Men's Basketball Returns Home for Gold Game

Steve Franz
Kent Lowe (@LSUkent)
Kent Lowe (@LSUkent)
Communications Sr. Associate

BATON ROUGE -- The LSU men’s basketball team looks to rebound from Thursday night’s setback at Georgia when the Tigers host Auburn, Saturday afternoon in a 3 p.m. matinee game at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

The game will be televised regionally on SEC-TV affiliates (listed below) with Mike Morgan and Daymeon Fishback on the broadcast with Jim Hawthorne, Ricky Blanton and Kevin Ford broadcasting the game on the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network (listed below).

Tickets for the game are available for the game online at and at the upper concourse ticket windows of the Maravich Center beginning at 1:30 p.m.

LSU is 14-7 and 5-4 in the SEC after falling on Thursday, while Auburn comes into the game at 11-9 and 3-6 in the league, but the visiting Tigers have won three straight league games.

LSU fans are encouraged to Wear Gold as part of the annual Gold Game and gold rally towels will be available on seats in many parts of the Maravich Center.

Coach Johnny Jones discussed the Thursday contest and Saturday’s game with Auburn in Friday’s media session. Here are some of his comments:

“We’re coming off what we consider a really good week against Kentucky and Arkansas and then coming back and going back out on the road against a team that only had one setback there at home. We needed to go in and continue to play extremely well to continue our winning streak, but we caught a team that was playing extremely well. It didn’t get off to a great start. We were hampered a little bit by foul trouble in the first half. In the second half we made a great run, but unfortunately we weren’t able to get over the hump. We allowed them to get to the line 46 times last night. We never really got in the rhythm that we needed to. Saturday, we’re playing against a team that has three straight wins and is playing really confident. They’ve got great guard play. It will be another tough game for us here and one we look forward to.”

On the on-ball defense against Georgia…
“(Charles Mann) is one of the leaders in terms of getting to the free throw line. Against our man defense, he penetrated and got to the rim. We never figured out how to defend it. They got into us. They got foul trouble on Johnny [O’Bryant III] for standing there. When we challenged the shots, we got in foul trouble. We didn’t do a great job of containing them up front. It’s the same as last year. I think he may have only scored one basket in the conference tournament but ended up with 16 points. He got everything at the free throw line. Last night was the same. He lived at the free throw line.”

On the similarities in the challenges posed by Auburn guard KT Harrell…
“Both of those guys are quick. We have to do a great job of containing, keeping the ball in front of us and making sure we make plays at the rim if they happen to get that deep.”

On adjusting to the defensive challenges…
“People have always tried to come at us. You’re hopeful that you can make some challenges and get some blocks so people are not at the free throw line consistently. That will certainly help us. We’ve got good shot blockers and guys that set up a great wall there inside. We haven’t been whistled with that many fouls in that situation all year long, especially on our starters.”

On how Georgia found success inside the paint early…
“They found the crease. The way that they were executing their offense, bringing a player from the weak side or through the middle of the zone and stepping short corner and making their plays there, they put you in an isolated situation where they had numbers because of how you were spaced out, or they had options at the basket and were able to finish at the rim a couple of times on us. It’s really tough to make those types of adjustments in-game. They did a great job of executing.”

On how the team will respond mentally and physically with a short turnaround for the next game…
“I just think it’s basketball. They’ll be ready to play and excited about being back here at home. You go out there and something happens, you look for that next opportunity to get back up and battle. You look at Auburn and they went over six straight losses. Now they’ve been able to turn it around with three straight wins, including a win on the road at South Carolina. So it’s just a team you’ve got to bounce back and really be ready to play. We’re glad that it’s back here at home.”

On how the team adjusts to a certain type of officiating…
“You certainly want them to be able to adjust. That’s just a matter of a team growing when they’re capable of making those types of adjustments. You have to because if they get you and you know how the game is going to be called, then you certainly have to make an adjustment accordingly. The problem you have is if you’re in a situation and they’re inconsistent, then it’s hard to make an adjustment at that time.”

On his feelings about LSU’s defensive performance…
“We gave up 91 points to a team averaging 69 points per game. They’re generally shooting 40 percent or so from the field and they shot around 60 (percent). I know the caliber team that we are and we’re generally holding our opponents to around 39 or so percent shooting from the field. If we would have had that type of performance last night on the road, we would have gotten out of there with a victory. So that’s just something whether you learn if you’re going to hang your hat on. If you’re a good defensive basketball team, you’re capable of getting stops. That’s got to be one of our mainstays if we want to be a top-tier type of team.”

On Jarell Martin’s aggressive offensive play…
“That’s just him. That’s what he’s been able to do in practice and again I think he’s getting his wheels under him. He’s getting his timing down, and I think everything is just kind of coming around to him now. Be it inside or outside, he’s knocking down shots. He’s capable of finding creases and getting to the basket. I think you’re seeing a lot of what’s part of his game. He’s continuing to grow as a player and showing what he’s capable of doing.”

On what he is seeing from Johnny O’Bryant III after a frustrating game…
“It was tough for him last night. In the first couple minutes of the game, he was whistled for two quick fouls with how aggressive the game was being played and more of the same in the second half. Johnny is an inside player and he only got one free throw up if I’m not mistaken. That’s kind of tough, and it can be frustrating for him to do anything from where he was sitting. He kept his teammates motivated and continued to talk. He was very vocal while he was there on the bench as well.”

On what he can do as a coach to take away some of the mental burden with a quick turnaround…
“Next game, the game we played yesterday is behind us. We’re getting ready for our next opponent and that’s Auburn. They’re a good basketball team, and that’s the biggest game on our schedule right now.”


SEC-TV Affiliates

Louisiana stations: Alexandria, KLAX-DT2; Baton Rouge, WBXH; Lafayette, KADN; Monroe-El Dorado, KARD; New Orleans. WNOL; Shreveport,  KMSS

LSU Sports Radio Network Affiliates

WDGL 98.1 FM, Baton Rouge; KSYL 970 AM, Alexandria; WBOX 92.9 FM, Bogalusa; KFNV 107.1 FM, Ferriday; KJIN 1490 AM/KCIL 96.7 FM, Houma; KJNA 102.7 FM, Jena; KLWB 103.7 FM, Lafayette; KXZZ 1580 AM, Lake Charles; KJAE 93.5 FM, Leesville; KMLB 540 AM, Monroe; KFRA 1390AM, Morgan City; KWLV 107.1 FM Natchitoches; WWL 870 AM/105.3 FM, New Orleans; KRUS 1490 AM, Ruston; KWKH 1130 AM, Shreveport; KTJZ 97.5 FM, Tallulah; WFCG 107.3 FM, Tylertown, MS; KVPI 1050 AM, Ville Platte




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