Media Day, Jones Briefs Local Media

LSU coach Johnny Jones
LSU coach Johnny Jones
Steve Franz
Kent Lowe (@LSUkent)
Kent Lowe (@LSUkent)
Communications Sr. Associate

BATON ROUGE - Prior to the team's 11th practice Wednesday, LSU men's basketball team head coach Johnny Jones met with the media to discuss what he has seen with his team to date.

Jones will be in front of the media again on Thursday as he joins the other 13 men's coaches and the 14 women's coaches, including LSU's Nikki Caldwell, at the Southeastern Conference Media Day activities in Birmingham.

Those activities begin at 8 a.m. and the two LSU coaches will be on from 1-3 p.m.

The Tigers will have an exhibition game against Arkansas-Monticello at 7 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 5. Admission to the exhibition game is free. The season opens on Friday, Nov. 9, at 7 p.m. at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center against UC Santa Barbara.

Follow LSU basketball on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/LSUBasketball and on Twitter @LSUBasketball.

Here are some of the comments from Coach Jones today from his media session:

LSU Basketball Media Session - October 24, 2012
Head Coach Johnny Jones

Opening Statement
"We have really been pleased with the last few days of practice. We are pleased with the players' effort, and the execution that they have had in such a short time. Unfortunately, we have had a few players go down with injuries which are somewhat of a little setback. Hopefully, we will get them back on the floor in the near future within the next few days. That would be beneficial for us because of our lack of numbers. We hope that we can continue to move forward, and continue to get better. I think that some great things could be in store for us so we're excited."

On the point guards' growth...
"I think both of those guys (Anthony Hickey and Corban Collins) have made a great deal of progress. I've been very pleased with Hickey and Collins as well. Both guys have been very competitive and have really pushed each other each day. I think because of that both have gotten better both offensively and defensively."

On Corban Collins ...
"You look at his body; he is very big and very strong. His development tells you that he has come out of a great program, and he has been well coached because of some of the things that's he is capable of doing on the floor. He understands the game. One of the things I think he has a really good feel for what he is doing out there.

On Shavon Coleman Playing in the Post ...
"Absolutely, the last several days we've had Shavon play a little more in the post area for us because of our injuries in practice and lack of numbers. He has been a pleasant surprise for us in there. He has been able to battle and defend post guys. He has done an excellent job offensively being able to stretch the defense because of his ability to shoot from outside and his quickness of getting to the rim. We are looking forward to him playing inside and out for us and playing multiple positions."

On guard Malik Morgan's progress...
"Malik has been really good. He came in this summer and worked extremely hard. With our strength and conditioning program, we were able to work hands-on with his development in terms of his skill work. He has made some progress, and he continues to improve. He has shot the ball well for us during the last few weeks. He puts in a lot of extra time working on his game. That is really going to be beneficial for Malik, and it is going to help us as well. He has gotten bigger and stronger, and he plays a lot more physical than he did when we initially started practice."

On scrimmages and exhibition games...
"I always try to do one scrimmage with an opposing team because I think it gives you an opportunity to work against a different opponent. It allows you to put some other things in, and it allows you an opportunity to work on different things. At the same time, I like playing exhibition games because it gives us the opportunity to be under the lights and go through some game day things that would normally do. I like doing both scrimmages and exhibition games, it will be beneficial for us."

On importance of having two point guards...
"I love running two point guards in. I think you can see both point guards (Hickey and Collins) in the game at the same time because they are good decision makers. Both of them are good, solid defenders. We will utilize a lot of different lineups. I think anytime you want to try and play a little more up-tempo it is important to keep the pressure on the opposing team."

On center Andrew Del Piero's improvement...
"I think from the time that we've been here since April the approach and attitude that he (Del Piero) has displayed has really been good for us. I have been really pleased with his effort every day in practice, and his conditioning has improved immensely which has been huge for us because we initially weren't sure of how much he really loved it. He's show he's had a passion for the game, and he's has been excited to get in practice everyday. He has seen the signs that he's getting better, and he can see the improvement which has been exciting for him. We are excited as a staff and as a team. His teammates can see the difference. These scrimmages and early exhibition games are something that I'm looking forward to get him exposed in. He understands the guys, Johnny O'Bryant III and Eddie Ludwig, and their habits. Going against someone else will give him a different look, and it will be good for him. He's made some improvement, and I think he is going to be able to give us some positive minutes this year."

On SEC Media Day...
"It will be exciting just to have an opportunity to go up and talk about the LSU basketball program - where we saw ourselves moving forward to the future.  We were picked 11th in the league. It is important that we try to make progress and move up from that spot. It will start on the floor from practices to games. We have to be a different mindset. We have to have an attitude and mentality that we want to be better."





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