Questions and answers from LSU coach Johnny Jones _lowres

Advocate file photo by CATHERINE THRELKELD -- LSU coach Johnny Jones directs players during a Jan. 21 game against Missouri at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

DESTIN, Fla. — Johnny Jones says his LSU men’s basketball staff is back on the recruiting trail for the 2014-15 season, but be insists the Tigers will be selective in who if anyone they take.

“We’d like to fill one or two spots depending on who that individual may be,” Jones said during a break between sessions at the Southeastern Conference Spring Meeting. “But we’re not going to fill that spot just for the sake of filling that spot. It has to be someone who can help our team.”

Jones said a wing player “would probably be the most ideal for us right now.”

LSU released three players earlier this month: guard Anthony Hickey, forward Shane Hammink and guard Malik Morgan.

Morgan transferred to Tulane. Jones said he doesn’t know where Hickey or Hammink may decide to play.

Jones said he’s eager for the exposure the SEC Network will give his program. Every conference basketball game will be televised by the network if not shown on another outlet like ESPN or CBS.

“I think it’s great,” he said. “Any time you can sit in a recruit’s home and talk about the exposure you’re going to get, the opportunity to be on TV every night, that goes a long way.

“Kids want to know who you’re going to play and if you’re on TV.”

The Tigers’ 2014-15 schedule remains incomplete, but Jones said there are only two or three nonconference spots to fill.

“We want to make sure we get some good opponents who can really help us,” he said, “maybe a home-and-home with someone.”

Youngblood off the team

LSU women’s basketball coach Nikki Caldwell said Derreyal Youngblood has been permanently dismissed from the team.

Youngblood, a 6-foot-4 center from John Curtis, served multiple team suspensions last year and played in 21 of LSU’s 34 games. She averaged 1.2 points and 1.4 rebounds per game as a sophomore.

Guard Raigyne Moncrief will return for her sophomore season after suffering a knee injury in LSU’s NCAA first-round victory over Georgia Tech, Caldwell said.

Moncrief may not be ready to work out when the team arrives in August for the fall semester, but Caldwell said she’s confident she will be ready when the season begins in November.

The Fort Lauderdale, Florida, native is LSU’s second-leading returning scorer with 10.1 points along with 4.5 rebounds per game.

Planting a new Peach (Bowl)

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl president and CEO Gary Stokan said ground has been broken on the unnamed new stadium to replace the Georgia Dome.

The retractable-roof facility, being built adjacent to the 22-year-old Georgia Dome, is scheduled to open in time for the 2017 football season.

Stokan said Atlanta will bid for the January 2018 CFP Championship Game early next year. The Peach Bowl is part of the CFP semifinal rotation and will host its first semifinal Dec. 31, 2016.

Stokan said he has spoken to LSU among a wide number of other schools about the possibility of the Tigers returning to play in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game once the new stadium is open.

LSU played North Carolina in the game in 2010.

That’s a wrap

The SEC Spring Meeting concludes with a general business session with school presidents and chancellors Friday afternoon.

Shortly thereafter, the SEC will announce its annual financial distribution to its member schools.

Last year, SEC members split a record $289.4 million or $20.7 million per school. Revenue distribution has increased every year since 1990.


SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said schools will have input as to who their two additional permanent opponents will be in men’s basketball. The new scheduling format would go into effect for the 2015-16 season. ... Slive said SEC members are continuing to consider adding a 10th assistant coach in football but have deferred that discussion to the group of issues related to NCAA governance.

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