LSU freshman guard Jalyn Pattersonwas expected to try and practice Thursday after being sidelined for Wednesday night’s comeback victory over South Carolina — reportedly with concussion-like symptoms.
LSU coach Johnny Jonesstopped short of saying Patterson, who was injured late in Saturday night’s win at Vanderbilt, suffered a concussion while diving for a loose ball.
“He’s supposed to do some things (Thursday), and it kind of depends on how much he’s able to get through — whether or not we’ll test him or whatever,” Jones said before his team began preparing for Saturday’s Southeastern Conference matchup with Mississippi State in Starkville.
“He got hit, and he got hit hard,” he said of Patterson, who’s averaged 5.4 points in the first 19 games. “You can’t call it (a concussion). I’m not sure if that’s exactly what it is; that’s why they want to see where he is today. If he can’t get through (practice), that may be something they would suggest.”
LSU signee Benny Simmons and Antonio Blakeney,who committed earlier this month to the Tigers’ program, have been chosen for the 38th annual McDonald’s All-American game.
A showcase for 24 of the nation’s top seniors, the McDonald’s game will be played April 1 at the United Center in Chicago and will be televised by ESPN’s family of networks. Simmons and Blakeney will play for the East squad.
Simmons, a 6-foot-10 forward, is the nation’s No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2015 and the headliner for the all-star game. The Montverde (Florida) Academy star signed with LSU in the early signing period in November.
Blakeney, a 6-4 shooting guard from Oak Ridge High School in Orlando, Florida, is rated as the 14th prospect in this year’s class and No. 2 shooting guard on the ESPN 100 list. He committed to LSU on Jan. 2 — choosing Jones’ program over Kentucky and Missouri.
Challenge pushed back
The Big 12/SEC Challenge, which was played in early December this season, is moving to late January for the 2015-16 season.
ESPN announced Thursday that the 10-game series, which has been held over several days in November and December the first two seasons, will be played in one day — Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016 — to create more exposure for the event.
Jones is in favor of it, with one drawback: it will be another competitive game to prepare for in the middle of the conference season.
“If it’s something the league thinks is beneficial and is going to create more attention for us, we’re excited about it,” he said of the Challenge, which will be televised by ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU.
This season, LSU defeated West Virginia 74-73 on Dec. 4, in Morgantown, West Virginia.
Jones will host his monthly Tipoff Luncheon at the L’Auberge Casino on Tuesday with LSU PA announcer Dan Borne’serving as guest speaker.
Jones will also provide an update on his team, which will be preparing for a three-game homestand against Auburn (Thursday), Alabama (Feb. 7) and top-ranked and undefeated Kentucky (Feb. 10).
The event is held at the Bon Temps Buffet. The buffet, which costs $14.99 per person, is available at 11:30 a.m. with the program beginning at 12:10 p.m.
Follow Sheldon Mickles on Twitter @MicklesAdvocate.