NCAA Baseball Championships:
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2/10/14 5:50 am CT
Good morning, Tiger Fans, I hope you all had a great weekend.
As promised, today we’ll begin a five-part series in which we’ll profile the top-five vote-getters in last week’s poll, which asked: “Which incoming LSU football signee(s) will make the biggest impact in the 2014 season?” With over 16,600 votes cast, the fan favorites to contribute early are 1. RB Leonard Fournette (33.67%); 2. WR Malachi Dupré (11.23%); 3. WR Trey Quinn (10.46%); 4. LB Clifton Garrett (9.32%); and 5. S Jamal Adams (7.74%). We’ll start the series today by telling you (and showing you) what makes No. 5, Adams, such a special prospect. Here we go…
Safety, 6-0, 200, Hebron High School (Texas)â€¨
(5th in our poll with 7.74% of the votes)
Jamal Adams is a triple threat at the safety position. His instincts help him read quarterback’s tendencies, his acceleration and great pursuit creates interception opportunities, and his burst and explosion out of his pedal makes him a force as a run stopper. And that’s not all Adams can do.
Check out Adams’ video highlights in our Media Gallery and you’ll notice early on that he is a threat with the ball in his hands. Adams’ excellent vision and slick cuts could help him resemble past defensive back greats in the return game like Patrick Peterson or Tyrann Mathieu.
Next on the video, you’ll witness Adams’ closing speed. By reading the quarterback’s eyes and feeling routes develop underneath him, the 6-0, 204-pound safety from Texas’ Hebron High School will plant his feet and drive toward the ball, either disrupting the pass or picking the ball off. With this ability, Adams could become a victim of one of football’s oldest cliches—a ball hawking safety. Nonetheless, this is probably Adams’ best attribute.
Last but not least, Adams’ run pursuit makes him an ideal safety. Like past LSU greats LaRon Landry and Eric Reid, Adams introduces himself to opposing running backs with a physical nature. He has a knack for cutting backs down at the line, and most importantly, he brings his hands and wraps them up after the initial blow.
Adams’ mix of run defense and coverage ability makes him a versatile safety and a contender for instant playing time as a safety, further adding depth to DBU. That and the fact that he’s an elusive returner suggest he’ll have an immediate impact on the field. The Tigers will need a new man leading the charge at safety with Craig Loston graduating, and although Adams will have prime competition with players returning and Devin Voorhies, Ed Paris and John Battle joining him in the 2014 signing class, he’s more than capable of winning the competition this fall. As Les Miles has shown over the years with Mathieu, Reid, Jalen Mills, Tre’Davious White and Rashard Robinson, being a true freshman won’t necessarily prevent Adams from contributing in a big way.
Stay tuned, Tiger Fans, as tomorrow we’ll continue this series by looking at linebacker Clifton Garrett.
One more football tid-bit: While you’re in our Media Gallery to check out Adams’ highlight video, be sure to check out the newest one by LesMiles.net called, “2013 Offense Highlights.”
In men’s basketball news, I regret having to pass along some bad news about sophomore Malik Morgan. According to Matthew Harris of the Advocate, Morgan’s mother has confirmed that the injury he suffered Saturday against Auburn resulted in a torn patellar tendon (knee) and that he will be out for the remainder of the season. From what I understand, rehabilitation for that type of injury takes at least six months.
In women’s basketball news, LSU’s 16th ranked Lady Tigers lost on the road to the 19th ranked Texas A&M Aggies, 72-67. LSU wasn’t able to muster much offense in the first half and never led in the second, but were down by only one with a minute to play. With 54 seconds remaining, the Aggies made a layup to go up by three and then made a pair of free throws down the stretch after a missed jumper by Jeanne Kenny to secure the win. The Lady Tigers were led in scoring by Danielle Ballard who turned in a great performance with 22 points, nine rebounds and four assists. The Lady Tigers will return to action Sunday at the PMAC against SEC leading South Carolina.
In softball news, the 17th ranked Tiger team closed out the 2014 Tiger Classic yesterday with a 8-1 win over the Central Arkansas Bears. The game featured the first home runs of the season from Bianka Bell and Sahvannah Jaquish and 13 strikeouts from freshman pitcher Kelsee Selman for her first win of the season. LSU (4-2) has now won four-straight dating back to Friday night’s win over SIU Edwardsville. The Tigers will be back in action this coming weekend, hosting Penn State, George Washington and Northwestern in the 2014 Tiger Invitational.
Reader Comments: Reader comments: Scott, this article lists LSU’s 2014 walk-ons. As you already know, Brandon Bergeron is on the list, as well as a few others.
2/9/14 6:10 am CT
Good morning, Tiger Fans,
The LSU men’s basketball team came away with a much-needed win over Auburn yesterday, 87-80, at the PMAC. After dropping a disappointing road game to Georgia, LSU came out a bit flat and allowed Auburn to jump out to a quick 11-3 lead. While LSU struggled from the field early (Tigers would finish the half with a 48 percent shooting percentage), Jarrell Martin supplied the offense for the Tigers and was the driving force behind a 15-4 run which gave LSU a short-lived first half lead. After trading the lead back to Auburn, LSU found themselves trailing 33-32 at the break.
The second half featured a veteran scorer getting back to his explosive scoring ways, as Anthony Hickey followed up his nine-point performance against Georgia with a 17-point outing. Hickey aided a 12-2 LSU run that gave the Tigers an early second half lead they never relinquished. Following a double-digit lead by LSU for most of the second half, Auburn battled back within five following some poor LSU free throw shooting and back-to-back LSU turnovers. Auburn failed to capitalize though, and Stringer’s two free throws with 40 seconds remaining allowed the Tigers enough space (82-75) to complete the win.
LSU needed to avoid another crushing defeat for its NCAA tournament résumé, and with five players scoring in double figures the Tigers were able to do just that. Johnny O’Bryant led the Tigers in scoring with 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Jordan Mickey also posted a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Andre Stringer had a big night with 18 points and seven assists. Jarrell Martin added 11 points.
The Tigers will look to knock the monkey off of their backs with their first road victory since Jan. 11 this Wednesday against Texas A&M. The game is slated for an 8 p.m. tip on CSS/CST.
One more basketball note: Malik Morgan injured his right knee late in the game and it looked pretty serious. Coach Jones said in his post-game presser that Morgan would be reevaluated at the start of the week, but it doesn’t look good. Here’s wishing the sophomore guard a quick and full recovery.
In football news, it appears that a few candidates have emerged as potential hires for the recently vacated special teams coaching position at LSU. According to nola.com, assistant coaches Mike Haywood and Bradley Dale Peveto, and Louisiana Tech defensive coordinator Manny Diaz are all under consideration for the job. Rather than giving you the scoop on each candidate here, I’ll just direct you to this fine article by Jim Kleinpeter that gives a brief bio on each of them.
I don’t know about you, but I’m really starting to get pumped about the upcoming LSU baseball season. The more I look at who the team returns, and the talented group of newcomers who will be filling holes in the pitching staff and infield, the better I feel about LSU’s chances of returning to Omaha. Yesterday I promised that I would introduce you to a few of the newcomers expected to make a big splash this year, so here we go…
Left-Handed Pitcher, 6-1, 204, FR
Someone Tiger fans will come to know quickly is freshman lefty Jared Poché. The Louisiana 2013 Mr. Baseball and Gatorade Player of the Year is one of three pitchers battling for the two weekend spots behind Friday night starter Aaron Nola. The other two are Cody Glenn and Kyle Bowman. Poché has great poise for a true freshman and throws a fastball in the 90-92 mph range. He also throws a very hard-to-hit 12-to-6 curveball and has great command.
Left-Handed Pitcher, 5-11, 221, JR
Bouman is an experienced three-pitch lefty who comes to LSU from Jefferson County CC where he had a 1.7 ERA and 53 strikeouts last season. Before that, he played his freshman year at Wichita State. According to this article, Bouman got into some alcohol-related trouble that cost him his baseball scholarship at Wichita State, but since then has matured a lot and has turned things around. At JCCC, Bouman was not only their No. 1 pitcher, he was also an excellent student who earned a 4.0 average his first semester. Coach Paul Mainieri recently stated that Bouman will start next Saturday’s game at UNO, while Poché will get the start Sunday. Glenn will get the start Wednesday at Southeastern.
Right-Handed Pitcher, 6-0, 160, JR
Domangue comes to LSU with an impressive 14-2 record and 1.34 ERA at LSU-Eunice where he was perhaps the most successful pitcher in the school’s history. He throws a sinking fastball that sits in the upper 80s to low 90s, and has a strong breaking ball that he uses as his “out pitch.” Domangue struggled a bit early on in preseason scrimmages, but Coach Maineri has since said that he is improving and throwing fearlessly with a bulldog mentality. Domangue is the favorite to fill Chris Cotton’s closer role.
Second Baseman, 6-2, 191, JR
Hale, along with Danny Zardon, is one of two candidates to fill Jacoby Jones' void at second base. The Junior college transfer from State College of Florida appears to have the advantage over true freshman Zardon at this time because of experience. Hale comes to LSU from State College of Florida (JUCO) where he was the Suncoast Conference Player of the Year in 2013, hitting .366 and batting in 65.
Second Baseman, 6-1, 182, FR
Zardon is a true freshman from American Heritage High School in Pembroke Pines, Florida, with lots of potential at the plate and as an infielder. Coach Maineri is not rushing Zardon's development, but from talks around the club, Zardon looks to be a future star. When I spoke to Cody Glenn during Media Day, he told me that Zardon has been a tough out, often battling back in the pitch count like Alex Bregman. I think that type of comparisons says a lot about the young man.
In closing, I want to remind you that tomorrow (Monday) we’ll begin a five-day series in which we’ll take a closer look at the top-five vote getters in my survey asking, “Which incoming LSU football signee(s) will make the biggest impact in the 2014 season?” Obviously, one of those five will be running back Leonard Fournette who was the No. 1 ranked player in the entire country for the class of 2014. On a related note, I want to point out that LSU stands a very good chance of landing the most highly rated player in the country again next year as LSU commit Kevin Toliver (CB, 6-2, 185, Jacksonville, FL) was recently ranked No. 1 in 247’s Composite Rankings.
I’ll leave you today with a couple of good reads to go along with your Sunday morning coffee, both of which are about LSU’s outstanding 2014 recruiting class:
• LSU’s signing class could pay significant early dividends
• Grading LSU's recruiting class | Defenseâ€¨â€¨
2/8/14 5:55 am CT
Good morning, Tiger Fans,
First, I want to thank all of you who have already voted in our poll asking, “Which incoming LSU football signee(s) will make the biggest impact in the 2014 season?” With more than 11,000 votes already cast, it’s clear to see who the top vote getter will be, but I’ll go ahead and keep the poll open for another day or two, and then we’ll take an in-depth look at the top-five vote getters and what makes each so promising.
It’s hard to believe that in just one week from today we’ll be discussing the outcome of LSU’s first baseball game of the season as things get underway Friday with a 7 p.m. contest against UNO at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field. Although the Tigers lost several key contributors from last year’s team, including Mason Katz, Raph Rhymes, JaCoby Jones and Chris Cotton, high expectations remain for the 2014 Tigers with players like Aaron Nola, Alex Bregman, Christian Ibarra, Sean McMullen, Cody Glenn, Chris Sciambra, Andrew Stevenson, Mark Laird, Tyler Moore, Jared Foster and others returning. Many of those names were unfamiliar to Tiger Fans before the start of last season, and this season there will surely be many more names to learn as several newcomers are expected to make a big impact this season. In tomorrow’s report, I’ll introduce to you five newcomers that I’m expecting big things from this year - pitchers Jared Poché, Kyle Bouman and Brady Domangue, and infielders Connor Hale and Danny Zardon.
If you live in the Baton Rouge area and want to get an early look at the 2014 baseball team, you can head out to the Box and watch them scrimmage this weekend. Today the team will scrimmage at 4 p.m. and tomorrow (Sunday) they’ll do it again at 2 p.m. All scrimmages are open to the public.
Whether you live in the area or not, there will be ample opportunity to see the Tigers play this year, as 27 of LSU’s 56 regular-season baseball games will be televised by national and regional networks. In addition, LSUsports.net will again offer live streaming HD-quality video in the Geaux Zone of the 31 home games that are not included in the SEC’s network television package. Members also have access to condensed games (less than 30 minutes) and full-game replays, as well as game highlights posted toLSUsports.net. Geaux Zone subscribers who purchase the LSU Sports Mobile for iPad app ($7.99) or upgrade the LSU Sports Mobile for iPhone or Android apps ($2.99) will also have access to these 31 live video streams on their iPads, iPhone or Android devices. Yesterday I edited our LSU Baseball Schedule to indicate which games will be televised. Don’t be surprised to see several more games added to the TV schedule during the season as SEC schools are free to negotiate individual deals with networks in their respective regions.
Turning to football, I’m eager to get an early look at the Tigers when they begin Spring Football Practice on March 7. It seems to me that the 2014 team has all the ingredients needed to be a very special team, with the possible exception of a proven, experienced quarteraback. The good news is that offensive coordinator and quarterbakcs coach Cam Cameron has plenty of talented quarterbacks on the roster, including incoming freshman Brandon Harris who is one of two early enrollees from this year’s class (along with DB Ed Paris) who will get to particpate in spring practice.
The team will practice a total of 15 times between the 7th and April 5, including the National L-Club Spring Game in Tiger Stadium on April 5. I plan on making it out to practice at least once a week during that time so that I can shoot some video to share with you all, and I hope that a large number of you will attend the Spring Game on April 5th and then take in a baseball game while on campus. LSU will be hosting Mississippi State that same weekend.
In other football news, a total of 11 LSU football players have received an invitation to compete in the annual NFL Combine which will be held Feb. 22-25 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Below is the official release on the combine and the players invited, as provided by LSU’s Sports Information Department:
11 LSU TIGERS INVITED NFL COMBINE
BATON ROUGE – A total of 11 LSU football players have received an invitation to compete in the annual NFL Combine which will be held Feb. 22-25 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
The NFL Combine will be televised live each day on the NFL Network and streamed on the internet at NFL.com/combine. The combine will put 300 college players through a series of drills, tests, workouts and interviews in what is basically a job interview with potential NFL teams.
The list of Tigers taking part in the NFL Combine include seven offensive players (QB Zach Mettenberger, RB Jeremy Hill, RB Alfred Blue, WR Odell Beckham Jr., WR Jarvis Landry, OG Trai Turner) and four defensive players (DT Ego Ferguson, DT Anthony Johnson, LB Lamin Barrow, S Craig Loston).
Players will be put through a series of tests, including the much-publicized 40-yard dash and the 225-pound bench press. They will also be measured in the vertical jump, the broad jump, the 3-cone drill and the shuttle run.
Once that testing is done, then players will be put through a variety of positional workouts which will simulate the types of drills done during a typical NFL practice.
Off the field, players go through interviews with each NFL team that can cover any subject as the teams try to determine if a player is ready for the NFL.
Following the NFL Combine, the 11 Tigers will then get ready for LSU’s Pro Day, which will be held in April with the NFL Draft to follow on May 8-10 in New York City.
In basketball news, LSU’s road loss to Georgia Thursday night created a near must-win situation for the men’s team today when they take on Auburn (11-9, 3-6) at 3 p.m. on SEC TV. The good news for LSU is that the game will be played at home, where the Tigers have won all but one conference game. In order to secure a victory, LSU will have to play aggressively without getting into foul trouble. That goes double for Johnny O’Bryant who spent most of Thursday’s contest against Georgia on the bench. The Tigers will also have to stop the backcourt scoring frenzy of two Auburn Tigers. Senior guard Chris Denson has averaged 25 points per game in his last three outings, while junior guard KT Harrell scored 21.3 points per game in his last three performances. Because of their scoring prowess, Auburn has won its last three SEC outings after being held winless in conference play. The advantage lies where it normally does for LSU, and that’s on the interior. With dominant post play, avoiding ill-advised fouls and great hustle, LSU should win and keep its tournament chances alive. Look for a full report on the game’s outcome in my morning update.
This web site is not officially affiliated with Louisiana State University. Opinions expressed herein are the property of Donald Long, Scott Long and friends, not Louisiana State University.