LSU men’s basketball coach Trent Johnson announced on Monday that a total of four walk-ons would be a part of the team after tryouts last week at the Maravich Assembly Center.
One, sophomore Zack Kinsley of Baton Rouge, who joined the team following the 2008 tryouts, will be back for his second season as a member of the Tigers.
The other three, in their first year with the program, are junior Chris Beattie of Slidell, sophomore Taylor Jacobsen of Charlotte, N.C., and freshman Daron Populist, also of Slidell.
“The importance of these four men to our basketball team this year is great,” said LSU Coach Trent Johnson. “We will have nine scholarship players and with the numerous injuries we have had this spring and summer, they will be instrumental in scout work and preparation for opponents.
“But they also need to be able to put themselves in a position to be ready to go in whether it is for a second, a minute or more. They are all four quality young men and very good students and we are glad to have them.”
Kinsley played at St. Michael The Archangel in Baton Rouge, and then attended St. Thomas More Prep School in Connecticut. He played in nine games last season for LSU, scoring six points and playing a total of 23 minutes. He was an invaluable member of the practice and scout teams for Coach Johnson’s SEC Championship team.
Beattie, who was born in Katy, Texas, averaged 22.4 points per game his senior season (2007) and finished his high school career with 1,373 points, second most all-time in the history of Pope John Paul II High School in Slidell. The 6-3 Beattie was named the District MVP and made the All-Metro team both his junior and senior seasons.
Jacobsen was born in New Orleans, but attended Charlotte (N.C.) Catholic High School. The 6-6 Jacobsen was part of a Queen City Conference championship team and he earned first-team All-Queen City Conference. He was the conference runner-up for Player of the Year after averaging 18 points and 11.5 rebounds a game.
Populist, a 5-10 point guard, played on a state championship team a season ago, helping Salmen to the championship win in the boy’s top 28 in Lafayette in class 4A. He earned all-district and all-parish honors while averaging 14.7 points per game.
LSU will conduct individual workouts for the next few weeks before official team workouts begin on Friday, Oct. 16, the first night Division I teams across America are allowed to practice. The regular season begins on Friday, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. against Louisiana-Monroe. The Tigers will then host a four-team first and second-round bracket of the NIT Season Tip-Off on Nov. 16 and 17.