Bridgewater getting back into the game

After spending his first year at LSU in basketball purgatory, Brian Bridgewater is cleared and practicing with the team. The former Scotlandville standout discussed his progress, shaking off the rust and where he fits on the floor with TSD.

In total LSU basketball brings six “newcomers” to the floor in 2014-15, but one of those six had a much different path to becoming a part of the team than the others.

While Keith Hornsby sat out and waited a year, Josh Gray came in from junior college and the remaining three entered Baton Rouge from the high school ranks, Brian Bridgewater lingered in basketball purgatory.

The former Scotlandville prep star signed with the Tigers in the late signing period his senior year in 2013 only to fall victim to a summer course flagged by the NCAA. Bridgewater was allowed to stay on scholarship by the NCAA, but his eligibility was never granted, meaning he couldn’t practice or play with the team.

Now finally cleared Bridgewater, who says he’s at 6-foot-4 and 260 pounds, is getting back into basketball shape, working out with the rest of the team and preparing for what’s being called his sophomore season (that’s how LSU’s official website lists him).

Below are his recent comments on that process and where he fits on the court.

On if the three is his natural position . . .

“Yeah, I’ve always wanted to play the three. That’s been my dream position to play, but me being bigger than everyone in Louisiana I had to play the post. But my coaches also let me play on the wing just to show other coaches in college that I could play the three and I’m capable of handling the ball at a high level.”

On where Coach Johnny Jones plans to play him . . .

“Wherever Coach Jones needs me to play I think I’ll be successful, and he has the confidence in me to play me in a number of spots.”

Does he provide a rebounding presence for player his height?

“All I can say is I’m going to use my body to the best of my ability, doing the best I can to try to get as many rebounds as I can.”

On his summer and getting cleared . . .

“I’ve been working out with the team this summer (since getting cleared in mid-June), and things have been going great. Really everything’s just great right now.”

Has his game had some rust coming back?

“Right now I think my game is catching back up. It was kinda rusty when I first got on the court, but sitting out a year I think that would happen to anyone without playing organized basketball. It’s just a good feeling now to be out on the court, playing with the guys. I’m just looking forward to being on the court from here on out.”

On what advice he’s gotten from Coach Jones . . .

“Just listen to some of the older guys, pay attention to what they’re doing and try to learn from them.”

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