People talk about his heart and his muscle, but what really says the most about LSU's Ricky Blanton is his lip. Blanton's mouth has been smashed and bloodied, but it, and he, never stop working.
With nine nominal guards on an 11-man roster, Blanton, who's 6'7", often had to play like a big man. "He is impossible to intimidate," says coach Dale Brown, whose Tigers didn't end their season until Louisville put them out of the Final Four. Blanton is a swingman who can go inside and shut down the opposition's center yet is still looking for his first college dunk. He'll need help on the baseline from 7'1" Zoran Jovanovich (recovering from a knee injury) and 6'10" Nikita Wilson (grades permitting). Blanton spent the summer trying to keep his game and his mouth—he's a broadcast-journalism major—in shape. What he would like to announce is that LSU is going back to the Final Four.