LSU hits the court ahead of Australian exhibition trip
BATON ROUGE - Ahead of their upcoming 2015-16 season, LSU hoops is in the gym readying themselves for a road trip to the Land Down Under that will include five exhibition games.
LSU Coach Johnny Jones and his coaching staff put 13 players through their paces for a practice that ran about an hour and 40 minutes in length as they prepare to take on a gauntlet of Australian pro and All-Star teams from the National Basketball League.
The practice was packed with fundamentals, some 5-on-5 defensive drills, rebounding and shooting drills. They also fit in some 5-on-0 walkthroughs before wrapping up with some 5-on-5 full court play.
"It was a good first practice for us," said Coach Jones, who is entering his fourth year as head coach at LSU. "It was great to watch the energy, effort and excitement of our players as they went through the drills. They practiced extremely hard. We have a long way to go, but I loved the effort from our guys (Saturday)."
People who observed the practice pointed out the noticeable difference in game ball as the Australian NBL uses a Molten tan and white paneled basketball. The team has a set of the Molten brand balls to use specifically to prepare for the exhibition match-ups. Other changes to the normal gameplay included the use of the international 6.75-meter three-point line and a 24-second shot clock.
"It can be a mental thing if you allow it to," said Coach Jones. "But we are going to be practicing with those and getting used to it because that's what we are going to have to play with when we get over there. It's a little different, but it's something I think our guys can get used to rather quickly."
LSU will take to the court again for another practice late Sunday afternoon. You can keep track of the Tigers' prep for their journey to the southern hemisphere on their Facebook page and also on Twitter.