Former LSU assistant coach Kermit Davis dropped by campus on Wednesday to visit his old boss and take a look at the 2002-03 Tigers at practice. The first-year head coach at Middle Tennessee had good things to say about the newest members of the team, specifically point guard Darrel Mitchell.
"He reminds me of an Arkansas guard," said Davis, refering to former Razorback Brandon Dean. "He's solid and look how his arms are cut."
Mitchell was one of the players John Brady singled out at Wednesday's practice. The freshman from St. Martinville is expected to play in a reserve role this season at point guard and shooting guard.
Sophomore guard Tony Gipson had a standout moment when he caught an offensive rebound in mid-air and attempted to slam it home. He missed the shot, but Brady turned around and glanced at Davis with a grin after seeing the 6-foot-1 Gipson get airborne so quickly.
Assistant Rickey Broussard labeled Wednesday's workout "the most intense practice so far." During the hour observed, there was a lot of contact and players constantly on the floor. In prior days, Brady had to issue numerous pleas to his post players to get more aggressive but he had far less reason to do so again on Wednesday.
The coaching staff is hoping to get more out of senior forward Ronald Dupree, hoping that he will set a practice example for the new players. Dupree isn't necessarily having bad practices, but he isn't pushing himself like you would expect an All-SEC four-year starter to do.
Brady mulled over a starting five during a brief break in Wednesday practice: It included Torris Bright, Antonio Hudson and Collis Temple on the perimeter, and Dupree and Jamie Lloreda at the post positions. The coach said there's a good chance Brad Bridgwater could share time at the post with Lloreda, too, with reserve help from Shawnson Johnson and Dupree moved to the perimeter.
However, it appears Dupree will have to begin asserting himself in order to assure his spot in the top five.
Bridgewater missed practice Wednesday as he continues to heal from a slight knee sprain. Thomas Davis is still out with an ankle sprain but expected to return shortly. Josh Maravich had an ice pack on his upper back after sustaining a minor injury.