Bayou Bengal Briefing: LSU basketball coach Johnny Jones is as disappointed as you are about this season
Welcome to SEC Country’s daily morning column covering LSU football with LSU beat writer Nick Suss. Today, we discuss coaches who are disappointed, recruits set to be anointed, ankles that are disjointed and much, much more. Enjoy!
Keeping up with the Jones’ … anger
A lot of times, sportswriters such as myself are prone to hyperbole, especially after blowout losses. You’ll read things like “this team got crushed,” or “that team got annihilated,” or “the home team got flattened.” It’s all wordplay. Until it isn’t.
The LSU basketball team has reached a point where hyperbole is intersecting with reality. It’s no longer hyperbolic to say that LSU basketball coach Johnny Jones should be embarrassed by his team’s performance. Because he is. After LSU’s 106-71 blowout loss to Florida on Wednesday, Jones is disappointed and frustrated and perplexed and downright ashamed.
“We certainly owe our fans an apology tonight,” Jones said after the loss. “We did not represent those letters or those colors in the fashion that I think we’ve grown proud to represent night in and night out. We’ve got to figure this team out to put ourselves in position to be competitive and compete at a different level. We were not competitive tonight.”
It’s rare that you see that kind of candor out of a coach, especially after such a humbling loss. But Jones was direct. He gave Florida credit for scoring the points it did but also said that his defense has been poor all season and hasn’t improved. Then, he admitted that there’s a problem and said that his team hasn’t been competitive in recent games.
These are all things you know. If you’re an LSU basketball fan or just an LSU fan in general, you’d been disappointed in Jones long before the latest loss. But Wednesday was Jones’ night of admission.
Things haven’t been good. And that in itself needs to be fixed. Not taped over. Not worked around. But addressed and fixed.
Most of all, Jones said he didn’t want his players to take any positives out of the loss. None. He doesn’t want his players reading about the two things they did right to forget about the 20 things they did wrong.
So, I’ll make it easy on you, Johnny. Nothing went right Wednesday. There are no positives.
Actually, I take that back. There’s one positive.
We’ve gotten to a point where there’s no more denial. The coaches, the players, everyone is coming out and saying the team has hit rock bottom. And it’s from that kind of accountability, and that only, that the team can finally look at itself introspectively and try to improve.
It’s bad. It’s real bad. But at least everyone’s on the same page now.
Where in the world was Ed Orgeron?
Shifting gears to LSU football, National Signing Day is less than a week away, and LSU coach Ed Orgeron is making every last day count.
So, where was Orgeron on Wednesday? Well, among other places, he was visiting 3-star cornerback Amik Robertson.
— Amik Robertson (@_YoungTruth7) January 26, 2017
Ranked the No. 28 player in the state of Louisiana, Robertson is a Thibodaux native with offers from Texas, Houston and Oklahoma State, among others schools. Robertson just picked up his Texas offer Wednesday, which makes sense given that Texas coach Tom Herman had a pre-existing relationship with Robertson from when he was at Houston.
Robertson is expected to officially visit LSU this weekend. In the last two weekends, Robertson has visited Louisiana Tech and Houston.
LSU has one commitment from a true cornerback in this class in 4-star prospect Kary Vincent Jr. The Tigers also have commits in the form of early enrolled safeties JaCoby Stevens and Grant Delpit, as well as non early enrollee Jontre Kirklin.
Speaking of LSU football recruiting …
In case you’d somehow forgotten, 4-star running back Travis Etienne is expected to make his announcement as to where he’ll be going to college Thursday at 5 p.m. CT.
The Jennings, La., native is ranked as the No. 1 running back recruit in Louisiana this year, and the No. 8 overall prospect. He is expected to be choosing between LSU and Clemson but also has offers from everyone from Alabama to Oregon.
A 5-foot-11, 210-pounder, Etienne is the No. 16 running back in America, according to the 247 Sports composite. If he were to commit to LSU, he’d be joining Clyde Edwards-Helaire as the LSU football team’s only running back commits.
Are you sick of political news? Do you prefer LSU news? Well, you’re in luck. Here are stories you can read. Once you’re done with the Bayou Bengal Briefing, of course:
- Which LSU recruits are better than the stars indicate? Sam Spiegelman has the answers.
- LSU baseball season is right around the corner. Here are some of coach Paul Mainieri’s thoughts.
- USA Today ranked Matt Canada as the best offseason coordinator hire in college football.
- Tre’Davious White thinks he’s the best cornerback in this NFL Draft.
- One of LSU’s priority recruiting targets is taking advice from a likely source: his mother.
- LSU’s offensive line wasn’t just deceptively good last year. It was very good.
LSU football at the Senior Bowl
Here’s another ICYMI for you. On Wednesday, we broke down some of LSU’s top moments after one day of Senior Bowl practices. Here are some moments from Day 2:
First of all, White had another good day, but it ended poorly. White tweaked his ankle and walked off on his own power. The injury probably wasn’t serious, given that no one has commented on the severity since it went down.
But, before he got hurt, he was making plays like this one:
— FanSportsClips (@FanSportsClips) January 25, 2017
White wasn’t the only guy out there making plays. Here’s a clip of wide receiver Travin Dural showing off his athleticism:
— Steve Frederick (@SportsGuyTweets) January 25, 2017
But Wednesday also was a reunion day. Former LSU and current Auburn defensive coordinator Kevin Steele was in attendance and reunited with linebacker Duke Riley, who is wearing No. 0 for the week, just like Atlanta Falcons linebacker Deion Jones did last year.
— Jim Kleinpeter (@JimKleinpeter) January 25, 2017
And, finally, here’s a clip of center Ethan Pocic working out with the Cleveland Browns coaching staff. Pocic has worked at guard and center this week, and it wouldn’t be a shock to see him continue to play both up to and during the game on Saturday.
— Jim Kleinpeter (@JimKleinpeter) January 25, 2017
An ESPN ana-Les-t
Dutifully unemployed former LSU football coach Les Miles has signed on as a guest analyst for ESPN’s National Signing Day coverage next week.
Miles will be working alongside fellow former coaches Mike Bellotti and Mack Brown, as well as former players Joey Galloway and David Pollack.
Could this be a full-time gig for Miles? Probably not. Miles wants to be a coach. And he will be again next year, unless he proves more toxic than he should be.
But this is a good part-time gig. Heck, it’s a part-time gig most former coaches would probably kill to have the opportunity to do.
Still, if there’s anyone worth tuning in for next Wednesday, it’s Miles. Not only is he uniquely qualified to talk about this class of recruits since he recruited so many of them, but he’s also a hoot and a half to listen to speak.
Check him out. It’ll be worth it.
Getting back on track
Don’t worry. You’ll appreciate that pun in a second.
A core group of LSU football players are going to spend their springs juggling football with track. Rising junior cornerback Donte Jackson is the most notable of the group, but this is nothing new. Jackson’s speed is almost the stuff of legends, and he’s confident in his racing ability, even if he doesn’t practice track year-round.
But it’s looking like early enrolled freshman Mannie Netherly is going to join him.
— Emmanuel Netherly (@yovng_netherly) January 24, 2017
And Netherly isn’t the only one. LSU star wideout D.J. Chark wants to get in on the fun, albeit not in the sprinting world.
Wanna triple jump ?
— DJ Chark (@DJChark82) January 26, 2017
According to Athletic.net, Chark holds Alexandria High School records in the 100-meter, 200-meter and long jump events, all of which he set in 2013. The site doesn’t list any triple jump accolades, but it seems like a natural evolution for someone who was a gifted sprinter and leaper.
Now, here’s the real question: Does a triple jump count as a football move? Who knows? No one. No one knows. Not a single person will ever know what constitutes a football move.
But yeah, anyway, track is coming. If you’re the kind of person who gets excited about this, get excited.
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