Johnson, Turner at SEC Basketball Media Day

Chris Parent (@chrisparent)
Kent Lowe (@LSUkent)
Kent Lowe (@LSUkent)
Communications Sr. Associate

HOOVER, Ala. - LSU men's basketball Coach Trent Johnson and sophomore Ralston Turner took part Thursday in SEC Basketball media days at the Wynfrey Hotel.

Some 200 print, electronic and web site journalists took part in the one-day event that showcased both the coaches and a top player of each of the 12 men's and women's basketball programs in the league.

Turner, from Muscle Shoals, Ala., was a member of the 2011 All-SEC freshman team and averaged a team best 12.3 points per game last season. Coach Johnson enters his fourth year as the head coach at LSU. The 2011-12 season begins on Saturday, Nov. 12, at noon against Nicholls State as part of a basketball-football doubleheader on the LSU campus. Admission for the basketball game will be free of charge.

Here are some of the comments of Coach Johnson and Turner during their media session earlier Thursday:

SEC Basketball Media Days
Trent Johnson
LSU Men's Head Basketball Coach

On Freshman Anthony Hickey:
"He is looking good. We have had three scrimmages, and he had 17 assists and three turnovers. I know it's early but it's hard not to get excited about him, let alone the other two freshmen -- along with the addition of Justin Hamilton. I think we have the capabilities of being a very solid basketball team and Anthony [Hickey] is going to enable us to play faster."

On the Upcoming Season:
"I have always tried to approach this thing from the standpoint that I have to put myself in a situation where I can do the best I can to help them. I felt I have done that over the years, but last year with some injuries -- and there were some games that got away from us -- that I thought it wasn't them. I suppose it was me."

"I tell you what helps out is that right now we remain injury free. We have competed at a high level. The intensity has been extremely good. At times it's ugly, in terms of what we are getting done, but in all honesty I like the way we are getting after each other and I like the way we are taking care of the ball in certain situations at certain times."

On the Effect LSU football Success has on Basketball: Is it a benefit?
"Yes. I was an assistant coach at the University of Washington when they won a national championship in football. There is no question it is benefit. The thing I like about our situation at LSU is all our sports programs and all athletic teams are really, really good and play at a high level. The men's basketball program needs to step up and share their end of the program."

Ralston Turner

On the Scrimmages:
"We have a little bit of depth. Some of the younger guys, they got a chance to play and we saw some really good things out of them."

On Competition this Season:
"Competition in the SEC is really good right now. Obviously, you have your normal tough teams and normal great players in this league. It's just a pleasure to play in this league. There are no easy games, but that's what you want as a competitor."

"For us, I think every team is a team that we want to beat. Obviously, with the last two years we just want to establish ourselves and move up in the ranks."
On Freshmen John Isaac and Anthony Hickey:
"They both bring different skills to our backcourt that we didn't have last year. Hickey does a great job pushing the ball. John is very up-tempo, and that should help this year."

On Practice so Far:
"The intensity level early has definitely been there. We have worked on a lot of defense in practice. Defense wins championships."




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