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10/26/2006 09:50:00 AM
Extras, Extras (From LSU)
I escaped the Northeast to pay a two-day visit to LSU this week -- both for an extended SI.com postcard and these extras. Enjoy.
• The first photo at right is Big Baby (Glen Davis) in his primary piece of furniture: a giant bean-bag chair. His primary after-practice pastime is playing Madden 2007 on his Xbox 360 ... while lounging in the bean bag. He said he's always the Chargers -- "Throwing bombs to Antonio Gates, running with L.T., bringing their linebackers off the end on blitzes" -- and is still a huge football fan. He played running back and line in high school, and had a shot to become an NFL O-lineman had he not given up the game for basketball. Davis is also a big LSU fan: "I get excited for football season, man," he said ... but with his school out of the BCS hunt, he seemed kind of bummed.
• Dameon Mason was wearing a black Jordan headband in practice, and Magnum Rolle hinted that coach John Brady's longtime ban on headgear may be coming down. "I started wearing [a headband] over the summer, just a little bit at a time, then Chris [Johnson] did, then Mace did," Rolle said. "I got Mace to go ask coach about it, because I didn't want him coming down on me. But it's been a big part of my persona. I felt awkward as hell as year playing without it; I couldn't do any of my signature things." Rolle's signature move, which he demonstrated, is a two-hand dab of the 'band after a sick play.
• The third shot at right is Tasmin Mitchell, showing off his bling following the private Final Four ring ceremony LSU had after practice. We took one shot, and then a second ... and then a third with a digi-cam before he was satisfied with this one.
• The Tigers -- well, Brady in particular -- have reason to boast about the non-conference schedule they've put together. It doesn't get much tougher than playing UConn, Texas A&M and Wichita State at home, Texas on a neutral court (in Houston) and Washington and Oregon State on the road. Four of those opponents reached the Sweet 16 last year and another, the Aggies, came within a Darrel Mitchell three-pointer of KO-ing LSU in the second round. The Tigers took a similar approach last year, playing West Virginia, Ohio State and UConn on the road, Houston and Northern Iowa at home and Cincinnati in Las Vegas. Even though LSU went a woeful 1-5 in those games, it went on to win the SEC regular-season title. Brady said, "Our team got better and gained confidence by losing close rather than crushing teams they were supposed to beat."
• Brady and his staff wanted to land Texas Tech transfer Terry Martin, a native of Monroe, La., the first time around, but Bobby Knight swept in and lured him to Lubbock. "We went up there in the spring of Terry's junior year to visit him, but maybe we didn't pressure him enough," Brady said. "Knight came in and Terry said, 'OK, I'm coming,' and never even visited. ... But it worked out great for us in the end." The Tigers have to wait until Dec. 17 -- their West Coast swing against the Beavers and Huskies -- to get Martin in the floor. At one point while watching the talented combo guard in practice, Brady said, "I wish he were eligible now."
Readers: Sound off on all things LSU in the comments section.
The only thing to see about this talented team is the backcourt shooting. Can anyone shoot with consistency after Darrel Mitchell. Darrel was a great team leader as well as shooter who bailed LSU out in quite a few games. This is a very physical Tiger team that should muscle itself into another trip to the final four.
Well, I saw Big Baby in the McDonald's in the union last week, & he definitely has slimmed up. From what I can tell, his diet strictly consists of McDonald's Big Breakfasts. So there you have it, the Big Baby Diet, guaranteed to cut your weight in half, or kill you.