Brady says Tigers have a long way to go

After a 68-64 defeat to the Global Sports All-Stars, LSU head coach John Brady looked to build on some of the positives that came out of the defeat. <BR><BR> Despite a 77-64 victory over the Southeastern All-Stars Monday night, Brady struggled to find few positives in his team at the moment.

"The first half was, I do not even know who that team was but the second half was better," Brady said. "Our team is not right yet because it is not whole yet. I have got to do what I need to do and what I think is the right thing to do and that is how we are going to approach it."


The missing piece once again for the Tigers was senior Jaime Lloreda, who missed his second consecutive game due to disciplinary actions. Brady has not set any timetable for the Panama native's return to game action.


"Whenever I feel like I want him to," Brady said of Lloreda's return. "Whenever I feel like it is the right time for him and our team. That's all I'm concerned about. I'm not concerned about what anyone else thinks, I'm going to do it when I feel comfortable with Jaime and our team."


The Southeastern All-Stars opened the game on 12-3 run and held LSU to three points for the first 5:10. After a Tony Gibson jumper cut the lead to one a 22-21, the All-Stars responded with a 15-3 run to push the lead to 37-24. LSU struggled from the field throughout the run, going without a field goal for nearly four minutes.


Turnovers and shooting percentages were the story of the first half. LSU shot a paltry 35.5-percent from the field with 14 turnovers while the Southeastern All-Stars shot 42.9-percent form the field, including three 3-pointers.


As the All-Stars did to open the game, LSU opened the second half on a 12-2 run and took a 40-39 lead, their first of the game, on a dunk by sophomore guard Darrel Mitchell.


After the dunk, Mitchell was whistled for a technical foul for hanging on the rim and Octavious Thomas made two free throws to put his squad back up 41-40. Less than a minute later, freshmen forward Darnell Lazare's basket gave LSU the lead back at 42-41 and the Tigers would never trail again.


Wallace Prather led the All-Stars with 14 points and Thomas added 13. Freshman forward Brandon Bass led the Tigers with 21 points and 12 rebounds and Mitchell added 16 points.


Shooting percentages would again tell the story in the second half. Thanks to many easy baskets, LSU shot 54.1-percent from the field while holding the All-Stars to a measly 18.9-percent.


Finishing the game with 15 points and six rebounds, Lazare credited adjustments made at the half in creating many easy scoring opportunities for himself in the second half.


"I just tried to screen on the ball," Lazare said. "Because when you screen on the ball, that allows the post to get open and I was just trying to get in the right spot at the right time. Our perimeter players did a good job finding me when I was open and I just tried to hit the basket."


With the season opener Friday night against Southern, Brady said his young team must improve in order to have any chance of success.


"I think the second half out team played good enough," Brady said. "We out-scored them 49-27 and turned a poor first half into a better second half and I like what we did there. We got them (SE All-Stars) 49-27 and we wore that team down a little bit obviously. That team has been like that though when they have played. The second half they have not been able to do much.


"At least the first 10 minutes of the second half we got the game right because we tried to guard. I started the three veterans in the perimeter and we wanted to get out and cover and we were able to do that. We did the necessary things to get the score right but we need to get better in a hurry."


The three veterans Brady started in the second half were junior guards Antonio Hudson and Xavier Whipple along with Mitchell; three players Brady said must take a leadership role on the team.


"Our team right now is on Xavier Whipple, and it is on Darrel Mitchell, and it is on Antonio Hudson, that is where it is. It is not on the freshman, it is on those three guys. If those three guys do not play and make others better and complete plays, make plays, and take care of the ball then we are going to struggle. We can't put this on Brandon Bass right now or any of the other freshmen. It is on those three guys and that is where it has to come from. Can they do it? Yea they can do it and they are going to do it."


"Those guys are great guys, great students and great character people, but they need to come out of the cocoon and visit with the other players and help make them better. Take on more responsibility. I told them after the game that Collis (Temple), (Ronald) Dupree and Torris (Bright) are gone. They're not here. It's on them now. They have to understand that. There is an expectation level on them that wasn't there. Now they have to handle expectation and be the kind of player they think they are and are capable of being."


With the veterans struggling in the first two exhibition games, Brady said that puts even more of an emphasis on the his freshmen, who must mature on the run.


"You can no longer just run around and play," Brady said of his young players. "Because when you run around and play, the mistakes you make that that causes, that type of approach causes to running offense or defending, you make those kinds of mistakes the mistakes here cost you. The other teams are good enough where you pay for a mistake.


"High school it didn't matter because the other team couldn't convert either. Here, you make a mistake defensively or don't execute on offense and turn the ball over carelessly and needlessly like we did the first half, that's why you're down eight or nine at the half."


Despite Brady trying to take the pressure off of the five freshmen, Lazare feels the whole team, including his fellow freshmen must step up.


"I definitely feel a sense of urgency," he said. "I don't like to lose. In high school I wasn't accustomed to losing so when I come over here even though I'm a freshman, I still want to win every game. I think the freshmen can come in and help and take a little bit of the pressure off, whether it be defense, rebounding or steals. I know that is what I try to bring to the game every night."

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