BASKETBALL

O'Bryant III to return to LSU

Kent Lowe
LSU's Johnny O'Bryant III. Photo by LSUsports.net.

With the words, "I've decided to return to LSU for my junior year" All-SEC forward Johnny O'Bryant III ended the speculation about his future and set the stage for LSU men's basketball fans to look forward to the 2013-14 season.

The member of the coaches' first team in 2013 was second in the league with 15 double-doubles while averaging a team-best 13.6 points per game (up 5.1 points from his freshman season) and 8.7 rebounds (up two rebounds from his freshman season). O'Bryant III averaged 14.7 points per game and 9.4 rebounds per game in SEC games after returning to full health after some nagging injuries in pre-conference play.

Twelve of his 15 double-doubles came against league teams, including a string of five straight games and two runs of three games in succession. The Cleveland, Miss., native was the first LSU player to have five consecutive double-doubles since former Tiger Glen Davis during the 2005-06 season.

He helped LSU go from an 0-4 start in the conference to a 9-9 record, just the seventh non-losing conference season record in the last 20 years.

He helped the Tigers under first-year coach Johnny Jones record a record of 19-12.

O'Bryant III finished the season No. 12 in overall scoring and No. 3 in rebounds and fourth in field goal percentage at 48.7 percent. His conference averages put him sixth in the league in scoring and second in the SEC in rebounds.

He posted 22 games this past season with double figure scoring of the 29 he played, giving him 34 over his first two seasons at LSU. He posted five games over 20 points topped by his career-best of 30 at South Carolina on Feb. 14. He became the first player to score 30 points in a game for LSU since 2010.

He also scored 24 points versus Alabama (Feb. 23) and at Tennessee (Feb. 19); 22 at Alabama (Feb. 9) and 21 at Kentucky (Jan. 26). He had his career rebound best of 14 at Georgia (Jan. 19).

O'Bryant III showed his stamina when he played an amazing 51 minutes in the triple-overtime win in February against Alabama.

With the return of O'Bryant III, the Tigers presently have eight returning players including All-SEC defensive player Anthony Hickey and long-range shooter Andre Stringer along with Shavon Coleman and Malik Morgan.

The Tigers also signed one of the top classes in the country during the fall signing period including McDonald's All-American Jarell Martin of Madison Prep in Baton Rouge; Georgia AAA Player of the Year Tim Quarterman of Savannah; four-star forward Jordan Mickey of Prime Prep in Arlington, Texas; and forward John Odo of Nigeria who enrolled in January and was able to practice with the squad during the spring semester.