Jones brings assistants from North Texas

BATON ROUGE -- As expected, new LSU basketball coach Johnny Jones is bringing some of his former North Texas staff to the Southeastern Conference.

Jones announced Thursday morning in a press release that he would be adding Shawn Forrest and Charlie Leonard, two of his assistants with the Mean Green, to his new staff at LSU.

Forrest had been an assistant with Jones at North Texas for four years, and prior to that had worked at Arkansas State for six seasons. Leonard has a much longer history with Jones. He was as an assistant at Memphis during Jones' brief head coaching stint there. He then followed Jones to North Texas where he served under him the past 11 years.

“Charlie Leonard has been with me for 12 years and has done a tremendous job assisting us in different areas. He is a great on-the-floor basketball coach and he has a tremendous basketball mind. We look forward to the impact that he will have on this LSU basketball program,” said Jones in the release.

The pair's hiring, as well as their official duties, still need to be approved by the LSU Board of Supervisors. But it seems safe to say that Forrest's emphasis falls mainly on recruiting, with Leonard's expertise coming in scouting and preparation.

Forrest helped attract many of Jones' top players for the Mean Green, including Tony Mitchell, the reigning Sunbelt Conference Freshman of the Year.

“Shawn Forrest will be a tremendous addition to the LSU Tiger family,” Jones said. “His ability to recruit and identify players on the recruiting front will be valuable to this program. Shawn’s ability to develop relationships and maintain them will be essential in the recruiting efforts here at LSU. He is a tremendous basketball coach as well with a great feel for the game that will also prove valuable for us moving forward.”

Leonard's focus with the Mean Green was scouting and preparation for upcoming opponents, as he ran the scouting department during his time at North Texas. Leonard also assisted with in-game and practice coaching, and he coordinated the team's travel.