#45 LSU Men's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview

LSU Tigers

2013-2014 Overall Rank: #45
Conference Rank:  #6 SEC

LSU Team Page#45 LSU Men's Basketball 2013-2014 PreviewBuy LSU Basketball Tickets

LSU’s basketball program will look to improve a lot this season in coach Johnny Jones’ second season as head coach.  The LSU alum led the Tigers to a respectable .500 conference record last year.  After finishing 8th in the SEC, LSU is a team that could jump up a few spots in the conference standings this year.  They return a lot of key components, namely forward Johnny O’Bryant III.  Jones is starting to get his players integrated into the program, which will hopefully add some talent on the floor.  Eclipsing 20 wins would be a huge boon for the Tigers.

2012-2013 record:  19-12, 9-9
2012-2013 postseason:  None
Coach:  Johnny Jones
Coach Record:  19-12 at LSU, 224-174 overall

Who’s Out:
The good thing for LSU is that they only lose one starter.  Guard Charles Carmouche is the only departed player from the starting rotation.  They will certainly miss his experience and valuable minutes.   The exodus really came on the bench for the Tigers.  They lost three contributors from their rotation slots.  Jalen Courtney, Andrew Del Piero, and Corban Collins have all moved on.  None were considered impact performers, but they all played in the majority of the games last season.  That experience is difficult to replace.  Collins was their best three-point shooter, so that will hurt them a bit.

Who’s In:
This is where Jones is going to prove he was the man for the job.  Jones has a five-man recruiting class coming in that is consistently ranked in the top-10 for 2013 across recruiting sites.  His prized recruit is 6’7” Jarell Martin, a five-star power forward.  Martin is a local kid who is a top-five player at his position.  Alongside Martin is Jordan Mickey, a four-star power forward.  Ideally, Jones will be able to use both players at some point this season or in the future.  The blocks would be secured.  They also add Tim Quarterman, a talented point guard.  They get a center to replace Del Piero in Darcy Malone, a seven-foot Australian and a junior college transfer in John Odo.

Who to Watch:
Johnny O’Bryant III is the most talented veteran Jones has on the roster.  He led the team in scoring and rebounds last season.  The whole game plan will flow through him.  But Anthony Hickey will be the guy to keep the machine running.  The junior averaged the most minutes per game last season.  He will have to make good decisions night in and night out.  He will also need to nurture these new guys coming into the fold.  At least a couple of them are sure to play.  He is a defensive machine that will lead by example.  He averaged nearly three steals per game and led the conference.   He will be a tough matchup for opposing guards with an offensive mindset.

Final Projection:
The jury is still out on whether or not LSU is going to take a step forward this season.  It is only Jones’ second year, so patience is a necessity.  Still, last season they displayed toughness and grit that Jones has instilled in his players.   They will just need to put together some solid win streaks.  Last season was a bit of a roller coaster in that regard.  If their free throw shooting improves even five percent, they will be better.  They were fifth worst in the country in that category last season.  They are not going to match Kentucky or probably even Florida, but if their vets can take a huge step forward they can vie for a top-5 or 6 seed in the SEC tournament.  Not to mention, they would certainly have a great shot at making the NCAA’s.  O’Bryant should have a stellar season.  That can only help their cause.  The Tigers might still be a rung below the top teams in the conference, but Jones has them going the right way.

Projected Postseason Tournament:  NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Johnny O’Bryant III, Junior, Forward, 13.6 points per game
Anthony Hickey, Junior, Guard, 11.2 points per game
Shavon Coleman, Senior, Forward, 10.5 points per game
Andre Stringer, Senior, Guard, 10.4 points per game
Malik Morgan, Sophomore, Guard, 5.3 points per game

By the numbers:
Scoring Offense: 70.8 (86th in nation, 6th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 69.0 (234, 13)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.8 (194, 8)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.1 (140, 10)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.5 (50, 3)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 35.6 (93, 4)
Free-Throw Percentage: 62.5 (331, 14)
Rebound Margin: -0.5 (194, 9)
Assists Per Game: 14.3 (78, 3)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.4 (250, 11)

Madness 2013 Men’s Basketball Recruiting:
#15 Jarell Martin
#41 Jordan Mickey
#79 Tim Quarterman


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