The LSU football team rides into homecoming weekend ranked atop the national polls at 9-0 and in line to chase another BCS national championship. Don’t forget about LSU basketball.
LSU men’s coach Trent Johnson celebrated the addition of John Curtis guard Malik Morgan on Wednesday, while new women’s coach Niki Caldwell nabbed top-30 prospect Danielle Ballard to go along with in-state recruits Kuaneshia Baker and Derreyal Youngblood.
Youngblood is a classmate of Morgan at Curtis. Baker plays for Helen Cox.
Wednesday was the first day of the early signing period, when non-football prospects can begin signing national letters of intent.
“We are very excited about the addition of Malik Morgan to the LSU basketball family,” Johnson said in a university news release. “Besides coming from a great family, Malik is a very, very good basketball player. He is very skilled - not a good scorer, but a great scorer.”
Morgan, 6-foot-3, has LSU in his blood.
His mother, the former Detra Brown, twice earned All-Southeastern Conference recognition for the Tigers in volleyball and still ranks among the school’s all-time leaders in kills and digs.
Leading his Curtis team to the Class 2A quarterfinals, Morgan averaged 28 points, seven rebounds and five assists last year.
Rivals.com lists him as the nation’s No. 75 overall prospect, as well as the No. 11 shooting guard.
“One of the most impressive things about Malik besides his offensive skills and his ability to make players better is his overall competitiveness,” Johnson said. “He is very competitive, and he is going to have a huge impact on our team next year. Without question, I didn’t see a better guard in the state of Louisiana.”
Caldwell made a splash over the summer when she got a commitment from Ballard, a 5-9 guard who helped lead Memphis (Tenn.) Central to a 3A state title last year.
Ballard, listed by ESPN Hoop Gurlz as the nation’s No. 24 prospect, averaged 13.4 points, 3.6 assists and 4.7 steals as a junior. She had 21 points and 10 rebounds in the state championship game.
Caldwell added to the recruiting class Wednesday by doing some work in her backyard.
Considered the state’s top prospect, Baker is ranked the No. 96 recruit in the nation by ESPN Hoop Gurlz. The 5-10 guard nicknamed “Coco” earned all-state recognition after averaging 21 points for Helen Cox last year.
Youngblood, a 6-4 post player, helped Curtis reach the 2A quarterfinals last year, averaging 13.3 points.
“We definitely addressed our needs in our first recruiting class here, especially at the guard position,” Caldwell said in a university news release. “We are bringing a lot of athleticism to our perimeter and a strong post presence.”
Baker and Youngblood will join a Lady Tigers program that counts only Jeanne Kenney, a St. Michael graduate, and former Vandebilt Catholic standout Theresa Plaisance as Louisiana natives.
“It’s always important to keep in-state talent, and we are glad that Kuaneshia and Derreyal will get to play close to home,” Caldwell said.
The LSU men’s golf team announced Wednesday the signing of three prospects. The LSU women’s golf team announced the signing of one big one.
Men’s coach Chuck Winstead welcomed aboard John Jonas of Jacksonville, Fla., Chuck Spears of Pineville and Zach Wright of Phoenix.
Women’s coach Karen Bahnsen signed Mandeville star Elise Bradley, who has won two high-school golf championships and two Louisiana Golf Association state junior crowns, as well as one LGA women’s amateur championship.