Coleman gives LSU a commitment

Former Thibodaux star from Howard College signs letter of intent with the Tigers.

Slowly but surely, the LSU basketball roster is starting to replenish as newly hired coach Johnny Jones starts to put his stamp on the Tigers.

The first big step came officially Monday when Shavon Coleman signed a letter of intent with LSU.

The Thibodaux native and Howard College sophomore said a trip to Oregon State made his decision a little tougher and that the final choice was between the Beavers and Tigers.

He also visited Oklahoma and Texas Tech before arriving at a decision Monday.

"I thought about everything over the weekend and considered what all the schools had that I liked, and I talked to my parents and coaches about where the best fit was for me," Coleman said. "When I got up (Monday) and thought about it a little more, LSU made the best sense to me because it has everything I want and it's close to home, and that was important to me."

Meeting Jones and getting a feel for the Tigers' new boss was a key as well. Jones was introduced as LSU's new coach last Monday and spent most of the last week recruiting and assembling a coaching staff.

"It was big for me to get to know him and get a feel for if I fit into his system," Coleman said. "The way his teams get up and down the floor, that fits my style a lot better."

Howard College coach Mark Adams said Coleman could have an immediate impact at LSU, which as of Monday had seven players on scholarship and two signees, with Coleman joining November commitment Malik Morgan.

"I think he's improved in just about every area," Adams said last month of Coleman, who averaged 14.7 points and 6.6 rebounds a game in 2011-12. He also recorded 56 assists and 45 steals and shot 37.3 % (38 for 102) from 3-point range. Coleman had seven games with 20 points or more and boosted his scoring average to 16.2 per game in conference play.

"The big thing with Shavon to start with is that he's a good person – a high character individual – and that makes him very coachable.

"He puts the ball on the on floor and finishes better, and his 3-point shot has improved a lot. He's very good on the offensive glass because of how explosive he is. And he plays defense much better than when he got here. He anticipates really well and he has long arms so defense comes naturally to him. He likes to get in the passing lanes and contest shots."

When Coleman, who will graduate from Howard College on May 13 and then head to Baton Rouge, was still weighing his option, he said one appeal about playing for LSU was the proximity to his home and family.

"If you're from Louisiana, when you were a kid everybody dreams about playing for your home school," Coleman said.

That dream came closer to fruition for Coleman on Monday.

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