2/25/15 5:45 am CT
Good morning, Tiger Fans,
I’ve got lots of good stuff to share with you today, including the news of Coach Miles picking up a commitment from the nation’s top cornerback and Coach Johnny Jones’ basketball team coming away with a very impressive, much-ended win. But first, I’m happy to share with you a new Q&A I conducted with longtime broadcaster extraordinaire, Lyn Rollins, on the topic of LSU sports. In it, Lyn and I briefly touch on football before turning the focus to LSU baseball. My favorite part of the interview is Lyn’s five favorite things about LSU baseball, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy that, too. I hope you’ll give it a quick read and let me know your thoughts.
Touching Bases: DandyDon.com Catches Up with Lyn Rollins on LSU Sports, 2015
Now for the good news in football recruiting: LSU picked up a huge commitment yesterday from cornerback Saivion Smith (6-1, 175) of Bradenton, FL, who is widely regarded as the No. 1 cornerback in the country. According to reports, Smith informed the LSU staff of his commitment to LSU during last weekend’s Junior day event, which he attended with his parents, but waited to announce it on ESPNU yesterday. Just a few weeks ago, LSU landed three cornerbacks in the 2015 signing class – Kevin Toliver, Donté Jackson and Xavier Lewis - who Mike Detillier described as the best group of cornerbacks LSU ever signed, and with the addition of Smith in next year’s class, it’s clear to see that LSU’s DBU moniker is in no treat of fading anytime soon.
Something very interesting happened after Smith’s public commitment that has a lot of Tiger Fans even more excited. Just minutes after Smith’s announcement, quarterback target Dwayne Haskins of Potomac, MD (the big-time “pro-style” quarterback I mentioned last week) tweeted, “congrats brother. looking forward to playing with you. #GeauxTigers @Saivion3” Haskins hasn’t yet committed to LSU, but that tweet sure indicates that a commitment from him could be on the horizon.
Now turning to basketball…. The LSU men’s team avenged an earlier home loss by annihilating Auburn 84-61 to improve to 20-8 overall and 9-6 in SEC play. Jarell Martin once again led LSU’s offensive charge, and the bigger Tigers of purple and gold were able to dominate inside to earn the very impressive victory. The win was critical considering LSU can probably only afford to lose one more SEC regular season game, and this game was the easiest on paper when you look at Auburn’s losing record.
Martin led the Tigers with 25 points and 12 rebounds. Jalyn Patterson had an outstanding game and added a career-high 16 points and seven assists while Jordan Mickey contributed 14 points, four rebounds and three blocks. Keith Hornsby chipped in 13 points, and Tim Quarterman and Josh Gray added 8 and 6 points, respectively. For the game, the Tigers shot 57.8% from the field (37-64), 33.3% from the 3-point line (7-21) and 37.5% from the free-throw line (3-8) while holding Auburn to 37.7% shooting from the field (20-53). LSU out-rebounded the home Tigers 36-29 and committed 11 turnovers while forcing 16. Overall, it was the Tigers most complete performance of the season, and if the Tigers can continue that kind of play it could make for an exciting post-season.
Here are the game’s video highlights, and here’s a quick recap of how it played out: LSU led 41-34 at halftime, but Auburn kept within striking distance early in the second half before the purple and gold Tigers went on a 15-0 run to lead 64-46. Auburn never got closer than 16 the rest of the way.
LSU must now turn their focus to Ole Miss, who is certainly no pushover. Although the Tigers won in Oxford earlier this season, Ole Miss is a formidable opponent (19-8, 10-4 SEC) and LSU has struggled in many home games this season. The game against the Rebels is this Saturday at 1 pm and will be televised on the Fox Sports Network while the radio broadcast will be available on 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge.
In baseball news, the second-ranked LSU Tigers (6-1) will play host to Southeastern Louisiana (5-3) at 6:30 p.m. CT tonight in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field. (Update 8:30 a.m.: The Game has been rescheduled for tomorrow at 6:30 because of rain.) The game can be viewed live online on SEC Network +, accessible at SECNetwork.com and the Watch ESPN app, with Lyn Rollins and Ben McDonald on the call. Knowing that Southeastern is an in-state foe, some might assume that this game should be an easy win, but it would be a mistake to think that way. For starters, LSU learned last week that nothing can be assumed when they lost to Nicholls State. Secondly, Southeastern has a very solid baseball program which advanced to the Baton Rouge NCAA Regional last year and played LSU very competitively in the Tigers’ 8-4 win. Coach Paul Mainieri has announced that freshman right-hander Doug Norman (0-1, 7.71 ERA, 4.2 IP, 0 BB, 3 SO) will once again get the start for the Tigers, while Southeastern will counter junior left-hander Domenick Carlini (0-0, 3.00 ERA, 6.0 IP, 2 BB, 11 SO).
Reminder in closing: If you haven’t already done so and you have a few more minutes to spare, give my Q&A with Lyn Rollins a read. Lyn is a class act and I’m sure you’ll appreciate what he has to say.