The LSU basketball team will be in a rebuilding mode over the next couple of months — both on and off the court — as the Tigers get ready for the 2016-17 season.
The Tigers’ program, which has already lost four players from this year’s 19-14 team, is losing assistant head coach and recruiting coordinator David Patrick as well.
LSU coach Johnny Jones confirmed to The Advocate on Friday night that Patrick, 40, is leaving to take a job on the staff of new TCU coach Jamie Dixon.
Citing a source, ESPN first reported on Friday afternoon the news of Patrick’s departure from LSU after four seasons. Dixon left Pittsburgh to take over at TCU after Trent Johnson, a former LSU coach, was fired.
While at LSU, Patrick teamed up with Jones to help land a pair of top-five recruiting classes in his four seasons with the program.
The Tigers had the No. 5 composite ranking in the nation in 2013 when they signed McDonald’s All-American Jarell Martin and Jordan Mickey and were third in 2015 when they got Ben Simmons, the consensus No. 1 player in the country, Antonio Blakeney and Brandon Sampson.
Martin was a first-round draft pick of the Memphis Grizzlies last summer and Mickey was taken in the second round by the Boston Celtics.
Simmons, an All-American who could be the No. 1 player picked in the NBA draft this summer after announcing he was turning pro on March 20, is Patrick’s godson.
“Coach Patrick has done a tremendous job the last four years,” Jones said in a statement issued by the school. “He has been a very integral part of the success in all phases of our program.”
“This is a new challenge that will allow me to continue to grow as a coach and person,” Patrick said in the news release. “I have learned and grown immensely under coach Jones. I am indebted to all the players, fans, and administration that have played a role in our time here in Baton Rouge.”
In addition to Simmons, guard Tim Quarterman announced earlier this week that will enter the NBA draft, and, like Simmons, gave up his college eligibility by hiring an agent.
The Tigers are also losing seniors Keith Hornsby and Josh Gray.
Blakeney said Friday he will put his name in the draft, but won’t hire an agent. If he doesn’t get a favorable draft projection from the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee, he could return for his sophomore season.
Patrick, a Bermuda native who grew up in Australia and played his final season of high school ball at Dunham School in Baton Rouge, came to LSU in 2012 after working two years as a personnel scout with the Houston Rockets.
A former pro player in Australia, Patrick had previous college coaching stints at Nicholls State (2005-06) and St. Mary’s of California (2006-10).
Follow Sheldon Mickles on Twitter @MicklesAdvocate.