Former LSU basketball coach John Brady, who led the Tigers to an NCAA Final Four and two Southeastern Conference titles in 11 seasons at the school, was torn Wednesday night when his former team met up with one of his former assistants.
Just 18 days after LSU handed Tennessee a 73-55 loss in Knoxville, the Volunteers and first-year coach Donnie Tyndall, who coached four seasons under Brady from 1997 to 2001, and his team returned the favor with a huge 78-63 upset of the Tigers in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
Brady, now in his seventh season as coach at Arkansas State, went on the Culotta & The Prince radio show on ESPN 104.5 Thursday morning to talk about his friendship with Tyndall, who was given his first shot at a Division I coaching opportunity by Brady, current LSU coach Johnny Jones and his team, and how he handled players who declared early for the NBA draft and the impact it had on his program.
Brady also wanted to clear the air about a tweet authored late Wednesday night by a Louisiana sportswriter, who jokingly said the loss to the Vols was the “curse of Brady” because of his relationship with Tyndall.
Here are a few of his comments:
On Wednesday’s game: “I watched the game last night and I was happy for (Tyndall). But at the same time I pull for Johnny (Jones) and LSU. I think Johnny’s done a tremendous job in terms of collecting players and having good players.”
On LSU’s struggles at times this season: “They’re working through some things. You know, my team is working through some things here; I’ve got 10 new players, only two guys played a year ago. We haven’t found our stride yet and I struggle a little bit at the point guard position. Although Johnny’s won a number of games, sometimes he has that … what seems like a chemistry issue, too.”
On UT shooting 69.2 percent in the second half: “Tennessee shot the ball uncharacteristic of who they really are. That’s basketball … sometimes that happens. It happened to Johnny and them last night. It was unfortunate, but it just happens. Tennessee was out of their minds for about a 10- or 12-minute stretch, and I doubt if they’ll duplicate that this year. I don’t fault (LSU’s) effort.”
On the Tigers’ NCAA hopes: “I think LSU will come back in the SEC tournament and win a couple games and make that NCAA tournament because their team is tremendously worthy and is very talented. They’ll be even better next year.”
On LSU stars Jarell Martin and Jordan Mickey possibly leaving early for the NBA: “In my last four years (at LSU), we had four guys go early. It really hurt the growth and the continuity and opportunity for the program to get better. It’s a good thing because you’re recruiting well and winning games. It’s a good thing … but at the same time it’s a bad thing.”
On players leaving early: “I think Stromile Swift could have used another year at LSU … Tyrus (Thomas) could have used another year at LSU. I don’t think it’s a talent standpoint that’s the issue; I think it’s (from) a maturity standpoint: Are they mature enough as a person to handle the traveling, the money, and all the things that make a professional? What I would hope is that the players get the right advice.”
On Jones maybe facing that again after losing Johnny O’Bryant III last year: “Johnny’s going to face that problem … (but) it’s a good problem and I know he’s going to have it again next year with a couple of players he has coming in.”