BATON ROUGE – LSU head men’s basketball coach Johnny Jones took part Monday in the Southeastern Conference Summer Teleconference which gave media a chance to talk basketball and an update on the 14-programs in the league.
Here are some of his comments during his segment:
“We are very excited and looking forward to next year. Obviously with Johnny O'Bryant III being drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks and the impact that he made on our team; and, losing Andre Stringer and Shavon Coleman to graduation, it is going to be important that we have quality guys come in and fill those roles. I feel like through recruiting we have been able to do that. The two hours a week has obviously been good for us as we get these guys acclimated to being on campus and having a chance to work with them has really allowed us to get some of our guys out there and see how they are competing against certain guys. We are looking forward to another challenging season in a great conference.
QUESTION ON BRIAN BRIDGEWATER STATUS AND ELIGIBILITY REMAINING
“We can talk more about him now. The only thing Bridgewater had to do last year, he was able to enroll in school; the SEC and the NCAA allowed him to enroll. He could do everything in terms of meeting with academic tutors and be in our academic center for student athletes. He just couldn’t practice, participate in games or travel with us in that matter. Because he has fulfilled all of his obligations, he is now a part of the team and working out with us this summer. We look forward to seeing what type of impact he can make on our team next season.
2014-15 LSU Roster
“We are hopeful that at the end of his third season because of where he is academically that he would have an opportunity to receive a fourth season of eligibility.”
QUESTION ON ERIC MUSSELMAN ON STAFF; HELPING THOSE NBA PROSPECTS IN FUTURE
“I think it is great anytime, one, when you have the caliber of players you have coming in, there has been a great deal of interest from people at that level, NBA, who are interested in the job because it speaks volumes as to where the program is and the type of players we have here. Johnny (O’Bryant III) getting drafted was certainly exciting for us in how he continued to improve each year in terms of impact and the numbers he had for our team. We are glad that Eric (Musselman) came on board and I think he will continue to help us improve and move forward with the knowledge that he will hopefully have a chance to share because of his experiences and where he has been and that’s what I was looking for really in any coach that we would be hiring in that capacity. We think that he will come in and do a tremendous job.
QUESTION ON JORDAN MICKEY, JARELL MARTIN AND HOW BIG IT WAS FOR THEM TO RETURN TO LSU
“Jordan (Mickey) is one of those guys that is a very bright kid and because of the attention he was able to garner during the year and the impact he made on our team and the accolades he received in our league. Rightfully so and he and Jarell Martin both had some considerations in moving forward but they were also on the team with a guy like Johnny O'Bryant III who they had the opportunity to see stay an additional year, improve his opportunity and his situation on the floor and in the draft status as well. There was someone there that they were close enough to that they could visit with and they are smart enough to see how the draft was going and how many people were coming out this year. Physically and mentally they may have seen that they just weren’t ready yet. We are extremely excited about them coming back because we know they will make a great impact on our team the way they did last year and continue to improve. We think some great things are out there for them and we are hopeful that next year at this time they will have played well enough to be in position to have to make a decision at that time because they have that option.”
QUESTIONS ON THE LARGE NUMBERS OF TRANSFERS IN COLLEGE BASKETBALL TODAY
“I think that it will be addressed through the NCAA and I think coaches are in agreement with making it mandatory that when kids do transfer that they regardless automatically have to sit out a year prior before having the opportunity to compete in games and I think that will help. It’s really tough because sometimes kids pick programs for the wrong reasons. They get there and find out that it’s not the right system for them. It’s not what they are used to. It’s hard for them to catch on. There are various reasons. The atmosphere, team chemistry and a whole lot of things can come into play -- the relationship with the coach, playing time or lack thereof. And when that happens kids feel they have that option and unfortunately kids are continuing to be recruited … When you get that exposure or you get exposed as a freshman (in college) and they don’t realize they didn’t really start as a freshman in high school and maybe it was their sophomore or junior year before they made an impact. Because of the success they had as seniors in high school (they are) supposed to step in as freshman and make that type of impact in college. It just doesn’t happen that way all the time.”
A reminder that LSU’s Unleash the Madness campaign for the 2014-15 season is underway. “Unleash the Madness” will allow fans to reserve their seat in the Maravich Center for the 2014-15 men’s basketball season by purchasing a $20 deposit. Deposits may be applied to new season tickets or mini-plans during the upcoming campaign.
Further information is available at LSUtix.net or by contacting the LSU Athletics Ticket Office at (225) 578-2184. Follow LSU Basketball on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/LSUBasketball and on Twitter @LSUBasketball.