LSU swingman Shavon Coleman is easily one of the best athletes and toughest match ups on the floor when Johnny Jones’ squad takes the hardwood. It’s just been hard for him to be consistent of late, going only 6-of-22 from the field in his last four games. Thursday afternoon, he and the Tigers started rolling early against Georgia. Coleman wound up with 24 points and six boards in 33 minutes. This, after he had scored only 24 points in those last four games.
“It’s not about scoring,” commented Coleman, “It’s just different things I can do for my team to help my team win – rebounding, defense, and things like that.”
LSU coach Johnny Jones started Shavon Coleman in Thursday’s SEC opener. He scored 24 points as the Tigers with stood a fierce Bulldogs rally to make it to the quarterfinals. Credit: LSU Sports Information
Coleman nailed a couple of threes on back-to-back possessions early to spot LSU to a quick 12-4 lead in the first five minutes. Coach Johnny Jones noted that Coleman could be a major factor so, LSU kept feeding him the ball, especially in the second half where he had 16 of his 24 points. Maybe the motivating factor for Coleman, though, was when Jones came to him and told him he was starting today. Jones thought he had a match up advantage in skill vs. Georgia.
“They’re extremely quick and have a great post player (Nemanja Djurisic),” commented Jones, “I was hoping we could get driving lanes to the basket as well and I think Shavon allowed us to do that.”
Coleman shot only 25% from the three-point line on the season. He was four -of-five on Thursday as both times, he gave LSU a good chance to stretch it’s lead and weather the Bulldogs and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in the second half.
“We actually look for him to play more inside, but we know he is very capable out there,” explained Jones, ” We allow him to try to stretch out there in games and take one or two to try to loosen the defense for Johnny (O’Bryant). Tonight, we were very fortunate that he was able to try to get into a rhythm. He became very confident out there and made big plays.”
Coleman gave LSU a huge lift, scoring seven points in the first 4:46 of the second half as well. Interestingly, his reverse layup with 8:39 remaining was LSU’s last field goal until there were 33 seconds left in the game. He never took another shot from the field and in that time period, the Bulldogs outscored LSU 19-5 as they cut it to 66-63 and had the ball with a chance to tie.
Coleman’s exploits probably saved LSU from a barrage of Caldwell-Pope’s scoring prowess as he lit the Tigers for 26 of 32 in the second half, Coleman said the team knew that the 20-point lead wasn’t safe with the SEC Player of The Year with only 6 points at halftime and yet to show his wares.
“We knew he was going to come out in the second half and play,” said Coleman, ” We knew he was going to come out shooting the ball and playing aggressive. That’s what he did.”
The Tigers challenge top seed Florida tomorrow at 1 p.m. EST.
- Ken Cross
Related Posts:Jones will prove you can go home again at LSUTigers clawing back?Big Week for SEC ContendersGators lie atop SEC power ratingsOrange restructures in Big East finale