LSU announced today that sophomore point guard Anthony Hickey will be suspended indefinitely following violations of the athletic department and university policies.
“I know I have made mistakes and sometimes it takes mistakes in life to make you a better person,” Hickey said in a statement released by the LSU athletic department. “I’m not perfect and need to move forward and make better decisions. I know I have let my family down, my team down and LSU down. I will come out of this a much stronger individual. I pray to be back in my LSU uniform as soon as I can.”
Hickey, the 5-foot-11 starting point guard, was averaging 10.2 points, 5.2 assists, and 4.0 rebounds per game for the 5-o Tigers. LSU now loses a defensive presence in the backcourt, with Hickey leading the nation in steals at 4.4 per contest.
Head coach Johnny Jones said he will fully cooperate with the LSU Athletic Department regarding this suspension.
“There is a responsibility that comes with playing college basketball,” said Jones. “If a player doesn’t take care of his responsibilities, then he loses the privilege of being able to play. We look forward to continuing to focus on our upcoming game Tuesday and our three-game road trip that follows.”
The undefeated LSU team takes on Chattanogga on Tuesday, then hits the road for three games, ending with a match up against Marquette.
Randy Rosetta, of The Times Picayune speculated that his could be an academic-related issue, yet a university spokesperson said Hickey was suspended by the team and not the university. Rosetta also mentioned it is now becoming a habit for Hickey to be reprimanded by the team.
This is at least the third issue that has arisen with Hickey since the start of the season. He did not start the season opener or the fourth game of the season. Hickey said the punishment in both cases was for being late to mandatory study halls.
Freshman guard Corban Collins (2.2 points per game) has started the two games Hickey did not and will likely fill his role in the starting lineup.
Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne
Not only is Wyoming senior guard Josh Adams the lone returning starter from a team that won the Mountain West tournament last season, but he’s also one of college basketball’s best dunkers. And if anyone may have forgotten about his jumping ability, Adams put it on display Saturday during the Cowboys’ win over Montana State.
After splitting two Montana State players at the top of the key Adams attacked the basket, dunking with two hands over a late-arriving help-side defender. If you’re going to rotate over, have to do it quicker than that.
Video credit: Wyoming Athletics
Even with the coaching change from Fred Hoiberg to Steve Prohm, No. 4 Iowa State remains one of the nation’s best offensive teams. Given their skills on that end of the floor many teams find it tough to go score for score with the Cyclones, and that’s what happened to Illinois in Iowa State’s 84-73 win in the Emerald Coast Classic title game.
Georges Niang scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds, with Monté Morris adding 20, nine rebounds and six assists and Abdel Nader 18 points as the Cyclones moved to 5-0 on the season. The three-pointers weren’t falling in the second half, as Iowa State shot 0-f0r-12, but they shot 19-for-24 inside of the arc to pull away from a team that lost big man Mike Thorne Jr. late in the first half to a left knee injury.
Illinois’ loss of size in the paint opened things up offensively for Iowa State, and the Cyclones took advantage. But where this group grabbed control of the game was on the defensive end of the floor, and that will be the key for a team with Big 12 and national title aspirations.
Nader took on the responsibility of defending Illinois’ Malcolm Hill (20 points) in the second half and did a solid job of keeping the junior wing in check, with that serving as the spark to a 12-2 run that put the game away. There’s no denying that the Cyclones can put points on the board; most of the talent from last season is back and the productivity on that end of the floor hasn’t changed as a result. Niang’s one of the nation’s best forwards, and both Morris (who now ranks among the country’s best point guards) and Nader have taken significant strides in their respective games.
Iowa State will add Deonte Burton in December, giving them another option to call upon. Front court depth is a bit of a concern, as Iowa State can ill afford to lose a Niang or Jameel McKay, but there’s enough on the roster to compensate for that and force mismatches in other areas.
But the biggest question for this group is how effective they can become at stringing together stops. Illinois certainly had its moments in both halves Saturday night, but Iowa State also showed during the game’s decisive stretch that they can step up defensively. The key now is to do so consistently, and if that occurs the Cyclones can be a threat both within the Big 12 and nationally.