Scott Rabalais: Softball season couldn’t have started any better for LSU

Constance Quinn slid into second base Friday night, a bubble gum bubble leading the way. If the LSU Tigers are feeling the pressure of colossal expectations — or were dismayed by Gov. John Bel Edwards’ budgetary saber rattling — they certainly weren’t showing it. No. 3-ranked LSU started the 2016 softball season with a… Continue reading →

‘Proven winner’ Jared Poché to start opening night for LSU

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- LSU starting pitcher Jared Poche warms up in the bullpen with catcher Kade Scivicque before the start of their game against Auburn, Friday, Apr. 10, 2015, at LSU's Alex Box Stadium.

In what could be his last season at LSU, Jared Poche’ will throw the Tigers’ first pitch. The Lutcher junior will start the Tigers’ Feb. 19 season opener against Cincinnati, LSU coach Paul Mainieri told The Advocate on Friday following the team’s scrimmage. “It’s his third year, probably going to be his last year at LSU,” Mainieri… Continue reading →

Former Georgia coach Jay Clark where he wants to be at LSU

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- LSU junior Jessica Savona speaks with associate head coach Jay Clark after her performance on the floor against Minnesota, Friday, Mar. 6, 2015, at LSU's Pete Maravich Assembly Center in Baton Rouge, La.

Kinsey Clark scales the uneven bars at the far end of the LSU gymnastics training facility. She reaches the high bar, takes two swings and dismounts with a back tuck, sticking and saluting her dad, Jay, sitting off to the side. Next is a post-practice workout with strength coach Earl Chevalier. Ten-year-old Kinsey joins… Continue reading →

Juniors flock to LSU this weekend for ‘Boys From The Boot’

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- LSU head coach Les Miles addresses the crowd last week during The Gridiron Club Bayou Bash, which celebrates LSU's incoming recruiting class.

Catholic High running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire wants to feel needed when LSU’s junior day ends Saturday night. Madison Prep defensive end Bryan Jones just wants a scholarship offer. About 40 players are expected at LSU’s junior day event Saturday dubbed “Boys From The Boot,” a day-long, invitation-only affair for Louisiana-only 2017 recruits. These current high school juniors from around… Continue reading →

Pen, pencils out: NCAA football rules proposals would allow coaches to use tablets, replay officials to call targeting

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Deion Jones was called for targeting late in LSU's game against Auburn.

College football coordinators can do away with those oversized, cumbersome laminated playsheets — at least in the press box. The coaches’ booth is indeed evolving. The NCAA football rules committee approved a proposal this week allowing coaches in the press box booth to use tablets, computers and other electronic devices during games and in locker rooms at halftime.… Continue reading →

LSU softball team opens season with busy weekend

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- LSU first baseman Sandra Simmons (3) celebrates her solo home run with head coach Beth Torina in the fourth inning against Auburn, Sunday, May 3, 2015, at LSU's Tiger Park in Baton Rouge, La.

The No. 3-ranked LSU softball team opens the season by playing five games this weekend and coach Beth Torina plans to give her lineup card a workout. The Tigers host the five-team Tiger Classic at Tiger Park, playing Ohio State at 5 p.m. Friday followed by a game against North Florida at 7:30 p.m. LSU will play… Continue reading →

Friendly competition has Beth Torina and the LSU softball team eyeing even more success

Advocate file photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- LSU's Bianka Bell

Bianka Bell insists there is no rivalry. Sahvanna Jaquish begs to differ. The pair of LSU softball sluggers claimed the top two spots in the school’s single-season home run column last year, with Bell’s 18 homers edging Jaquish’s total by only one. After Jaquish initially broke the record with 17 in 2014, she and Bell spent all… Continue reading →

‘As good as a crafty lefty comes’: LSU pitcher John Valek III nudges way into weekend discussion

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- LSU's John Valek (27) pitches during the Purple and Gold World Series, Wednesday, November 4, 2015, at LSU's Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field in Baton Rouge, La.

The second of John Valek III’s 42 career starts came with trepidation. The lefty, who dips as low as 66 mph with a breaking ball, ventured to Kentucky with a winless Akron team eight games into a 22-game, season-opening road trip that avoided a frigid Ohio winter. “Man, it was three years ago,” Valek said Wednesday, struggling to recall… Continue reading →

LSU mulls missed opportunities in loss to South Carolina

LSU forward Craig Victor II (32) drives past Mississippi State forward Gavin Ware (20) during an NCAA college basketball game in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016. (Hilary Scheinuk /The Advocate via AP)   MAGS OUT; INTERNET OUT; NO SALES; TV OUT; NO FORNS; LOUISIANA BUSINESS INC. OUT (INCLUDING GREATER BATON ROUGE BUSINESS REPORT, 225, 10/12, INREGISTER, LBI CUSTOM); MANDATORY CREDIT

It was difficult to pinpoint one thing that cost the LSU a chance to pull out a victory in a road game against a 20-win South Carolina team on Wednesday night. In fact, it was a combination of things that conspired to go wrong at the worst possible time for LSU — in the… Continue reading →

Track and field teams prepare for three events

Members of the LSU track and field program will spread out this weekend as the Tigers and Lady Tigers will headline two-day events at the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and Iowa State Classic in Ames, Iowa, on Friday and Saturday while also playing host to the LSU High Performance Meet on Saturday. LSU’s sprinters and… Continue reading →

LSU Baseball Notes: Pitchers Riley Smith, Collin Strall dealing with shoulder soreness

Advocate file photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- LSU right-hander Collin Strall delivers a pitch against Kentucky last March. Strall, who made 22 relief appearances last season, has not pitched with the team since preseason practice began.

Nine days before it opens the 2016 season against Cincinnati, shoulder soreness is stifling the LSU baseball team. Righties Riley Smith and Collin Strall have been sidelined with undiagnosed shoulder problems, Strall for about two weeks and Smith’s troubles coming to coach Paul Mainieri’s attention just 15 minutes before he addressed reporters on Wednesday. A power-throwing… Continue reading →

NCAA will weigh LSU’s nonconference struggles

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The LSU basketball team’s nonconference struggles, when the Tigers were without guard Keith Hornsby and forward Craig Victor, will be considered by the NCAA Division I men’s basketball committee when the group meets a month from now to select the 68-team NCAA tournament field. Yet, Oklahoma Athletic Director Joe Castiglione, chair of the 10-person… Continue reading →

Tigers face two tough challenges to their spot atop the SEC standings

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- LSU guard Keith Hornsby (4) celebrates a three-pointer by pointing to a teammate against Mississippi State, Saturday, February 6, 2016, at LSU's PMAC in Baton Rouge, La.

The LSU basketball team loves being in first place in the Southeastern Conference standings with eight games left in the regular season. Loving it is one thing. Being comfortable is another. The Tigers can enjoy their ascent to the top of the standings, which they achieved Saturday when they bashed Mississippi State and Texas A&M… Continue reading →

Rabalais: LSU hoping trip to South Carolina more successful than November visit

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- LSU guard Antonio Blakeney (2) celebrates after sinking a three pointer against Oklahoma, Saturday, January 30, 2016, at LSU's PMAC in Baton Rouge, La.

It was the end of November the last time the LSU Tigers went to South Carolina for a basketball game. It looked like it might as well have been the end of their season right there. In a jumping gym at Charleston, the Tigers failed to leave the launch pad. Goliath fell behind the David-minded Cougars… Continue reading →

LSU’s Mia Hambrick named SEC Gymnast of the Week

Advocate staff photo by BRIANNA PACIORKA -- LSU's Myia Hambrick performs on the floor during the Tigers' meet against Arkansas at the PMAC on Friday, Feb. 5, 2016.

LSU sophomore Myia Hambrick was named the Southeastern Conference Gymnast of the Week after her performance against Arkansas, the league office announced Tuesday. Hambrick led LSU past then-No. 8 Arkansas, 197.425-196.150, on Friday in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. The Temple, Georgia, native won at least a share of all five individual titles in the meet… Continue reading →

Look inside LSU athletics shows TAF gave nearly $12M to athletic department in 2014, women's basketball, others losing millions

Football is king at LSU. That’s now backed up by financial details in an audit of the Tigers’ athletic department released this week. LSU made more than $57 million on football in the 2014-15 academic year, and the Tiger Athletic Foundation donated nearly $12 million to the athletic department in 2014, according to the audit obtained by The Advocate.… Continue reading →

LSU committee unanimously approves statue honoring basketball legend ‘Pistol Pete’ Maravich

A wizard as a shooter, dribbler and passer, the NCAA scoring records set by LSU's Pete Maravich, center, still stand nearly 30 years after his collegiate career ended in 1970. File photo

An LSU committee that approves statues and other honorifics for former athletes has unanimously agreed to erect a statue of basketball legend Pete Maravich on campus after years of debate over the proposal. The LSU Athletic Hall of Fame Committee was expected to take up the Maravich statue plan after the university’s Board of Supervisors recently expressed… Continue reading →

LSU’s Ben Simmons scores more weekly honors from the SEC; Tigers’ NCAA tournament projections get a boost

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- LSU forward Ben Simmons (25) drives past Mississippi State forward Aric Holman (35), Saturday, February 6, 2016, at LSU's PMAC in Baton Rouge, La.

For the sixth time this season, a member of LSU’s third-ranked 2015 recruiting class was honored by the Southeastern Conference on Monday. Forward Ben Simmons was named SEC Freshman of the Week for the fourth time to go with the player of the week award he won Dec. 7. Simmons averaged 18.5 points, 11.0 rebounds and… Continue reading →

LSU coach Les Miles to USA Today: 'We're going to apply a little more elbow grease in the passing game'

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- LSU coach Les Miles addresses the crowd Wednesday during The Gridiron Club Bayou Bash.

. LSU's passing game will get a little more "elbow grease" in the off-season, coach Les Miles recently told USA Today in a Q&A. "I think we’re going to apply a little more elbow grease in the passing game, we’re going to throw it more in practice and apply a greater amount of time… Continue reading →

LSU women fall 70-58 at No. 18 Kentucky

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Janee Thompson had 16 points and 10 assists, and No. 18 Kentucky used a strong first quarter to defeat the LSU women’s basketball team 70-58 on Sunday. Maci Morris added 14 points and Alexis Jennings 11 for the Wildcats (16-6, 5-6 Southeastern Conference), who shot 54 percent (27 of 50). Rina… Continue reading →

‘In a zone:’ Antonio Blakeney’s breakout helped LSU blow past Mississippi State

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- LSU guard Antonio Blakeney (2), with LSU guard Keith Hornsby (4) and LSU forward Ben Simmons (25), holds his arm after falling and colliding with the base of the goal against Mississippi State, Saturday, February 6, 2016, at LSU's PMAC in Baton Rouge, La.

It was halftime of Saturday’s game with Mississippi State before LSU guard Antonio Blakeney realized he was in a zone. While that seems impossible, it was understandable considering he was red hot in the first 20 minutes of the Tigers’ 88-77 win in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. By the time LSU returned to its locker room, Blakeney… Continue reading →

Scott Rabalais: New gymnastics facility could be beacon for LSU

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- The new LSU gymnastics training facility, Saturday, February 6, 2016, during an open house and ribbon cutting in Baton Rouge, La.

D-D Breaux has become famous for her glittering attire, but her happiness at Saturday’s ribbon cutting ceremony for her LSU gymnastics team’s new practice facility outshone anything she could have pulled out of the closet that morning. “I’ve waited my entire life for this moment,” said Breaux, who in her 39th year as LSU’s coach is… Continue reading →

Tigers erase a slow start, stomp Mississippi State 88-77 to take sole possession of first place in the SEC

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- LSU guard Antonio Blakeney (2) drives past Mississippi State guard Quinndary Weatherspoon (11), Saturday, February 6, 2016, at LSU's PMAC in Baton Rouge, La. Blakeney was LSU's top scorer with 31 points.

LSU guard Antonio Blakeney was in a talkative mood Saturday afternoon. Fortunately for the Tigers, Blakeney and fellow guard Keith Hornsby did more scoring than talking. A lot more. Blakeney and Hornsby sparked a first-half scoring barrage that helped their team come back from an early 14-point deficit, and LSU went on to… Continue reading →

Scott Rabalais: ‘First place feels good’ for these LSU Tigers after Saturday’s win over Mississippi State

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- LSU forward Ben Simmons (25) flexes from the bench following a three-pointer by teammate Keith Hornsby against Mississippi State, Saturday, February 6, 2016, at LSU's PMAC in Baton Rouge, La.

The LSU Tigers are alone in first place in the Southeastern Conference. It’s quite an achievement. But don’t expect them to start throwing beads and doubloons out of the windows of the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. For Mardi Gras-like revelry, you’ll have to find another address. “Nothing to see here,” LSU coach Johnny… Continue reading →

Faster than he looks, ‘baller’ Beau Jordan takes hold of left field

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- LSU's Beau Jordan (24) runs through third base on his way to score in the third inning during the Purple and Gold World Series, Wednesday, November 4, 2015, at LSU's Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field in Baton Rouge, La.

Hoover Metropolitan Stadium has a bullpen just inside the left-field fence. Bryce Jordan lingered there into the late hours of April 2, his task to catch LSU’s continuing carousel of relief pitchers in a game tied at 5 after 13 innings. His twin brother, Beau, was making his first conference start just feet away in left field.… Continue reading →

Lady Tigers gear up for No. 18 Kentucky

The LSU women’s basketball team doesn’t have much time to dwell on its shortcomings against No. 11 Mississippi State. Another ranked opponent is waiting right around the corner. The injury-stricken Lady Tigers, losers in seven of their past eight games, will begin the final six-game stretch of Southeastern Conference play when they… Continue reading →

LSU’s Mikiah Brisco runs season best in 60 meters

Photo by BRYAN WAYNE/LSU Sports Information -- Mikiah Brisco sprints after receiving the baton from Jada Martin during a semifinal heat in the 4x100-meter relay at the NCAA track and field championships Thursday in Eugene, Ore. LSU won the semifinal heat in 43.32 seconds, which turned out to be the fourth-fastest time of the day.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sophomore Mikiah Brisco gave the LSU women’s track and field team a sweep of the short sprints when she claimed a win in the 60 meters at the New Mexico Collegiate Classic on Saturday. Brisco, a former Baton Rouge High School star, recorded a season’s-best time of 7.23 seconds to take the… Continue reading →

LSU softball notebook: Solid freshman class primed to make an impact right away; Constance Quinn returns her focus to the diamond

With all but one everyday starter returning and most of last year’s rotation back, LSU softball coach Beth Torina understandably has great expectations for her team this season. But that doesn’t mean this season’s crop of freshmen will take a back seat to the veterans. Torina spoke highly of her freshmen Friday… Continue reading →

LSU opens second half of SEC play Saturday against Mississippi State; Tigers try to keep NCAA tournament hopes afloat

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- LSU head coach Johnny Jones coaches against Oklahoma, Saturday, January 30, 2016, at LSU's PMAC in Baton Rouge, La.

In a crazy college basketball season — no one seems to know what’s up and what’s down — the LSU men know one thing: They need to put their best foot forward over the next nine games. Thanks to six nonconference losses, the Tigers know they need to make up some ground in Southeastern Conference play to secure… Continue reading →