NEW YORK — Just four nights after spraining his left ankle, LSU sophomore center Elbert Robinson III was able to start Monday night’s game against Marquette in the semifinals of the Legends Classic.
Robinson went down with just over 11 minutes to play in Thursday night’s 78-66 win over South Alabama, but practiced when the Tigers arrived in New York on Sunday afternoon and was listed as probable for the game by coach Johnny Jones.
Robinson went through pregame stretch and warmups with his left ankle heavily taped and was cleared to start for the fourth consecutive game.
Robinson, who went into the game averaging 8.0 points and 4.0 rebounds, played 16 minutes — nine in the first half. Robinson missed his only field-goal attempt on a tip-in and had one assist and one foul.
SEC honors Simmons
A second member of LSU’s third-ranked recruiting class from last winter was named the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week on Monday.
LSU forward Ben Simmons made it two-for-two for the weekly honor for the Tigers as guard Antonio Blakeney, who scored 22 points and had 10 rebounds in the season opener with McNeese State on Nov. 13, shared it with Kentucky forward Skal Labissiere in the season’s first week.
In two games last week against Kennesaw State and South Alabama, Simmons averaged 22.5 points, 12.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 3.0 steals to help LSU push its winning streak to three games.
LSU moves up in polls
LSU moved up two spots to 17th in the USA Today coaches poll released Monday and also gained a spot to No. 22 in the AP writers and broadcasters poll after going 2-0 last week.
The Tigers, who were 19th in the first two USA Today rankings, dropped two notches from the AP preseason poll after a season-opening win over McNeese State.
With career highs of 23 points and 16 rebounds in the win against South Alabama on Thursday night, Simmons became the first SEC freshman to have a 20-point, 15-rebound game since Kentucky’s Julius Randle did it during the 2013-14 season.
Randle played only one season with the Wildcats and was a first-round draft pick of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Monday’s game with Marquette was the fourth meeting between the two teams with the Golden Eagles holding a 2-1 all-time edge in the series.
They first squared off in the NIT semifinals in 1970 in Madison Square Garden with Marquette winning. The teams also split a home-and-home series in 2011 and ’12 with the home team prevailing each time.
Beckham in the house
Former LSU wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was at Monday night’s game and drew a rousing ovation from the crowd on the first anniversary of his famed one-handed catch for the New York Giants against the Dallas Cowboys.
Follow Sheldon Mickles on Twitter @MicklesAdvocate.