Patrick promoted to LSU assistant head coach; Providence transfer visits

Advocate staff photo by CATHERINE THRELKELD -- LSU assistant coaches Korey McCray, left, and David Patrick yell during the game against Missouri in January. Show caption
Advocate staff photo by CATHERINE THRELKELD -- LSU assistant coaches Korey McCray, left, and David Patrick yell during the game against Missouri in January.

LSU men’s basketball coach Johnny Jones on Tuesday announced the promotion of David Patrick to assistant head coach.

Patrick, 38, has been a member of Jones’ staff for the past two seasons. He was involved in game and practice coaching responsibilities as well as scouting and recruiting.

Jones hired Patrick in 2012 after a stint as a personnel scout with the NBA’s Houston Rockets. Prior to that, he was a college assistant at Saint Mary’s for four years and Nicholls State for one.

In his first year at LSU, Patrick helped bring in a recruiting class that ranked fifth in the nation, a group that included sophomores-to-be Jordan Mickey and Jarell Martin.

This year’s crop of newcomers includes North Carolina-Asheville transfer Keith Hornsby and Elbert Robinson, Josh Gray, Jalyn Patterson and Aaron Epps.

“Coach Patrick has done an excellent job on our staff the past two seasons,” Jones said in a news release. “His hard work, tireless effort, loyalty and selfless attitude have helped move our program forward.”

A native of Australia, Patrick came to the United States in 1994 and played his senior season at Chapel Trafton — leading the team to the state quarterfinals while earning district most valuable player honors.

He spent one year at Syracuse, where he was a member of the 1996 Final Four team, and then played three seasons for Louisiana-Lafayette.

Patrick is married to the former Cassie Frank of Oberlin. They have two daughters, Bailee (8) and Madison (4).

Patrick’s contract must be approved by the LSU Board of Supervisors at its next meeting.

Fortune visits

CBS Sports reported that former Providence guard Josh Fortune visited LSU on Tuesday, one month after Providence said he planned to leave the Friars program after two seasons.

A native of Hampton, Virginia, Fortune was a two-year starter at Providence. He has already visited Colorado and reportedly is considering Minnesota and Valparaiso as well. Fortune will have to sit out the 2014-15 season as a transfer and will have two seasons of eligibility left.

The 6-foot-5, 200-pounder played 33 minutes per game last season when he averaged 8.4 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. He improved from the floor, shooting 41.4 percent (35.0 percent from 3-point range) after making just 32.7 percent of his field-goal attempts as a freshman.

Fortune had a season-high 24 points in a win over St. John’s in the Big East tournament, knocking down four 3-point shots.

In addition to his shooting, Fortune’s playing time increased as a sophomore after playing 23.1 minutes per game as a freshman. He averaged 5.5 points and 2.4 rebounds in his first season with the Friars.

Follow Sheldon Mickles on Twitter @MicklesAdvocate.