Glenn Gilbeau / Gannett Louisiana
BATON ROUGE – One of the Southeastern Conference’s best basketball distributors will not be returning for his senior season along with two other players, LSU coach Johnny Jones said Tuesday.
Junior point guard Anthony Hickey of Hopkinsville, Ky., will not be back nor will sophomore forward Shane Hammink and sophomore guard Malik Morgan.
“These three players will not be a part of the LSU program next season,” Jones said in a statement released by LSU’s sports information department. “We thank them for the contributions they made to the LSU basketball team and certainly wish them well in their future plans.”
The news comes just as final exams ended at LSU with the semester grades being released. Jones did not say if any of the players are leaving because of academic issues. Jones and Hickey have never gotten along great despite Hickey consistently being among the leaders in the Southeastern Conference in assists, steals and assist-to-turnover ratio. Jones, who replaced Coach Trent Johnson after the 2011-12 season, suspended Hickey several times over the last two seasons.
Hickey signed with Johnson out of Christian County High in Hopkinsville before the 2011-12 season. The 5-foot-11 guard led the SEC last season in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.8 with 3.7 assists for fifth in the league and 1.3 turnovers while averaging 8.4 points a game. He also finished fourth in the SEC with 1.8 steals a game.
In the 2012-13 season, Hickey led the SEC in steals with 2.9 a game and finished third in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.1. He was fifth in the league with 3.8 assists a game and had 1.8 turnovers a game. He also finished sixth in 3-point field goal percentage at .328. In his freshman season of 2011-12, Hickey led the SEC in steals with 2.1 a game and was third in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.0.
Hickey started 85 of the 96 games he played in over the last three seasons and averaged 9.4 points and 3.75 assists a game. Morgan never developed into a regular starter as he averaged 4.9 points and 3.0 rebounds through 20 starts in 52 games over two seasons. He was lost for the 2013-14 season last February with a knee injury. Hammink, the son of former LSU center Geert Hammink, averaged 1.6 points and 1.4 rebounds in 21 games during his two-year career.