The Capital City will play host to a pair of noteworthy November basketball games Tuesday night, including the state’s flagship university at home versus a Big 12 opponent and a matchup between two of Louisiana’s top high school basketball talents.
TSD will be in attendance for both ballgames, bringing you the latest updates, quotes and more from an exciting doubleheader on the hardwood. Get ready for all the action below and come back to the same links for streaming updates tonight.
MADISON PREP AT ST. MICHAEL
This one should be a lot of fun.
Coming into the new prep season Brandon Sampson is the consensus top player in the state, a 6-foot-4, 180-pound shooting guard who scores in bunches and has proven himself on national stages against some of the top players in the 2015 class.
As a junior he led the Chargers all the way to the state title game in their first season in Class 1A before falling in a heartbreaker to Country Day. Sampson averaged 24.3 points, 6.1 rebounds and 4.3 assists en route to earning first-team all-state honors for the second straight season.
Jacob Evans didn’t have quite the name-brand recognition of Sampson a year ago, but after a strong junior campaign and even bigger summer the 6-foot-5, 210-pound wing has emerged as a top-flight prospect.
He led the Warriors to the second round of the 4A state playoffs in 2014, where St. Michael lost a tight one to St. Thomas More. Evans compiled averages of 17.5 points, 7.2 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 3.5 steals.
Evans has already committed to Cincinnati, choosing the Bearcats over a slew of notable programs like Auburn, South Carolina, LSU and Tulane. He will officially sign in a ceremony at his school tomorrow. Sampson’s recruitment isn’t nearly as solidified as Scout’s No. 59 overall player is still mulling his options, set to decide from LSU, UCLA, St. John’s, USC and California. Look for him to make a decision in the coming months and sign in April’s regular period.
Several months ago Sampson spoke to that issue with TSD, laying the gauntlet down for this game in what amounts to a competitive challenge amongst friends.
“Just looking at our first game this year, and going against Jacob Evans, there’s been like a little thing going back and forth about who’s the best,” explained Sampson in September. “When the time comes I guess I’ll just have to prove that I’m the best player in Louisiana.
“It’s all respect. Just when you’re on that court it’s all business. That’s it. We’re friends off it but we’re both trying to do the same thing on the court, so it can’t be all fluffy and stuff or just playing around. I have to show them that it’s strictly business. But that’s my guy off the court. I’m real cool with him.”
These two figure to put on a show in a game which will also feature additional college-level talent, namely three-star MPA guard Christion Thompson, who recently signed a Letter of Intent to play for Rhode Island.
Click on the link below to follow TSD’s coverage from the game.
TEXAS TECH AT LSU
The Red Raiders and Tigers will end a busy basketball night not only in the Red Stick but across the entire country, as this game serves as the finale of ESPN’s Tipoff Marathon.
CLICK HERE for TSD’s full preview of the game – which will air on ESPN2 – including projected starting lineups, plenty of chalk talk on both teams and the latest quotes from Coach Johnny Jones on the challenges of playing Texas Tech.
Maybe the biggest storyline heading into the contest is LSU point guard Josh Gray facing his former team.
Gray, a native of Lake Charles, began his collegiate career in Lubbock, lasting only one season but posting solid numbers (9.3 ppg, 3.2 apg, 2.0 spg) as a true freshman in 2012-13. He then spent last year at Odessa College in Texas, where he led the JuCo ranks with a ridiculous scoring average of 34.7 points.
Tonight he’ll go up against the team that originally signed him out of high school but not the same coach, as the transition was being made to Tubby Smith right about the time Gray was waltzing out the door.
Elsewhere, Jordan Mickey will look to get back on track defensively after he failed to block a single shot in Saturday’s season-opening win over Gardner-Webb. It was only the third time in 35 games in purple and gold Mickey put up a doughnut in that category.
LSU and Texas Tech both enter the game at 1-0 on the young season.