The ultimate goal for LSU basketball coach Trent Johnson and his staff is to be playing at this time of the year on a consistent basis.
Instead of being able to participate in the NCAA Tournament the staff's been on the recruiting trail for some backcourt help that can immediately come in and compete for a starting job.
That trail has directed them to the junior college ranks where Sam Grooms of Chipola (Fla.) Community College is regarded as one of the nation's best. With his season wrapped up the 6-foot-1, 190-pounder has turned his full attention to his recruiting process with the start of the spring signing period set to begin April 13.
"We lost our championship game by only six points," a disappointed Grooms said of his team's loss to Tallahassee Community College. "We had to play without one of our best big men because he broke his elbow the first night of the tournament. He was one of the best players on our team.
"Obviously, I wanted to win and did everything I could to do that but I think I played all right considering coming back from a knee injury (early-season MCL sprain). I could have played better but we did the best we could."
Grooms, considered one of the more sought-after prospects out of high school in Greensboro, N.C., said nothing has really changed when looking at the schools that are recruiting him. In a previous interview with TigerBait.com, Grooms said he had offers from Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Houston, Baylor and South Florida.
"Definitely all my focus is now shifted to the recruiting process and making this very important decision," Grooms said. "I'm in the process of setting up visits. The Final Four is going on right now so I plan on setting up all my visits after the Final Four. Of course LSU is going to get one. Outside of that I really don't know.
"There are a lot of schools after me at the moment," Grooms said. "I'm sitting back waiting and am going to think about it over the next couple of days."
LSU assistant coach Brent Scott has taken the lead role in the recruitment of Grooms for the Tigers.
"I heard from Coach Scott about two weeks ago," Grooms said. "They (LSU) are still very much recruiting me. Everything is still cool between me and LSU from my understanding. If I want to come to LSU I'm sure I am going to be able to do that. Signing Day is in a couple of weeks and I should have it done by then."