BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – LSU men’s basketball coach Johnny Jones and junior forward Johnny O'Bryant III took part in SECMD13, the league’s yearly media day festivities that completed its first of two days early Wednesday night at the Westin in downtown Birmingham.
Jones, whose Tigers were chosen fourth earlier in the day in the preseason media poll, and O’Bryant III, who was named to the first-team preseason All-SEC team, spent time with the print media as well as being taped for future use by league partners CBS Sports, Fox Sports, ESPN, CSS and the league’s digital network as well as Sirius/XM Satellite Radio.
SEC Preseason Poll
Season tickets for the Tigers are still on sale at LSUtix.net. The Tigers will play an exhibition game on Nov. 6 at the Maravich Center in Baton Rouge against Xavier (NO) and opens the season on Nov. 12 at UMass as part of the ESPN Tipoff Marathon. The Tigers regular season home opener is Nov. 16 against Northwestern State.
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Here are some of the league-provided quotes from today’s media day for Coach Jones and O’Bryant III:
Head Men’s Basketball Coach Johnny Jones
On having a bunch of big athletic bodies to work with now …
“Well in this league, which I think is one of the most premier leagues in the country; you have to have to have big guys out there that can match up with the elite competition. We’re very fortunate to have Johnny O’Bryant III returning from last year, and then having the ability to go out and recruit a couple guys that will allow us to be able to compete at a higher level certainly helps.”
On Johnny O'Bryant III deciding to come back for his junior year …
“It’s huge for us, because it was one of those things we didn’t talk about. We thought that Johnny continued to improve throughout the year, scouts started showing up at our practices and games. I thought Johnny had put himself in a position to be a draft pick last year. For him to come in, say he enjoyed the year and was looking forward to coming back and improving his game this year certainly meant a great deal to us.”
On basketball tradition at LSU …
“We know how important it is, I’ve had the opportunity to spend 17 years at LSU. I’ve seen the highs, when we’ve had the players like Shaquille O’Neal and John Williams on the 1986 Final Four team. We want to see if we can get some consistency and stability in the program in terms of the people we recruit and the guys that we have in there.”
On year two being better than year one …
“We have guys that are returning that understand what we’re looking for and have really adapted. We’ve been able to go out on the recruiting trail and take care of some needs and concerns from a year ago. That was to get bigger bodies, so hopefully we are better on the boards rebounding. The pace that we are going to be able to play, we were a little short on numbers last year and that’s something we feel we were able to address through recruiting.”
Johnny O'Bryant III, LSU
On what he would like to get out of coming back for another year
“I want to develop into the best player that I can be. I want to win, that’s something I really haven’t experienced since coming here. With how the team is looking, I really think we have a chance to win big.”
On LSU being the dark horse that could push Florida and Kentucky for the SEC title
“Definitely, we’re climbing the ladder trying to take down any team that is in our way. With the talent that we have coming back to this team, we can definitely surprise some people. “
On being a leader and mentor to the younger players
“Just telling them to keep their head up, as a basketball player things are not going to go your way all of the time. When things go bad, I am there for them on and off the court.”