Less than a week ago LSU learned that Calvin Godfrey – a talented but troubled player who has bounced around – did not qualify. This left the Tigers with just nine scholarship players heading into Johnny Jones' first season at the helm.
Now they're back to ten (which is still three below the maximum).
New Orleans native Charles Carmouche is transferring from Memphis. Carmouche began his career playing for the University of New Orleans, but left when the program dropped from Division I. He's spent the past two seasons at Memphis, and was eligible for a transfer under the graduate transfer rule. This means he can play immediately.
This is Carmouche's fifth season, but he was awarded a medical redshirt after only appearing in seven games last year. He'll have one to play one.
So how will he fit in?
At UNO he came off the bench as a freshman, and then played more minutes than anyone else as a sophomore. That year he was also asked to carry the team, taking 26% of the shots when he was on the floor. Unfortunately, he wasn't ready for the role. He was a solid, but unspectacular 3-point shooter (35%), but the 6-2 guard only took 30% of his shots from beyond the arc. The rest were twos, and on those he was a woeful 41.7%. He did a good job of getting to the line (5 free throws per game) but only made 61%. The end result was an 8-22 team which struggled to put up points (332nd in offensive efficiency).
So when he left for Memphis I wasn't expecting much. And I was
right wrong. Sure, his scoring dropped from 12.6 ppg to 7.4 ppg, but remember those points in New Orleans came strictly through volume. Anyone can average 12.6 if they jack up enough shots. In Memphis he accepted his role. His shot selection went from 30% from beyond the arc, to 48%. And as more of a spot up shooter he was able to increase his shooting % on threes to 39.1%. He still struggled on twos, but was able to use his penetration game to continue getting to the line. As a junior he upped his FT% to 68%. He was also asked to focus on defense, and was one of the Tigers better perimeter defenders.
His senior season was beginning with even more promise – he was making 46% of his threes and 73% of his free throws – when he was shut down due to pain in his knees.
Now he's transferring to LSU. If he's asked to do what he did at Memphis, then he should be a valuable contributor. If he needs to take over games – well, it's probably not going to happen.