Like many others, LSU men’s basketball coach Johnny Jones paid tribute to outgoing Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive at the outset of his team’s media day Wednesday.
The 74-year-old Slive announced Tuesday he’s retiring, effective July 31, 2015, in part because of a reoccurrence of prostate cancer.
“I’d like to say something about our commissioner, who’s done a tremendous job, and the impact he’s made on this great conference,” Jones said. “I’m sure he’ll finish up strong this year, but we’re real excited about his accomplishments.
“We wish him well in his retirement and through his surgery,” he added. “We certainly wish him a speedy recovery.”
LSU may have the remedy for its mediocre free-throw shooting of a year ago, when they were 10th in the SEC at 66.9 percent, in the form of guards Keith Hornsby and Josh Gray.
Hornsby, a transfer from UNC Asheville, and Gray, who came to LSU from Odessa (Texas) College, shot the lights out recently in practice.
Hornsby, the Division I leader in 2013 in shooting 92.5 percent from the line, and Gray were both 50-of-53 one day. Gray was again 50-of-53 the next day, but Hornsby was 50-of-51.
“I got him … barely,” a smiling Hornsby said. “But that competition is still going on.”
Jones announced Wednesday that guards Antonio Robinson and Carlton Speight have earned roster spots as walk-ons.
The 6-foot-1 Robinson is a senior from Shreveport who previously played at McPherson College in Kansas. Speight, a 6-4 freshman from New Orleans, last played at Harding Academy in Memphis.
BAYOU MADNESS SET
The LSU men’s and women’s teams will take part in the second “Bayou Madness” on Friday night at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. There is no admission charge for the fan-friendly event, which begins at 6:45 p.m. with a pep rally outside the arena and continues at 7:30 p.m. on the court.
The Lady Tigers will scrimmage, and there will be a 3-point shooting contest and slam-dunk contest by the Tigers, who will cap the evening with a scrimmage as well.
Follow Sheldon Mickles on Twitter @MicklesAdvocate.