Expectations are high for LSU and second-year coach Johnny Jones entering this season. The Tigers finished 19-12 last year and return some key veterans while also adding some significant pieces via their highly-touted recruiting class in the hopes of competing for an NCAA Tournament bid.
While incoming freshman wing Jordan Mickey was ruled a non-qualifer this week by the NCAA, LSU still boasts an impressive incoming recruiting class and a few of those pieces are already enrolled and practicing on the Baton Rouge campus.
McDonald’s All-American and 6’10 power forward Jarell Martin headlines the class and 6’6 point guard Tim Quarterman, 7-foot Australia native Darcy Malone and junior college transfer John Odo have also been on campus working with the team, according to The Advertiser.
Martin — who is expected to be paired in the frontcourt with junior Johnny O’Bryant — has already added 15 pounds, which he described to The Advertiser by saying, “it can be fat and lean combined together.”
Quarterman, meanwhile, has focused on point guard duties in drills and open gyms by working on his communication skills.
“At that position, you have to be,” Quarterman said to The Advertiser. “You got to tell people where to be at and what to do. You’ve got to communicate constantly on defense. You can’t be at that position and be quiet.”
Malone and Odo will give LSU additional depth in the frontcourt and Malone is already experiencing how physical major college basketball can be in the summer workouts.
“If there’s an open gym, I’m happy to call up Johnny and say, ‘Come bash me up in the post again,’ “ Malone said of O’Bryant and Odo. “Both those are really quite strong men, and it’s been great to say, ‘This is what I need to play like whenever I hit the floor.’”
Freshman forward Brian Bridgewater will also eventually join the Tigers and coupled with returning players like O’Bryant, junior Anthony Hickey, seniors Andre Stringer and Shavon Coleman and late-emerging sophomore Malik Morgan, LSU could have good depth at multiple positions in their attempt to make the NCAA Tournament.