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‘We don’t believe in a rebuilding year’: Part I of The Advocate’s end-of-season Q&A with Paul Mainieri

Advocate staff photo by ANDREA MABRY-- LSU coach Paul Mainieri watches from the dugout as the Tigers face Florida in the Southeastern Conference tournament in Hoover, Ala., last month. Mainieri led his team to 40-plus wins for the eighth time in his 10-season tenure at LSU, but the Tigers fell two wins short of a berth in the College World Series.

Two weeks removed from a super regional loss to Coastal Carolina and just after he reaffirmed his commmitment to LSU following inquiries from Texas, coach Paul Mainieri sat down for a 45-minute postseason Q&A to assess the season and program. Buoyed by a torrid May where they lost just three games, the Tigers — which replaced eight… Continue reading →

Where were you when Warren Morris hit that homer? LSU fans were dancing, dogpiling, missing weddings and kissing strangers

Omaha ,Neb.--LSU Head Coach Skip Bertman gives a big hug to an emotional team captain, Tim Lanier, after the Tigers last inning win. Photo by John H.Williams.

It happens about once a week, Warren Morris says. Maybe he’s walking the streets of Alexandria, where a 60-year-old man in jeans tells him he got so excited when Morris hit his game-winning home run that he fell off his lawn mower. Or he’s sitting behind his cozy desk at Red River Bank, where a woman, clad… Continue reading →

How does Ben Simmons instantly become the 76ers’ centerpiece?

Philadelphia 76ers NBA basketball draft pick Ben Simmons speaks during a news conference in Philadelphia, Friday, June 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

PHILADELPHIA — No matter what position he ends up playing, Ben Simmons is going to be the centerpiece of the Philadelphia 76ers’ offense. “He’s a facilitator, a distributor and he’s going to have the ball in his hands a lot,” said Bryan Colangelo, the team’s president of basketball operations. “He’s going to make everyone on… Continue reading →

That other Allen: New Arkansas quarterback has familiar last name, wants to ‘keep the Boot’

Austin Allen looks to replace his brother at Arkansas this season.

THIBODAUX — Austin Allen gets asked the same question a lot. Everyone wants to know what it’s like for him to succeed his prolific older brother Brandon as Arkansas’ newest quarterback. When a reporter posed that question to Allen at the Manning Passing Academy on Friday for what was likely the umpteenth time, the… Continue reading →

Brandon Harris vs. Dameyune Craig? It’s coming, the LSU quarterback says

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- New wide receivers coach Dameyune Craig talks to players at LSU's second practice of spring football drills in March.

The duel was set: Brandon Harris vs. Dameyune Craig. Current LSU starting quarterback vs. former Auburn starting quarterback. Player vs. coach. Pupil vs. mentor. “He thinks he can still throw better than me,” said Harris, the Tigers’ rising junior, about LSU’s new receivers coach. “He thinks he can get me on distance and all… Continue reading →

‘We’ll get the last laugh’: A confident LSU quarterback Brandon Harris fueled - still - by the cynics

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- LSU quarterback Brandon Harris talks to reporters Friday during the Manning Passing Academy at Nicholls State in Thibodaux.

THIBODAUX — After LSU’s win over Florida last season, its quarterback, Brandon Harris, criticized the doubters in front of a room full of reporters. The doubters, mostly included ESPN “SportsCenter” anchors and analysts, talking heads who were down on the Tigers’ passing game despite a 5-0 start. “Apparently,” he said… Continue reading →

LSU quarterback Brandon Harris: ‘I take full responsibility for last year. I was terrible’

THIBODAUX – Brandon Harris has watched enough tape to know that he wasn’t tough enough during LSU’s 9-3 season last year.

He’s watched enough tape, he said, to know that he wasn’t good enough either.

“I take full responsibility for last year,” he said. “I was terrible. I was straight-out bad. I’m telling you right now, people can sleep if… Continue reading →

Jim Hawthorne comes full circle with Louisiana Sports Hall induction

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- LSU radio host Jim Hawthorne signs an autograph for Alex Hibbs, 9, right, before tipoff against Missouri in LSU's last regular season home game, Tuesday, March 1, 2016, at LSU's PMAC in Baton Rouge, La.

NATCHITOCHES — The road in front of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame museum includes a lane for vehicles to pull around in a circle. Longtime LSU broadcaster Jim Hawthorne couldn’t have asked for a better true-to-life metaphor. As he addressed the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame press conference on Thursday, Hawthorne talked about… Continue reading →

76ers make Ben Simmons first No. 1 pick from LSU since 1992

Associated Press photo by FRANK FRANKLIN II -- LSU's Ben Simmons raises his hand as he walks off the stage after being selected by the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday.

PHILADELPHIA — Ben Simmons was signing 76ers jerseys and eating cheesesteaks before he was even drafted. He’ll wear a team uniform for real soon enough. With the great hope he can lift one of the worst franchises in professional sports, the Philadelphia 76ers took Simmons with the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft on Thursday… Continue reading →

Scott Rabalais: Why LSU fans should be rooting for Ben Simmons in the NBA

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUKLSU forward Ben Simmons warms up before a game against Missouri on March 1. Simmons is projected to be the No. 1 or No. 2 pick in Thursday's NBA draft.

Sometime early in Thursday night’s NBA draft extravaganza, Ben Simmons will saunter across the stage at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, grab a Philadelphia 76ers hat and jersey and smile a multimillion dollar smile befitting the No. 1 overall draft pick as he poses with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. At that moment, Simmons will become the fresh face… Continue reading →

Back injury forces O’Neal Lochridge to rule out a return to LSU for 2016-17

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- LSU third baseman O'Neal Lochridge (9) throws to first between innings against Sacramento State, Friday, February 26, 2016, LSU's Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field in Baton Rouge, La.

The uncertainty surrounding O’Neal Lochridge’s back has forced the rising sophomore into a difficult decision. Lochridge, who suffered a flare up of a stress fracture in his back and is currently in a torso cast for three months, ruled out playing for LSU next season. The St. Thomas More product will continue to attend LSU and focus… Continue reading →

Seimone Augustus makes WNBA list of 20 greatest, most influential players

Minnesota Lynx's Seimone Augustus, middle, celebrates with Renee Montgomery (21) and Natasha Howard (3) as the Lynx take an early lead against the Phoenix Mercury during the first half of a WNBA basketball game Wednesday, May 25, 2016, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Seimone Augustus was arguably the greatest women’s basketball player in LSU history. Now she’s being recognized as one of the greatest in WNBA history as well. In conjunction with the league’s 20th anniversary, Augustus was named Tuesday to the WNBA’s list of the 20 greatest and most influential players in its history. Also named to… Continue reading →

Former LSU star Ben Simmons works out with Sixers

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- LSU forward Ben Simmons dunks against Missouri in the first half Tuesday in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. Simmons scored 22 points and  had 14 rebounds and seven assists in LSU's 80-71 win.

Ben Simmons finally made it to Philadelphia on Tuesday — and it sounds like he’ll be spending much more time in the City of Brotherly Love. Simmons, the one-and-done former LSU star who has been the presumptive first pick in the 2016 NBA draft since before he signed with the Tigers, was told by the Philadelphia 76ers… Continue reading →

LSU baseball notebook: Pitcher Jesse Stallings will sign with the Cincinnati Reds

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- LSU pitcher Jesse Stallings posted a 3-0 record this season with a 3.64 ERA.

A third member of the LSU bullpen is signing a professional contract. Fireballing right-hander Jesse Stallings, drafted in the 15th round by the Cincinnati Reds, will forgo his junior and senior season and sign with the club, coach Paul Mainieri said Tuesday. He joins relievers Parker Bugg and Riley Smith as Tigers who have signed professionally. “I think… Continue reading →

Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame: Justin Bailes helped raise awareness of concussion dangers

Legendary retired powerlifting coach Billy Jack Talton remembers Julian Bailes never shied away from smashing his head against opponents when asked as a high school sophomore guard and linebacker for Natchitoches Academy. Some 30 years later, Bailes found himself at the forefront of a push to make football safer and raise awareness of its dangerous… Continue reading →

Generations knew only Jim Hawthorne as Voice of the Tigers

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- LSU Sports Radio Network host Jim Hawthorne calls his first game back from taking a leave of absence as LSU plays South Alabama, Thursday, November 19, 2015, at LSU's Pete Maravich Assembly Center in Baton Rouge, La.

The Voice. That recognizable voice. A voice that tells you whether fourth-and-goal results in a touchdown and a win, whether a late 3-pointer is good or not, and calls the walk-off chance for victory or defeat. That’s what “The Voice” does for multitudes of fan at colleges and universities all over this country. He is the one who… Continue reading →

Former LSU commitment Zach Lee content with decision to sign with Dodgers

Photo provided by Oklahoma City Dodgers Media Relations -- Oklahoma City pitcher and former LSU commitment Zach Lee

Oklahoma City pitcher Zach Lee said he knows he made the right decision in signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers after being selected in the first round of the 2010 draft. With the $5.25 million signing bonus, it was a no-brainer. However, Lee said he wonders what it would have been like being a two-sport potential star… Continue reading →

Fisher, Oller top All-Louisiana baseball team

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Tulane closing pitching Jeremy Montalbano (33) celebrates the Green Wave's 7-1 win over LSU, Tuesday, March 29, 2016 at LSU's Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field in Baton Rouge, La.

LAFAYETTE — Southeastern Louisiana first baseman Jameson Fisher and Northwestern State right-hander Adam Oller highlighted the Louisiana Sports Writers Association college baseball team that was released Saturday. The team was selected by a panel of statewide media members and the state’s baseball sports information directors. Louisiana Tech’s Greg Goff, who led the Bulldogs to… Continue reading →

USTA tournament set for LSU tennis facility

Some of the United States’ best women’s tennis players will converge on LSU for the USTA 25K Women’s Professional tennis tournament starting Sunday at the LSU tennis facility. Hosted by the Southern Lifestyle Development Tennis Classic, the tournament attracts talent from professional tennis (Catherine Bellis, ranked No. 248 in the world; and defending champion Danielle Lao,… Continue reading →

NBA draft: Why LSU’s Ben Simmons is poised to become the top pick

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUKLSU forward Ben Simmons warms up before a game against Missouri on March 1. Simmons is projected to be the No. 1 or No. 2 pick in Thursday's NBA draft.

When the NBA draft begins Thursday night, the long wait for LSU All-America forward Ben Simmons will be over in a matter of minutes. On the other hand, the wait will be just beginning for guard Tim Quarterman, the second LSU underclassman to declare for the draft shortly after the Tigers’ disappointing season ended three months ago.… Continue reading →

LSU gymnastics coach D-D Breaux gets boost in pay, extension after runner-up finish at national championships

Photo provided by LSU Sports/Chris Parent -- Head coach D-D Breaux applauds her team as they compete in the NCAA National Championships.

Paul Mainieri isn’t the only LSU coach receiving a raise. D-D Breaux, the school’s longtime gymnastics coach, is getting a 23 percent bump in pay to $240,000 and a two-year contract extension, according to details available on the LSU Board of Supervisors agenda. Breaux’s contract amendment must be approved at the board… Continue reading →

Sources: Parker Bugg leaving LSU to sign with Miami Marlins

. Parker Bugg’s LSU career is over. The lanky, 6-foot-6 right-hander will sign with the Miami Marlins for $50,000, multiple sources told The Advocate on Friday. Bugg, who the Marlins drafted in the 27th round, did not immediately return a message seeking comment. Bugg was one of coach Paul Mainieri’s most reliable end-of-game threats, notching four of the team’s… Continue reading →