I just spent a few minutes with LSU basketball coach John Brady, talking out his team's game with Washington tomorrow.
Brady's Tigers are a long a lean team - plenty of blocked shots -- but not very physical -- not good rebounders. That makes UW's Jon Brockman a particular concern in the game tomorrow. He says he plans to use a combination of man and zone, and double-teams, and to try to force Brockman to receive the ball out of his comfort zone.
Here's a little more, in his own words:
On the difference between this season's Tigers and the ones UW beat last season: "In the past … we've always been a forward-dominated, inside-dominated big and mean team. Now we're a long and lean team, I don't know how mean we're are. That's the biggest difference, we've gone from big and mean to long and lean."
On his team's high number of blocks and low number of rebounds: "We're an athletic team. But we're blocking shots because they're getting it around the goal on us. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing. Yes, we're athletic and we can run a little bit, but they may be getting it too close. I'd rather them have to shoot it from out there and not be able to throw it in. But thank God we can block some shots, because otherwise we'd be giving up lay-ups."
On LSU legend Pete Maravich: "Maravich is probably the most exciting player to play in the Southeastern Conference in any sport. He had a three-year period there where he sold out every arena home and away. The stories here are still legendary where when he was a freshman he couldn't play varsity, so the freshman games in the old Cow Palace would sell out – 6,500 – and then everybody would leave and there'd be 500 left to watch the (varsity) play.
I was growing up in McColm, Miss., and I had me a pair of some floppy socks and some black Chuck Taylor Converse shoes, and I tried to grow my hair long. Everybody did. He wore a necklace one time and I bought one and wanted to play with a choker necklace like he did. I think he revived basketball in the Southeastern Conference at the time. It just do happens he played at LSU and it's unfortunate that Pete Maravich is not with us here today and can't walk around and enjoy this campus and the reverence that he would have with the fans here. He would probably be one of the most revered athletes to ever play here. If Billy Cannon and Pete Maravich were walking side-by-side, it would be a toss-up, I think, about which one would be the most revered athlete to ever play here."
On the UW game: "We're excited about it. They've got four starters back from last year's team, Brockman is going to be the most physical post player that we've faced this year and he's going to be a difficult challenge for us. Appleby's a tremendous shooter on the perimeter, Dentmon's a nice player, Pondexter played well against us last year. Our biggest challenge is going to be containing Brockman and see if we can keep him off the boards.
"We're going to try to zone some, double him some, maybe a different player or two deep down on the wing, depending who passes him the ball. We'll try to push him and make him catch it in places he's not used to catching it. We're going to double-team him with different players, and play some zone and try to not let them get a rhythm of getting him the ball in places where they want him to get it.
"Another big thing is whoever shoots it for their team is to keep him off the glass, because it doesn't matter how good a defensive possession you have, if you let him get to the offensive board, that negates the good defensive possession."
As for those Huskies, they are on the court of the Pete Maravich Assembly Center right now (12:30 PST).
I should get some time with coach Lorenzo and the team one they're finished, and I'll pop back in here if there is any news.
I do see that Tim Morris, who suffered a broken nose yesterday, is practicing with a mask.
And it was fun to watch Ryan Appleby -- a longtime Maravich fan -- walk into the arena for the first time and look up at that retired No. 23 hanging from the rafters.