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Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
When Coach Jones hits the recruiting trail, he is looking for a certain type of player. The irony of that specific player is their unspecificity. Jones loves taking guys who are not strictly a single position player. LSU will constantly have a roster filled with Combo Guards and Stretch Forwards, and this year’s roster is the epitome of that ideology.

Just look at the roster. Every guard LSU has on their roster could play point guard. They can each also play off guard. LSU’s post players all like to stretch the court. Seven foot center, Darcy Malone, led the team in three point percentage last season and projected starter at center Elbert Robinson constantly praises being a “basketball player not a post player”. It is a recruiting philosophy that Coach Jones has committed to in order to create mismatches against any team with a weakness.

LSU loses 62% of their minutes from last year’s roster, but don’t expect that to hinder these Tigers expectations. LSU has some impressive athletes waiting for their chances to shine. LSU will be bringing in a new point guard, shooting guard, and center, each coming in as exceptional athletes and ready to contribute immediately.

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On the first day of practice, Coach Jones first team consisted of Gray, Hornsby, Quarterman, Martin, and Mickey. While that is a possible lineup at times this year, I expect the starting lineup to be:

1. Josh Gray
2. Keith Hornsby
3. Jarell Martin
4. Jordan Mickey
5. Elbert Robinson


Projected rotation:

1. Gray (30) – Quarterman (8) – Patterson (2)
2. Hornsby (27) – Quarterman (10) – Patterson (3)
3. Martin (23) – Hornsby (7) – Epps (7) – Quarterman (3)
4. Mickey (23) – Martin (9) – Epps (6) – Bridgewater (2)
5. Robinson (22) – Mickey (10) – Malone (5) – Odo (3)


With a month until the season opener, there is still plenty of time for things to change, especially with the combo players LSU has on their roster. In fact, yesterday, Coach Jones spoke highly of Jalyn Patterson’s ability to shoot and get to the lane citing him as a player who has come in ready to play. Especially with a less than difficult out of conference schedule, expect LSU’s rotation to start the season much bigger than it will be by SEC play. I’d imagine a 7-8 person rotation by SEC play.

While I think Robinson will get his fair shot to be the starting center, he could be pushed by the emergence of Malone, Odo, or a viable backup 3 (moving Martin and Mickey down a spot). Even more interesting would be if Patterson is able to be a viable option at either guard spot. That could move minutes from Quarterman and Hornsby at the two spot to the three spot (once again dropping Martin and Mickey down low).

These scenarios are a prime example of why Coach Jones puts so much stock in players who can play multiple positions. Being able to move players around to different positions allow for him to play whoever emerges from the pack, and while 5 or 6 of those guys have locked up some significant minutes, there are still another 5 guys who are going to push for court time.

Geaux Tigers.


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Filed Under: LSU Basketball

Comments

13 Comments
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wesman21111 months
Great stuff!
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SouthOfSouth112 months
I agree that not having a go-to post player will change the way we play offense a lot. Sometimes in a positive way, sometimes in a negative way. I'd expect us to play a higher tempo, but when Robinson is in, we may have to play a little slower.

If we could go 10 deep, then we would be up tempo all game, but I don't see us playing more than 7 or so by SEC time. That could slow us down.
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jptiger2009112 months
The rotation may be the hardest thing for you (or anyone else) to project this season.

I loved JOB III, but I think that not having the "go-to" post player is going to be a benefit this season. I mean, who do you double/triple team on this team? You can't...

SOS, how about tempo of this team v/s last season? Do you see it increasing or decreasing. One thing is for sure, I expect less TOs with Hickey gone.
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Ignignot112 months
good writeup dude
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SouthOfSouth112 months
I haven't heard much on Darcy Malone this fall. I'm hoping he has worked on defending without fouling cause that's really where he struggled last year.

Also, Coach Jones has moved Epps to the 3 position so I doubt he really works a lot at the 5 spot. Elbert getting 22 min per game may be a little high, but if he can handle the endurance portion, I see it happening by necessity.
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Scrowe112 months
South, how is Darcy looking so far, any significant improvements for us to look for from him?
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HSHoopscoach112 months

No way Elbert gets majority minutes at center his freshman year.

Not saying he won't be good, nor am I saying he wont contribute. But you got a team ready to run here. a freshman who just isn't physically ready to step in at the hardest position there is for freshman to have an impact.

Bridgewater at the three.

Epps at the 4 or 5

Quarterman at the 3

the whole world plays small ball for half a game anyways
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SouthOfSouth112 months
Tom, I agree. I think we see a good bit of it. Jones has wanted to make Q an off guard since midway thru last season and I think we will see him at the 3 a good bit. If Jalyn can give decent minutes, I could see a lot of 3 guard sets. Otherwise, we may not have enough bodies to play 3 guards very often.
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Tom Bronco112 months
I love the three guard lineup. The guards are big enough to help board if necessary and it gives us a ton of offense, shooting and players flying down the court and dunking on the break.
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oauron112 months
Bridgewater has a chance to play a big role, but I can't imagine he'll get time over Epps who is also a 3/4.
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Hiphopanonymous112 months
Can't wait! This is gonna be an exciting team.
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SouthOfSouth112 months
I just don't see him being a major contributor. I'm obviously hoping to get as much bench help as we can get, but only time will tell.
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T-mart57112 months
I thought bridgewater was suppose to play a big roll this year.
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