Sunday, January 22, 2006

What the fuck are we doing? How the fuck did we win?

So this is my motto for college basketball season this year. You'll catch me changing it up a bit depending on the results. For instance a couple weeks ago against UCONN it was "What the fuck are we doing? How the fuck did we lose?" Yes, LSU basketball is crazy this year and will drive all Tiger fans completely insane.

The SEC season has started out wonderfully however with wins at home against Tennessee (beaters of Tex-ass and Florida) and Alabama, and wins on the road against Arkansas and Mississippi State. This does much to offset shoulda-coulda-woulda losses to Houston, Northern Iowa, Cincinatti, Ohio State, and UCONN. With Kentucky coming to the PMAC this year we are definitely good enough to run the table and lose only one or two. But we are also bad enough to lose seven or eight.

There's no doubt that the Tigers have enough to talent to go a very long way in March/April, even with losing Brandon Bass to the NBA and Tack Minor to injury that was not a question. With Glen Davis clogging up the middle, Tyrus Thomas averaging 29 blocks per game, Tasmin Mitchell hitting huge shots and getting huge boards, and Darrell Mitchell averaging 15-plus per game we can expect to have success. Where we run into problems however is consistency. I cut Darrell Mitchell some slack in this regard since point-guard is not his true position.... but too often we throw away the ball during crucial moments and give the other team free points. It happened yesterday against Alabama, its happened in every game we've played, and it will happen in a few days against Georgia. If we want to make a run at the SEC Championship, if we want to make a run at the Final Four (which we are capable of) we simply CAN NOT turn the ball over like we have been so far this year.

I know this will sound obvious, but its true, we must play smart basketball. If any one moment exhibits what I am talking about it is the final seconds of the UCONN loss. We were down by one and Darrell Mitchell had the ball and was running downcourt. With about three seconds left he abruptly pulled up way beyond the tree-point line and threw up a prayer shot. Naturally he missed it and we lost. But with three seconds left he could have driven to the hoop, passed the ball, pulled up and set his feet, any number of things. But the worst thing to do was throw up a shot without a chance of going in. Smart basketball man.

Alabama hung with us most of the game and was actually leading for a while. The reason we were struggling was very clear to me. Simply put: we weren't getting the ball down low. With an enormously gifted Center such as Glen Davis we ought to get the ball down low every chance we get right? So you'd think.... but yesterday during most of the first half and parts of the second LSU simply moved the ball around the perimeter and seemingly refused to put the ball in Glen's hands down low. We only started to pull away once we had established a presence down low with Big Baby.

Yesterday LSU got a huge win against Alabama. Of all the teams in the West Bama probably was the closest to us in talent (or Arkansas). The more we keep on winning the more we have a shot at success in March and April. I know this sounds obvious but we cannot afford to get in a funk and start playing bad basketball and turn the ball over with consistency. If we can keep it together all we will have to do is hope the coaching is there.......

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