Brady Enjoys Bud A Bunch

FAYETTEVILLE – LSU's John Brady is the Southeastern Conference coach Arkansas fans most love to hate.

They made that loud and clear before Saturday's tip-off and throughout the Hogs' 65-62 win.

The disdain for Brady dates back to former Arkansas coach Nolan Richardson, who referred to him as a "fly by night coach" after Brady's first LSU team knocked off the Hogs.

The animated, passionate Brady also enraged Hogs fans when during the 2003 Southeastern Conference Tournament, he engaged in what appeared to be a shouting match with then-Arkansas freshman Eric  Ferguson.

The next season, Ferguson apologized to Brady and Brady called Arkansas coach Stan Heath to brag on Ferguson's action.

It seemed all the 20,273 fans on hand Saturday booed Brady when he walked onto the Bud Walton Arena floor three minutes before tip-off.

Brady, in his eighth season at LSU, actually seemed to enjoy it, reacting with something between a smirk and a grin.

"I hope it's a little respect they have for what we've been able to do here," Brady said. "You know, before we came as a coaching staff, LSU had never beat Arkansas up here. And we've been able to beat them a few times up here and had some really good games."

He also was booed loudly after his name was announced.

Brady's reaction?

He stood, hands in pockets, and stared into the crowd behind the visitors' bench.

During the game, Arkansas fans, especially the students in the Hog Trough, stayed on Brady, particularly when he protested calls. And the students had special signs for him:

"Don't Be Such A Cry-Brady!"

"This Is A Sign Of Disrespect!"

Said Brady: "You know, when coach Richardson made that comment about me, it has just kind of taken off.

"We had that little thing when (Arkansas coach) Stan (Heath) first came here about our players and somehow with Eric Ferguson, and I never had a beef with any of those guys.

"It just kind of gets (to be) more than it really is. And fans love that sort of thing.

"Hey, if I motivate ‘em to have the sixth-largest crowd in the history of the arena, it's good for the SEC, it's good for basketball in our league."

Full House

Saturday's announced attendance of 20,273 was, indeed, the sixth-most to watch a game in Bud Walton Arena, which opened in 1993.

Colorful Guards

The color guards for Saturday's game consisted of members of the Northwest Arkansas Historical Association.

They were decked out in Civil War-era blue Union uniforms, complete with muskets and swords.

Up Townes

Arkansas freshman center Darian Townes had his best day as a rebounder against LSU, snatching 9.

His previous high was 7 against Prairie View A&M on Dec. 16.

Townes also scored 14 points and had 2 blocks and 2 steals and just 1 turnover.


Arkansas was whistled for 20 fouls compared to LSU's 13.

When Arkansas guard Ronnie Brewer picked up his fourth on questionable charging call with 8:37 left, Heath jumped up and down and waved his arms as the crowd went nuts.

Subdued in the first half despite several calls that drew the ire of Arkansas fans, Heath spent a good bit of the second half shaking his head and rolling his eyes at the many close calls.

Last time these teams played, of course, a Mike Jones 3-pointer that would've been a game-winner for Arkansas at LSU was reversed to a 2 and the Tigers went on to win 66-63 in overtime on Jan. 19.

Tom Eades was the lead official in that game and was scheduled to work this one. But the SEC wisely pulled him off.

Free Throws

Arkansas has now made 70 percent or better from the free-throw line in five of its last six games.

Not coincidentally, the Hogs have won four of those.

Saturday, Arkansas nailed 16 of 17 (94.1 percent).

"I'm just so proud of my teammates for stepping up and knocking down those 1-and-1's," said Arkansas guard Jonathon  Modica, who had the only miss (1 of 2). "Man, that was crucial."

Said Heath: "Rebounding was a key, and then to step up to the free-throw line and go 16 out of 17, those are the things that really help you win."

Before this six-game stretch, the Hogs shot a mere 63.4 percent from the line.

Free ... Whoa!

There were few light moments Saturday.

One came when the game's heaviest player, LSU's Glen Davis, a freshman who is generously listed at 310 pounds, was at the free-throw line.

Obviously exhausted, Davis was doubled over at the line, hands on hips, with 13:36 left in the second half. An official must not have noticed. He bounced the ball to Davis, pelting him on the head.

Davis, who couldn't help but sheepishly grin as Arkansas fans laughed hysterically, made the first of two, but missed the second.

The Series

Arkansas now lead the series 25-15. The Hogs are 11-3 against LSU at home.

Saturday's win stopped a five-game LSU streak. The last previous UA win was a 65-63 home victory in 2003.

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