Jordan Mickey on list of Naismith hopefuls _lowres

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Jordan Mickey (25), LSU's top scorer with 24 points, gets two over Alabama's Michael Kessens, in the first half of LSU's SEC game against Alabama, Saturday at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center in Baton Rouge.

LSU junior forward Jordan Mickey has made the cut to the Naismith Trophy Men’s Midseason 30 list, it was announced Thursday.

Mickey, a 6-foot-8 sophomore from Dallas, was named to the 50-man preseason watch list in early November and made the second cut Thursday.

One of four Southeastern Conference players to make the list of 30, Mickey leads LSU in scoring with 17.0 points per game and rebounding at 10.8 per game.

Mickey ranks third in the league in scoring and is second in rebounding. He is one of only two player in the conference — along with Auburn’s Cinmeon Bowers — to average a double-double for the season.

Mickey also leads the SEC and ranks second in the nation in blocked shots with 3.7 per game.

The other SEC players still in the running for the Naismith Trophy are Kentucky forwards Willie Cauley-Stein and Karl-Anthony Towns and Arkansas forward Bobby Portis.

Coach Jones thanks fans

LSU coach Johnny Jones issued a letter to Tigers’ fans on Thursday, thanking them for the support his team received during a narrow 71-69 loss to top-ranked and undefeated Kentucky on Tuesday night.

With a paid crowd of 13,997, of which there were 13,111 fans in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center, the school set a record for the present seating configuration during a renovation of the arena prior to the 2005-06 season.

In the letter, Jones harkened back to his playing days at the school in the early 1980s when packed houses were a common occurrence under former coach Dale Brown.

“I am genuinely touched by the support that you have continuously given to our program from the day that I became a head coach at LSU,” Jones wrote. “Tuesday night, the entire family was back together in the house that Pete built.

“The energy of the ‘Deaf Dome’ that our fans brought was felt by me, our coaches, and most importantly, it was felt by our players. When we were down, you brought us back. For that, we thank you!”

LSU will play its next two games on the road — on Saturday at Tennessee and Tuesday night at Texas A&M. The next home game will be on Saturday, Feb. 21 at noon against Florida.