LSU Basketball Coach Johnny Jones has hit the ground running since he was named LSU's coach in April. His first order of business was to beat the bushes and find some capable players for next year's basketball team.
Jones held onto the commitment of star shooting guard Malik Morgan and then added two more guards in Shane Hammink and Corban Collins. He also added junior college swing man Shavon Coleman and junior college forward Calvin Godfrey. Unfortunately, Godfrey didn't make it academically so he won't be on the team. But with such little time to work with, Jones did a great job of bringing in several players that can contribute at the SEC level. And even though LSU's team might not be ready to win big in 2012/13, these new players will get plenty of experience, which will serve the program well in the very near future.
Last year's class was one of transition and could be described as a "scramble" by Jones and his staff. Jones really wants to make his hay in the Class of 2013 and is selling it as the one that will turn around the program. He's off to a fast start. He has already added a pair of junior college big men as verbal commitments in John Odoh and Australian Deng Deng (not a typo, that's his actual name). These JUCO forwards should join Johnny O'Bryant in 2013 to help balance out the roster a bit. By then, the guards signed in 2012 will have a year of experience under their belt and that team could be a good one.
LSU also added Charles Carmouche, a senior transfer guard from Memphis who can contribute right away.
Last week, Jones really made his mark on the Class of 2013, adding commitments from two highly recruited players from the high school ranks. First is Jordan Mickey, a 6'7" 210 pound forward from Dallas, TX. Mickey looks comfortable facing the basket and might even be able to play some "three" at the college level if his outside shot continues to develop. Mickey is rated by Rivals.com as the #38 player in the nation while 247 Sports rates Mickey as the #28 player in the nation. Mickey is the younger brother of LSU wide receiver James Wright.
Jones also landed Tim Quarterman, a 6'5" point guard from Savannah, GA. Though primarily a point guard, Quarterman can play anywhere on the outside. Rivals.com rates Quarterman as the #63 player in the nation and 247 Sports has him at #77.
Any article you find about both Mickey and Quarterman rave about their athleticism. That seems like a perfect fit for the up and down style of play that we're expecting to see from Johnny Jones.
The big prize for the Class of 2013 continues to be Baton Rouge forward Jarell Martin, a 6'9" 220 pound post player who Rivals.com rates as the #10 player in the entire country. LSU is in the mix for Martin, though they probably trail Louisville at this point. Martin would give LSU the kind of recruiting coup that we haven't seen since the likes of Stromile Swift, Brandon Bass, or Glen Davis.
Since April, Johnny Jones has done more quality recruiting than Trent Johnson did in four years at LSU. That's no exaggeration either. Jones has gone out and added eight players to the program, though some of which are admittedly in the form of verbal, non-binding commitments. Even though they have yet to play a game in the PMAC, I'd venture to say that all look like quality players too. There is no Ben Voogd or Garrett Green in the bunch.
To warrant a post about hoops recruiting at the beginning of October says all you need to know about the job Johnny Jones is doing so far. The best way to put it is that I'm excited about the future of LSU hoops again because the leader of the program is even more excited about being here.