The LSU basketball program had a burst of activity over the past few days as Top 100 players Jordan Mickey and Tim Quarterman committed to play for new coach Johnny Jones. They join previous commitments from the junior college ranks, John Odoh and Deng Deng.
"Obviously it was a big week for LSU," said Evan Daniels, national basketball recruiting analyst for Scout.com. "Anytime you can score two top 100 players, it's a big week. Johnny went to his old stomping grounds in Dallas and got Mickey, and then went to Atlanta and got Quarterman. Those are the types of guys you've got to get for LSU to get back to where they need to be."
With 5-star recruit Jarell Martin of Madison Prep in Baton Rouge still available, could LSU be looking at a top 10 ranked recruiting class?
"Most likely," said Daniels. "It depends on how the numbers play out, but (the addition of Martin) would take the class from a really strong one to a great one."
Martin has trimmed his list down to LSU, Oklahoma State, UCLA, Louisville, St. John's, Texas A&M and Alabama. He has not taken any official visits and does not plan to sign until April.
LSU is considered to have a very strong position with Martin, who has attended every LSU home football game this season.
LSU has friends in Florida
One of the most important things for a college basketball staff is to forge relationships with the coaches in the AAU ranks. That's not a problem with the Q6 All-Stars in Orlando. Both of their coaches are LSU graduates and former basketball players for the Tigers.
As junior college transfers, Reggie Tucker and Willie Anderson both played two years at LSU. Tucker played for Dale Brown his junior year (1996-97) and John Brady his senior year (1997-98). Anderson played both his junior and senior years for John Brady. Their careers overlapped one season during Anderson's junior year (1997-98).
During Tucker's lone season playing for Brown, Johnny Jones was an assistant.
"Coach Jones is a great guy," Tucker told TSD. "He's one of my favorite coaches of all time. He will do great things at LSU."
Tucker has been in touch with LSU coaches very recently, as they have been recruiting two players from Q6 in point guard D.J. Bowles and center Schuyler Rimmer.
LSU has been in recent contact with Tucker about Bowles and was interested in him until receiving a commitment from Quarterman on Sunday. LSU is no longer recruiting Bowles.
"I talked to (LSU assistant) Robert Kirby on Sunday," Tucker said. "They were showing very strong interest in Bowles."
Rimmer is a former Florida commitment that is not considering LSU at this time.
"They were interested in Rimmer, but they got on him late," Tucker said. "They knew he was going to be a tough get."
Tucker is familiar with both recent LSU commitments, Quarterman and Mickey, and is impressed.
"I saw both of them play recently," he said. "They are both really good. That LSU staff is doing a great job."
Tucker currently works as a special education teacher at his alma mater, Cleveland High School in Cleveland, Tenn. He also coaches junior varsity basketball at the school.
"I love it," he said, of his special education work. "If I'm having a bad day, I come to work and see the smiles on my students' faces. Any problems I'm having don't seem like such a big deal."
Harold Givens claims LSU offer
Another recruit likely affected by LSU's recent commitments is 3-star Harold Givens of Atlanta, who transferred to North Carolina prep school Quality Education Academy for his senior season.
Givens, a 6-foot-7 small forward, is a Louisiana native who relocated to the Atlanta area after Hurricane Katrina and told TSD that his father is an LSU graduate.
"LSU is home," he said. "LSU is where I feel comfortable. I know I can shine at LSU. I love the tradition and the academics at LSU. LSU is where my family is at."
Givens said his favorites are LSU, Tennessee, Florida, Memphis, Georgia, Southern Cal and Bradley.
He claims all have offered, although with LSU's recent commitments, the offer to LSU is likely no longer valid.
Shooting guard Delano Spencer of Atlanta is a player LSU recruited very early on, but has not been in communication with him in recent months and never offered. Spencer will announce his college choice on Thursday. He has an offer from Auburn and is also thought to be considering Georgia Southern, among others. … Another point guard LSU communicated with very early on, but never really recruited is Oshon West of Spencer, NC. West is considering Charlotte, along with several Div. II schools. … Lucas Antunez is a 6-foot-1 Spanish point guard in the Class of 2014 who had a really good outing this summer at the Reebok Breakout Challenge, where he was scouted by LSU. At that time, he was considering moving to the United States for his final two years of high school. He has since enrolled at Findlay Prep in Nevada. … Once and possibly future LSU recruit Tony Trocha, a 6-10 Colombian center, visited Texas A&M this past weekend. LSU assistant Robert Kirby recruited him while at Georgetown last year and LSU has been mentioned on Trocha's ever-changing list of schools. He is reportedly considering a mid-term enrollment in his college of choice if he achieves a satisfactory SAT score. He would be eligible to play in the second semester. It has not been confirmed if LSU is still involved with Trocha.
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