The LSU purple and gold squads ended in a 46-46 tie after some 35 minutes of play Wednesday night in the public’s first look at the 2009-10 LSU men’s basketball team at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
“Obviously, we got a lot of open shots with good execution,” said head coach Trent Johnson. “It is hard for me right now to evaluate the defensive part of it because when you go up against yourselves, the guys know the plays, so sometimes they have a tendency to cheat.
“For the most part, from where I was sitting, I thought we got a lot of open shots that didn’t go down for us. We have a ways to go, but for me, I was pleased with the effort. When I say effort, I know everyone saw this group last year and wants to make comparisons to last year’s team running up and down more fluidly.”
Senior Tasmin Mitchell hit two free throws in the final minute to give the Gold team a 46-43 but the Purple team was able to tie it on a three-pointer by Dennis Harris. Neither team could break the tie as Chris Bass missed a three for the Gold and Bo Spencer missed a jumper for the purple team as time ran out.
“I thought it was very productive,” said Mitchell. “We came out and competed against each other. We got a lot done and saw a lot of things, both good and bad, but we got a lot done.”
Mitchell led the Gold team with 20 points, while Garrett Green, out last year with a bad back, had 11 points. Spencer led the Purple team with 21 points. Mitchell and Storm Warren led the LSU players with eight rebounds each.
True freshmen Eddie Ludwig and Aaron Dotson connected on only 2-of-10 field goals but both impressed Mitchell, along with Green and Harris.
“Aaron Dotson is really knowledgeable about the game and he is catching on at a steady pace,” Mitchell said. “The SEC is nothing to play with. This is not high school and he is not in Seattle anymore but I like his game. Eddie Ludwig is getting better and he is just getting into the flow and the speed of the game. It is also good to have Garrett Green back.
“Garrett Green looked really good for someone who was out for a year and half with back problems. He really took control of his advantage. Dennis is really coming along. Coach is really working with him and he has to get up to the speed of the game. He has to slow down a little and take what the defense gives him but he is going to be alright. I really like his game.”
The Gold team was never able to break away with the Gold’s largest lead by eight points in the first half and the Purple’s biggest lead was when it scored the first two points of the game. There were six ties and 11 lead changes.
“Well, this is how we are going to have to play to be successful,” Johnson said. “We have to keep the game on the half court, execute and utilize the shot clock with good shots. Turnover wise, there were some things out there that weren’t very good, but all in all, it was a good start for us considering it was the first time for a lot of guys under the lights with fans in the stands.”
LSU will open the 2009-10 season on Friday, Nov. 13, at 7 p.m. in the Maravich Center against Louisiana-Monroe.