LSU starting point guard Josh Gray will miss some time with an ankle injury that the junior suffered on Saturday in a win over Sam Houston State. The 6-foot-1 Gray landed awkwardly on his right ankle three minutes into the second half and did not return after being looked at by trainers.
The Tigers have a game against UAB on Thursday and if Gray is in a boot and on crutches it might be tough for him to be ready for that game. After that, LSU has three more non-conference games before SEC play begins with a Jan. 8 game at Missouri, so Gray will hopefully be healthy by then.
If Gray can’t go, the Tigers could promote sixth man Tim Quarterman from the bench, as the 6-foot-6 sophomore has played well this season off the bench. It would give LSU more size but less perimeter shooting and perimeter depth.
Gray is averaging 11.1 points, 4.7 assists and 3 rebounds per game this season while shooting 47 percent from the field and 44 percent from the three-point line. He can really fill it up from the perimeter, but he’s also averaging 3.7 turnovers per game and can get reckless with the ball.
Just five days after four-star big man Elbert Robinson announced that he would be an LSU Tiger head coach Johnny Jones received a fourth verbal commitment in the 2014 class, this one coming from 5-foot-11 point guard Jalyn Patterson according to multiple outlets. Patterson, a native of Alpharetta, Ga., joins Robinson and power forward/center Aaron Epps in LSU’s 2014 class.
Patterson currently attends Montverde Academy in Florida, and he announced his decision to attend LSU on the heels of his official visit to the school this weekend. Patterson’s three-pointer in the final seconds of the title game of the National High School Invitational back in April pushed Montverde past St. Benedict’s Prep, resulting in the Eagles finishing the season ranked atop both the ESPN and USA Today national polls.
That Montverde squad included guards Kasey Hill (Florida) and D’Angelo Russell (Ohio State verbal commitment), forward Ben Simmons (considered by many to be one of the top prospects in the 2015 class) and center Dakari Johnson (Kentucky). Kevin Boyle’s team finished the season with a 25-2 record. Patterson played with the Atlanta Celtics during the spring/summer.
With Andre Stringer (senior) and Anthony Hickey (junior) being upperclassmen, Patterson’s verbal commitment gives LSU some extra depth at the point guard position to go along with highly-regarded freshman Tim Quarterman. At the end of the 2013-14 season the Tigers stand to lose at least two scholarship players in Stringer and small forward Shavon Coleman.
Here are a few clips of Patterson in action with the Celtics.
There are high hopes for the LSU Tigers in 2013-14. Head coach Johnny Jones’ team may not be discussed in the same realm as Kentucky or Florida when it comes to competing for an SEC title, the Tigers certainly don’t lack for talent. With forward Johnny O’Bryant deciding to return for his junior season and talented newcomers such as Jarell Martin, Jordan Mickey and Tim Quarterman joining the program, LSU has the talent needed to return to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2009.
Can LSU turn back the clock to a time when they were consistently a factor within the SEC? That’s the hope, with Coach Jones’ entrance at the team’s “Bayou Madness” event influenced by the movie “Back to the Future”. Coach Jones arrived at the PMAC in a Delorean, and after exiting the vehicle opened up his lab coat to reveal an “old school” LSU jersey (Jones played at the school from 1981-84).
The original “Back to the Future” was released in July 1985, just months before the start of what would turn into a special season for LSU basketball. That team became the first 11-seed to reach the Final Four, beating Purdue, Memphis, Georgia Tech and Kentucky before falling to eventual national champion Louisville in the national semis.
LSU opens regular season play on November 12 at UMass in what should be a challenging contest, with dynamic point guard Chaz Williams leading the way for the Minutemen.