LSU coach meets with alumni, fans following storybook year

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 19, 2006

NATCHEZ &8212; You could tell something was out of the ordinary by the glowing faces on the gathered group of LSU fans Thursday night.

Then it happened.

John Brady, LSU men&8217;s head basketball coach, walked into the doors of Slough Daddy&8217;s, making it clear he was the man of the hour.

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LSU alumni and friends gather every year to award two college scholarships to Miss-Lou students and hear a speaker.

Just so happened that the scheduled speaker coached a group that made an appearance in the Final Four, tackling Duke and Texas along the way.

&8220;We&8217;ve been doing this for around 20 years, working through the Alumni Association to get speakers,&8221; Alumni President Robbie Savant said. &8220;We thought it was great to get Coach Brady and understand he likes it here.&8221;

Brady, as well as alumni and friends played Beau Pr/ golf course today and then came to Slough Daddy&8217;s for a dinner and scholarship presentation.

&8220;It was a great year, and I&8217;m glad I got to be a part of this,&8221; Brady told the attendees of the supper.

&8220;I coached a wonderful group of guys that came together a little quicker than I expected.&8221;

Brady&8217;s team was put out of the NCAA tournament by UCLA at The Final Four but had a season that will not be forgotten anytime soon.

&8220;I thought the most pivotal game of the year was the first SEC game at Arkansas,&8221; Brady said. &8220;That win was significant for our guys confidence after the loss to Connecticut.&8221;

LSU&8217;s basketball team will be able to make a good run this year as well, Brady said. With SEC player of the Year Glen Davis and three starters from last years team returning, keeping the fan expectations up is OK with him, Brady said.

&8220;LSU fans are two things,&8221; Brady said. &8220;Best thing about LSU are the fans and at the same time can be the worst thing about LSU for a coach.&8221;

The expectation levels for the Tiger teams were always high because of the ongoing LSU success, he said.

&8220;The fans care so much when we do well we probably get too much praise, but when we don&8217;t do as well they give more criticism than we deserve,&8221; Brady said. &8220;Once you give them a taste of success, they like it. And we&8217;re going to do everything we can to get back.&8221;

As for the reputation Brady has carried throughout his career, Savant said, &8220;He&8217;s really a nice guy.&8221;