Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

It's Time to Cram for Exam; Coaches Brady of LSU, Gillispie of Texas A&M Adapt to Short Prep Time

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

It's Time to Cram for Exam; Coaches Brady of LSU, Gillispie of Texas A&M Adapt to Short Prep Time

Article excerpt

Byline: CHASE GOODBREAD

Cramming for an exam, basketball style.

However difficult preparing for a first-round NCAA Tournament opponent might be, getting ready for the second-round foe is doubly tough.

When LSU coach John Brady and his Texas A&M counterpart, Billy Gillispie, match wits tonight at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, it will be with about half the preparation time that each was afforded for their respective first-round opponents. Less than 48 hours separate the final horn of their victories over Iona and Syracuse and their Atlanta Regional quarterfinal tipoff, and what coaches do with the narrow window of prep time varies.

"We don't back off much in practice," Gillispie said. "I'm not a believer in saving guys' legs. We'll [practice] pretty hard [Friday]."

Besides practice, players also convene for film study of their next opponents. Brady planned two film sessions for his players Friday.

"I don't think you want to throw everything at the kids all at once," Brady said. "So you try to break it up into segments."

LSU guard Darrel Mitchell said Tigers players didn't watch the Texas A&M-Syracuse game in its entirety, even though they knowing they would face the winner.

"We caught the tail end of it at the hotel," Mitchell said. "But we started right in this morning watching [A&M] tape. This morning, we just sort of got familiar with their personnel, and tonight, we'll go back and study their sets."

Despite the shortage of time, coaches have the resources to provide their players with film sessions far more intricate than just pushing a "play" button and letting tape roll.

"We've got clips of each of their seven main players, showing tendencies and what they like to do, and we break all that down," Brady said of the morning session. "Then we'll come back at 10 p.m. [Friday night] and look more at what they like to do as a team. …

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