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November 22, 2013

Finding another outside shooter

Andre Stringer is a proven perimeter shooter having made 41 percent of his 3-point attempts last season.

But, LSU needs another wing player to knock down the outside shot. Jarell Martin started the season opener against Massachusetts at small forward, but he suffered an ankle injury less than one minute into the game. Martin is expected to get some playing time Friday when the Tigers play host to SLU.

Malik Morgan and Shavon Coleman have handled most of the minutes at the small forward spot since Martin has been out of the lineup. Ironically, Martin will be back, but Morgan will not be available against Southeastern Louisiana following an injury he received against UNO.

Morgan has made just two of his nine field goal attempts. He is 0-for-3 on 3-pointers. Coleman is shooting 41 percent from the field (10-of-24), but he has yet to make a 3-point shot (0-for-6). On the plus side, Coleman made six of his seven field goal attempts against the Privateers.

"I am not struggling on offense," Coleman said. "I have just missed a couple of shots. I still am doing other things liking rebounding and talking to players on the court. My offense is going to come."

Coleman, a junior college transfer last season, was forced to play at power forward for most of last season. Despite playing out of position, Coleman averaged 11 points and six rebounds per game. He made 30 percent of his 3-pointers (13-of-43).

Tigers coach Johnny Jones is not worried about Coleman's early shooting numbers.

"Shavon is one of those guys who is a basketball player," Jones said. "Regardless of his role, he gives great effort. Shavon is very mature. He doesn't get caught up in starting or not starting. Shavon is able to shoot the ball from the outside. Playing the 'four' last year, he knows how to work inside.

"Shavon can get in the gaps in the zone. We are looking for balance on offense. We have some very capable shooters. Guys are going to be open on the perimeter because of Johnny (O'Bryant) and Jordan (Mickey) inside. We just don't have to take that first available shot. Go inside first and then go back out."

Coleman has looked at tape of the first three games and has identified one of his problems.

"After watching film, I have just missed some open shots," Coleman said. "I was a little hesitant shooting sometimes probably because I have been missing open shots. We have a lot of guys who can knock down open shots. When those shots fall, teams will be in trouble."

Martin has practiced all week. Unless there is a setback, Jones will use Martin against SLU on Friday.

"Hopefully, Jarell will be available and will give us some positive minutes," Jones said. I'd like to get him in the game early on and play him in spurts. Having missed three games, Jarell is back to square one as far as adjusting to college basketball. Also, his conditioning won't be as good."

LSU has won two games since losing at UMass. Southeastern Louisiana has won two games after losing at Missouri. The Tigers had a poor first half before cruising past UNO 81-54 on Tuesday. LSU led by only four points at halftime.

"We came into the UNO game and played to their level and not on our level," Coleman said. "We have to play against Southeastern like we want to play. That means we have to play physical and fast."


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