Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Lsu's All-Star Cast at Half Strength Henderson Perseveres While Tigers Await Return of Livingston

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Lsu's All-Star Cast at Half Strength Henderson Perseveres While Tigers Await Return of Livingston

Article excerpt

After Louisiana State point guard Randy Livingston suffered a fractured knee cap last January, sidelining him for the season, he didn't care to watch much more basketball.

He did watch the National Basketball Association finals. And he watched the NBA draft with envy because he saw sophomores such as Jerry Stackhouse and Rasheed Wallace get taken. Those were a couple of players who played with Livingston in the 1993 McDonald's High School All-American game in Memphis.

"I thought about those guys because they are friends of mine, great players who are going to help their teams - I'm going to be right there with them eventually," Livingston said.

How Livingston has kept faith during an injury-filled college career and how backcourt mate and friend Ronnie Henderson has persevered in Livingston's absence says more for their character than talent.

For two losing seasons, Henderson, a 6-foot-4 junior, has had to survive alone earning first-team All-Southeastern Conference honors. Hard-luck Livingston, a 6-4 third-year sophomore, has played a mere 16 games - all last season - because of torn right knee ligaments and a fractured right knee cap. With him a year ago, LSU was leading the SEC's Western Division. Without him, the Tigers lost nine of their last 11 games.

"If we would have had Randy healthy, we would have been to the NCAA Tournament both seasons," LSU coach Dale Brown said. "He's totally different from any player I've ever had - he makes other people so much better and his leadership qualities are phenomenal."

Despite limited action last season, Livingston was the leading vote-getter for the All-SEC freshman team. He scored in double-figures 10 times, had seven double-figure assist games, five double-doubles and was leading the nation in assists (10 per game) when his kneecap ripped apart during a 101-85 loss at Arkansas Jan. 31.

Previously, he has been redshirted as a freshman in 1993-94 because of the knee surgery required after sustaining torn ligaments during a summer pickup game at a Michigan basketball camp. The kneecap injury initially devastated, then made Livingston more determined than ever. …

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