SPOKANE, Wash . — It wasn’t until shortly before Friday’s practice that LSU guard Jeanne Kenney opened up publicly about the most talked-about head in Baton Rouge.
Kenney sat out Tuesday’s second-round NCAA tournament victory over Penn State that put LSU in the Spokane Regional semifinals Saturday against California (10:32 p.m., ESPN2). She suffered a concussion in the final minute of LSU’s first-round win over Green Bay when she collided with teammate Adrienne Webb.
Kenney said she was told she never lost consciousness after the vicious blow, but she also said she has no memory of the incident.
She does remember being at her apartment Tuesday screaming as she watched LSU play Penn State — until, with four minutes left, she drove to the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
“It probably wasn’t the best idea,” Kenney admitted.
She arrived just as LSU took a 63-62 lead.
“The TV in the locker room was off,” she said. “I could hear the crowd and I couldn’t handle it, so I came out and watched a TV by the tunnel and saw a little bit of the game.”
Then she celebrated LSU’s first Sweet 16 trip since 2008 with her teammates.
“It felt great,” said Kenney, a game-time decision to play Saturday. She has participated in both of LSU’s practice sessions here.
Both of Saturday’s semifinals are SEC versus Pac-12 affairs: LSU taking on California and Georgia facing Stanford.
Although Stanford and Cal are the top seeds in the Spokane Regional, LSU and Georgia come from the higher-rated conference. The SEC is No. 2 in RPI according to WwarrenNolan.com, while the Pac-12 is No. 6.
Although LSU’s Nikki Caldwell, who coached three seasons at UCLA, said she feels the SEC is the more physical conference, she said California is a team that would translate well to the SEC.
“Tennessee is a good team to compare to them as far as having the quickness, the guard play, the post play, to run the floor,” she said. “So there’s a lot of similarities in Cal and the SEC.”
Former LSU guard Katherine Graham, who played for the Lady Tigers from 2008-11, is here with Georgia in her first season as a graduate assistant.
California athletic director Sandy Barbour was athletic director at Tulane from 1996-2000, while Cal coach Lindsay Gottlieb is the sister of CBS analyst Doug Gottlieb. And Cal center Taliah Caldwell is the daughter of former Washington Redskins linebacker Ravin Caldwell.
The Lady Tigers practiced at Gonzaga on Thursday with men’s coach Mark Few in attendance. His Bulldogs were eliminated in the third round by Wichita State. … LSU is 41-21 in the NCAA tournament, including 4-1 against Pac-12 teams. … Dave Pasch (play-by-play) and Debbie Antonelli (analyst) will call the game on ESPN2. … Patrick Wright will have the call on the LSU Sports Radio Network (locally on 107.3 FM). … LSU and Cal have met once: Dec. 17, 1981, when the Lady Tigers beat the Golden Bears 65-56 in Portland, Ore.
Copyright © 2014, Capital City Press LLC • 7290 Bluebonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70810 • All Rights Reserved