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SEC Headlines – 5/10/12

1.  As we noted earlier today, expect the SEC to be on top of the Mt. Television-Revenue when its new CBS and ESPN deals are finalized.

2.  Alabama AD Mal Moore opens up about firing Mike Shula and hiring Nick Saban.

3.  Mike Anderson has added a juco forward to Arkansas’ 2012-13 roster.

4.  LSU guard Ralston Turner has been given a release from new coach Johnny Jones and will consider transferring.

5.  Texas A&M’s next AD will need for Kevin Sumlin and Billy Kennedy to succeed.

6.  Here’s a post-spring look at Florida’s running back situation.

7.  Freshman John Theus will get a shot to crack Georgia’s starting O-line in preseason camp.

8.  Come Monday, Mark Richt will be able to use his phone again.

9.  The academic status of Kentucky signee Nerlens Noel might be a bigger issue than ongoing NCAA snooping.

10.  Indiana’s Tom Crean discusses the end of the UK-IU basketball series.

11.  South Carolina junior guards Eric Smith and Brian Richardson intend to stay put under Frank Martin.  (Sorry, but it’s behind a paywall, folks.)

12.  Derek Dooley feels that all the anchors that were weighing down Tennessee’s program are gone.

13.  Frank Haith is building his Missouri program with transfers (from Auburn, Oregon, Pepperdine, Tulsa and UConn).

14.  Mel Kiper lists nine SEC players on this Top 25 Big Board for next year’s NFL draft… and only two of those players are seniors.

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Oregon Dispatches LSU From Postseason Play

Last fall, LSU best Oregon in the two teams’ football opener in Arlington, Texas.  Last night, the Ducks got revenge.

Playing on the most obnoxious playing surface west of Boise’s blue football field, LSU fell 96-76 to a hot-shooting Oregon club.  The Tigers rallied to cut the lead to 10 with less than four minutes to play, but the-team-that-Nike-built pulled away from there.

“They came out with a lot more energy,” Ralston Turner said.  “I think that was the difference in the game.  They just hit us in the mouth, and we didn’t respond well.”

Or as Trent Johnson put it: “For whatever reason, we couldn’t guard them.”

Justin Hamilton led LSU with 21 points and nine boards.  Johnson’s team ends the season at 18-15.  But more encouraging is this fact — all five Tiger starters should return to Baton Rouge next season.

No fans dream of reaching the NIT, but this year’s bid for LSU was a sign that the program once again appears headed in the right direction.

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LSU’s Turner And Warren Exchange Boots

LSU has gotten some good news and some bad news on the injury front heading into this week’s SEC action.  Leading scorer Ralston Turner is out of his walking boot for the first time since suffering a stress fracture four games ago. 

Obviously, that’s the good news… even though he’s not expected to play until this weekend against Alabama.

“He’s out of the boot,” said Tiger coach Trent Johnson.  “And Storm’s back in.  We’ve got a lot of boots.”

Storm is Storm Warren.  Warren has been dealing with an Achilles injury and he “has taken a step back.”  He is listed as questionable for tomorrow night’s game at Tennessee.

Turner has averaged 13.7 points per game in 15 contests this season.  Warren has averaged 6.6 points in 13 games.

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LSU 87- NSU 78: It’s just one game

Content provided by And The Valley Shook.

…so don’t make any assumptions about the season based on one game.  Sure, it wasn’t pretty, despite some great performances by Andre Stringer, Ralston Turner and Aaron Dotson.  Sure, there’s a lot of guys that need to play better.  But I hear a lot of grumbling about players (particularly Eddie Ludwig) whom people think will never be any good.  And to that I say hold your goddamn horses.

Friday night was not Eddie Ludwig’s finest performance.  He did score 4 points with his still-gorgeous free-throw shot, and he did grab three steals to outdo his 2 turnovers, but he fouled out after just 18 minutes on the floor.  Despite his foul trouble, he needs to play more aggressively.  He did not attempt a field goal.  On one play, Andre Stringer tried passing the ball to Eddie wide open in the paint, but Eddie wasn’t ready, and the ball went out of bounds for a turnover.  That’s the kind of thing that he needs to be ready for.  He also made a bad in-bounds pass.

Speaking of Andre, the rookie had 21 points, sank 4 3-pointers and gathered 5 assists and 3 rebounds.  He did have 6 turnovers and 4 fouls, but this is a freshman’s first game.  I’d say there’s a lot of promise.

Ralston Turner looks like LSU’s best player.  He too had 21 points along with 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals, but he didn’t nearly have problems with turnovers or fouls that the others had.

As for the other rookies, Matt Derenbecker did little with his six minutes while Jalen Courtney made a nice basket on 3 minutes.  I didn’t see either of these guys play in the second half, and I wasn’t too sure about that decision because Jalen looked good and the sooner we get D-beck going, the better.

Malcolm White and Garrett Green both played well at center.  White scored 12 points, nabbed 4 rebounds and blocked 3 shots, while Garrett Green sank his only field goal and led the Tigers with 6 rebounds.  White had 4 turnovers and 4 personal fouls, while Green limited mistakes to 1 turnover and 2 PFs.

Aaron Dotson played very well, and, yeah, he’s a new man out there.  He made all 5 of his field goals, shot 7-8 from the line, got 2 steals, 3 boards and a blocked shot, while only turning it over once.  It looks like Trent Johnson’s patience with Dotson’s struggles will pay off for the Tigers.

Defense was another story.  NSU’s Will Pratt played great all night, essentially carrying the Demons with 29 points, 5 boards and 5 steals.  The demons didn’t shoot wonderfully, but they did get 21 offensive rebounds, and were able to capitalize on that.

LSU needs to play better at the boards.  The Tigers also need to stop turnovers (we had 25 total compared to NSU’s 17) and limit personal fouls (30).  NSU shot just 13-27 from the line.  Other teams won’t be as bad.

But LSU has young talented guys who can shoot the three.  Offensively, we’re loads better than we were last year, but LSU is not a complete team yet.  But, once again, it’s the first game of the season.

I know I’m late for this one.  I won’t be able to make it to the next game against Nicholls State (cue Soviet jokes) so forgive me if I recap based on the box score. 

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Newcomers Shoot Tigers Past Demons, 87-78

BATON ROUGE – It wasn't a perfect opening night but freshman Ralston Turner and Andre Stringer had nice first games as they led the LSU Tigers in scoring as they posted an 87-78 win over Northwestern State Friday night at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

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