Musselman: LSU "a perfect fit"

On the day his hire by LSU was announced, associate head coach Eric Musselman went on-one-one with TSD's Ben Love. Included are his thoughts on the LSU program, returning pieces and how Johnny Jones recruited him to the Tigers' staff.

The news of the day in LSU sports is the hiring of associate basketball head coach Eric Musselman.

For more on Musselman's background, CLICK HERE to read the sports information department's release from this morning.

In an attempt to learn more about Musselman, especially how he wound up at LSU and what attracted him to the program, I caught up with the newest Tiger assistant this afternoon.

Below is a transcript of his answers from our brief conversation, one in which he outlined his thoughts on where LSU stands, how he can help and the recruiting prowess of Johnny Jones.

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On how all this came about ...

"David Patrick is a friend of mine. He kinda introduced Coach and me. I think it's a great opportunity for me. I've really enjoyed being in the college game these last two years with ASU and obviously the SEC is a phenomenal conference. I'm looking forward to trying to contribute any way that I can and also learn from Johnny and his staff as well."

On his perception of LSU basketball ...

"I'm trying to watch as much as I can since Johnny and I started talking. Obviously they have two great young pieces coming off great freshman years [Jarell Martin and Jordan Mickey]. They have a great piece coming in with the JC point guard [Josh Gray] and then the big kid from Texas [Elbert Robinson III] is going to contribute, too. So I think there's a lot of phenomenal pieces in place, and I'm looking forward to getting started and getting to know the players a little bit more. Obviously staff chemistry is really important. I think we're going to have great staff chemistry, and it'll be fun environment to work in."

On what he brings in recruiting and how his international experience helps ...

"The international stuff obviously helps with recruiting. Also I think anytime you're in any environment you learn new styles of play. Basketball outside of the United States is different – there's more spacing, ball movement. So all those things from a tactical standpoint help, too. I've had good fortune to learn a lot of those types of things as well."

His initial impressions of Johnny Jones ...

"He's a phenomenal person. When you're up for a job they do research on you, but you want to do your due diligence as well. Everybody that's in the coaching profession has nothing but the best things to say about Coach Jones. I know he can recruit (laughing), he did a great job with me. They've got a lot of nice pieces, like I said, so it's an exciting time to come aboard."

More on Jones and his family voting to come to LSU ...

"My two sons and my wife and I sat down and took a vote. You know there were some other opportunities, but it was 4-0 with the family, unanimous, that it was LSU. LSU was the right place. My wife talked to Coach Jones one time on the phone, and she handed me the phone then once I got off she said ‘That's the place. We've got to go.' To me the person he is, he understood my situation and the importance of family to me. I think there's a lot of similarities between us, especially the more we talked basketball and Xs and Os and philosophy, the more I thought it would be a perfect fit."

On what's next ...

"We plan on getting on a flight Sunday. My son and daughter will go to LSU's camp next week on Monday, so we're going to try and get there as quick as we can. The whole family's excited."



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