November 04, 2012
With only 11 scholarship players entering his first season, LSU basketball coach Johnny Jones began practice Oct. 12 with barely enough for a game of five-on-five.
He’s found some depth without leaving campus.
Jones said Wednesday three walk-ons who have practiced with the Tigers the last couple of weeks are now part of the permanent roster.
Central Lafourche graduate Joshua Badeaux, a Baton Rouge Community College transfer, joins Mychal Williams of Airline and Central Private graduate Dave Jackson as the team’s newest newcomers.
“What you want to make sure is it’s a good fit,” Jones said. “Anytime you’re with a basketball team, chemistry is extremely important. You have to make sure those guys know what kind of role they may be in and if they’re willing to accept that. All these guys generally come in having had some success at some level.”
Jones said Badeaux, Williams and Jackson will be valuable to LSU during practice as extra bodies. A chance to contribute on gamedays could come down the road.
Jones watched Tyler Hall develop into a steady contributor last season at North Texas after joining the Mean Green as a walk-on three years earlier.
Hall started four games last year, averaging 3.2 points and 2.6 rebounds. He played in 23 games.
“He was a huge plus for us, so it was a great story,” Jones said. “Sometimes you’re able to find those guys that are willing to stay the course, and some great things can happen for them.”
Badeaux, Williams and Jackson are the first players to make the LSU roster as walk-ons since Andrew Del Piero, who made the basketball team in 2010 after giving up his spot as a tuba player in the LSU band. Daron Populist played significant minutes for the Tigers as a walk-on in 2009-10 and 2010-11.
Del Piero, now a senior, was awarded a scholarship by Jones this fall.
LSU faces Arkansas-Monticello in an exhibition game Monday night at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center before officially opening the season with a home game against UC-Santa Barbara on Nov. 9.
Jones said forwards Johnny O’Bryant and Eddie Ludwig and guards Anthony Hickey and Andre Stringer would likely be part of the starting lineup Monday. Memphis transfer Charles Carmouche is expected back after missing a scrimmage Sunday at Rice because of an undisclosed injury.