See the bottom of this story for links to previously penned profiles on No. 1 Anthony Hickey, No. 2 Johnny O'Bryant, No. 5 Shavon Coleman, No. 10 Andre Stringer, No. 11 Shane Hammink, No. 12 Jarell Martin, No. 22 Darcy Malone and No. 24 Malik Morgan.
Mickey stands almost two inches shorter and weighs 20 pounds less than Martin, but, unlike Martin, he is hard-wired like a big man on both ends of the floor and prefers to get his offensively from inside 15 feet.
The Louisiana native, who finished his high school ball at Prime Prep in Dallas, is a true power forward in the college game. He plays more often than not with his back to the basket on offense, but where Mickey truly makes his mark in a game is when the other team has the ball.
LSU's new high-riser inside showed off his defensive prowess in the team's exhibition win on Wednesday, when he registered eight blocks and altered several additional shots in just 23 minutes of action. The performance, and the way Mickey has played this entire preseason, drew high praise from teammate Johnny O'Bryant, who projects as a starter next to Mickey in the frontcourt.
"The thing I tell Mickey is the more the season progresses, the more teams are going to realize he's like a Nerlens Noel or an Anthony Davis with his shot-blocking ability," O'Bryant told TSD. "Teams are going to tell their players to get him in the air and get into him. I just don't want him getting silly fouls, so I tell him not to go for fakes. Stay down and play with your chest with the new rules."
It's in light of those new rules O'Bryant referenced, ones which limit hand-checking and virtually make taking a charge extinct, that head coach Johnny Jones thinks Mickey can be invaluable to the Tigers' defensively, providing a final gauntlet for opposing teams that get into the lane.
"The new rules actually invite being challenged at the rim and force you more so to have to defend the rim instead of standing back and trying to take charges," explained Jones. "And I think that's very beneficial for a player like Jordan Mickey. He's long, he's active, he can cover the floor, he can get to areas outside, rebound balls out of his area and he's very good in terms of anticipating shot releases.
"He can either block his man's shot because he's quick off the floor or he can become a help defender and block. I think he finished up (the exhibition) with maybe eight (blocks) for us tonight in the time that he played, but he really impacted the game there and had those guys looking for him there late."
Of course Mickey, who possesses a seven-foot, three and a half inch wingspan, isn't just a one-way player. He also chipped in 12 points on 6-of-10 shooting in the ballgame Wednesday to go with four assists, displaying nice vision for a first-year post player.
Jones knows Mickey can help LSU put points on the board either by sheer effort and activity inside on the glass or through a series of moves he's developing on the block.
"He's really quick out there on the floor, really poised for a freshman on both ends. Offensively, he's really poised with the basketball," continued Jones. "He has really sleek moves to the basket and the ability of to score, step away and knock down jumpers. He is a really good passer for a post guy. Jordan has really continued to improve each day, and he's certainly been a bright spot for us."
Look for Mickey to start at the four from game one for LSU. He continues to draw a lot of comparisons to former Tiger Tyrus Thomas with his jaw-dropping leaping ability and athleticism. Perhaps the only area where Mickey is deficient early in his collegiate career is in his strength. He is by no means thin, but Mickey will definitely have to tack on muscle and a few pounds during his stay in Baton Rouge.
But that's mostly a project that will begin after this season. Until then, with his game and LSU's need for help inside, Mickey will be out there threatening 10 boards and four blocks just about every game – off natural ability alone.
Share your take on Mickey's freshman season
PG Anthony Hickey
F Johnny O'Bryant
F Shavon Coleman
G Andre Stringer
F Shane Hammink
F Jarell Martin
F/C Darcy Malone
G Malik Morgan