I saw this the other day, thought about mentioning it and hesitated, but now that a few people have brought it up I thought I would go ahead and post it on the blog.
LSU head coach Johnny Jones landed a big-time recruit in Elbert Robinson, a 7-footer out of Garland Lakeview Centennial this week. And some old UNT ties played a big role in the whole process.
So who is Robinson? He’s a consensus Top 75 player in the Class of 2014.
He’s also a former teammate of Chris Jones. He visited UNT when Johnny Jones was at UNT and talked about his long-term connections to Jones and UNT after committing to LSU.
Here’s what Robinson told Eric Bossi of Rivals.com:
“I’ve been knowing Coach Jones since my freshman year. He recruited our point guard who signed with them [Jones] and we’ve always talked. The next year he offered and we’ve had a great relationship since then.”
Now, while we are at it, a quick disclaimer: I’m not saying that UNT isn’t going to turn it around and get back to where it was under Jones under Tony Benford. UNT had a tough season last year, largely due to injuries and a number of other factors. Some years, it just doesn’t work out.
And Robinson blew up after Jones started recruiting him. He picked LSU over Ohio State, Georgetown and a host of other national powers.
He wasn’t going to end up at UNT, which has a good recruiting class going for 2014 with Carter forward Jeremy Combs as the foundation.
This isn’t a case of either you like Jones or Benford. It’s not that one can be successful and not the other.
It’s just interesting to see that a player UNT was in on years ago and who had some UNT connections ended up deciding to follow Jones to LSU.
It also brings up a good point. UNT went to a grand total of two NCAA tournaments in men’s and women’s basketball combined IN ITS ENTIRE HISTORY before Jones took UNT to two NCAA tournaments. He also had UNT on the verge of two others.
There were some very vocal people who said Jones wouldn’t succeed at LSU. More and more, it’s looking like those people are going to be dead wrong. LSU was picked to finish 11th last year in the SEC in the preseason media poll.
The Tigers tied for eighth, upset nationally ranked Missouri, won an SEC tournament game, finished 19-12 and signed a consensus Top 10 recruiting class. Now LSU has another Top 75 player on the way next year.
It’s great to see a former UNT head coach succeeding at a place like LSU. It’s only going to help UNT in the long-run when it tries to attract top coaches.
It certainly helped UNT attract Benford, who was a hot head coaching candidate — and for good reason — before he landed in Denton.