Jump to content
Gameday Tigers

LSU vs AU Saturday 2/9/19 1pm ESPN2


Recommended Posts

LSU hosts AU tomorrow in a matchup of talented SEC teams destined for the NCAA tournament barring chaos and collapse from either. 

LSU is 18-4 overall with a strong 8-1 SEC record halfway thru the conference slate after topping MSU (another likely NCAA tourney team) Wednesday night in Starkvegas. 

Auburn is 16-6 and 5-4 in conference and is coming in on a 3 game winning streak after dismantling Alabama and beating UF at home most recently. Auburn is a borderline Top 25 team receiving votes in the polls but not quite making the list.  

LSU is a great defensive team on paper, but has struggled mightily defending the 3 point shot lately.  Part of that is due to opposing players making shots they normally do NOT, especially an issue against Arkansas when guys were left open and allowed to shoot from deep on purpose due to horrible shooting percentages...but of course they made them against LSU. 

Tremont Waters is without question the team's leader, and in fact, one of the best players in the conference.  If not for Tennessee's Grant Williams, Waters would likely be headed toward SEC POY this season.  He's been great, but Naz Reid is starting to be a force for the Tigers as well, scoring 29 Wednesday night against MSU to lead all scorers, including a miracle 3 pointer that somehow found the bottom of the net to put the game away with just a few ticks left on the OT clock.  

The other end of the spectrum is Skylar Mays, who is in a horrific slump shooting the ball.  He was shooting well over 40% from 3 through the first 13 games of the year, but in the last 9 games, he's shooting around 25%.  I would attribute this to better competition, but man, he's missing wide open 3s, and I mean MISSING them...not even close.  I don't know if "Slumpbusters" exist for basketball players, but if so, he needs to jump on that grenade and get it over with. 

Kavell Bigby-Williams has been amazing defensively blocking shots and rebounding, and on offense he's picking up easy baskets, many times off misses he rebounds.  Speaking of offensive rebounds, LSU is the best offensive rebounding team I've ever seen, grabbing well over 30% of all misses and getting second chances.  This stat combined with amazing free throw shooting is what keeps the Tigers on the winning end of things.  They lead the league in both free throws attempted and free throws made, and in my opinion that's a product of coaching with Will Wade focusing on the details that he knows make a difference in close games. 

If you haven't been following this team you're honestly just missing out.  It's been a while since LSU produced this kind of excitement on the hardwood, and I wish more fans were giving this team a look.  Almost all games are televised, so no real reason not to check them out. They need and deserve our support!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can't freaking wait.

Home game in the Maravich Assembly Center against the War Chickens!

This is going to be a battle...treat yourself to watching the game...if you're lucky enough to be able to attend, yell your heart out for me.

ESPN2 at 1:00 PM central time.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

So here's some things LSU did that they've been doing consistently. 

Got down by double digits

Made a furious comeback


Played poor perimeter defense


Forced a ton of turnovers leading to...

a 31-12 advantage in points off turnovers.

OWNED the offensive glass again leading to...

LSU out rebounded Auburn, 48-35, and 23-7 on the offensive boards that allowed the Tigers to get a 29-1 advantage on second chance points

That's an unreal stat right there, but it's becoming commonplace for LSU, quite frankly. 

LSU also continues to shoot well from the charity stripe, which is SO refreshing! And game changing. 

One thing that did change...

Skylar Mays led LSU with 20 points and no turnovers in 35 minutes of play

This kid is a pre-med student and a leader on this team. I had a feeling he'd break out of his slump today!

Waters had 19 points, 10 assists, and 3 steals. 

Naz Reid added 16 points and 13 rebounds. 

Kavell Bigby-Williams added 7 points with 10 boards. 

LSU just DOMINATES the glass!

Good win today, and the gumbo was very good as well. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rabalais: Bruce Pearl knows ... LSU and Will Wade have a serious dog in the hunt

lsuauburnbasketball.021019 HS 2144.JPG

Coach Will Wade shouts instructions to his team in the second half of LSU's 83-78 win over Auburn, Saturday, February 9, 2019, at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center in Baton Rouge, La.

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK
Scott Rabalais

Scott Rabalais

When Bruce Pearl was out of coaching and working as a college basketball analyst for ESPN, he went to observe one of Will Wade’s practices at Chattanooga.

“What are you doing here?” Wade asked. He was in his first head coaching job at a small program, and Pearl had been the coach at mighty Tennessee.

“I told him I was trying to get better,” Pearl said. “I was witnessing a really good young coach.”

Pearl may come off as a Tasmanian Devil in a tailored suit, a 78 rpm man in a 33⅓ rpm world. But his frenetic style gets imprinted on his teams, which play at a breakneck pace that looks like someone pressed the fast-forward button on the DVR.

The Pearl style looks out of control but is really more calculated. He knows how to coach, and he knows coaching, figuring he can get your team out of its comfort zone by making it go too quickly.

Pearl also knows when he has met his match in terms of wits. He knew it Saturday, when his Auburn Tigers rained a flurry of 3-pointers on Will Wade’s LSU team to take a 16-point first-half lead.

By halftime, that Auburn lead was down to three. In the second half, LSU started to choke off the Auburn perimeter game and countered with Wade’s own calculation that his Tigers’ size and strength inside would be the antidote to the unchecked virus of Auburn’s attack.

In the end, Auburn got its 16 3-pointers, a season high for any LSU opponent. But LSU outscored Auburn 38-18 in the paint, outrebounded Auburn 47-35 (with 22 offensive rebounds, no less) and held an astonishing 29-1 edge in second-chance points.

“You had to be entertained, I would think,” Pearl said, a measure of knowing dejection in his voice.

Indeed it was entertaining, with two brave teams never flinching. Not LSU when it got down 16 in the first half. Not Auburn when it trailed 77-67 with 2:40 to go.

“It was a game of could they make more 3s, or could we get more rebounds and points in the paint,” Wade said.

Put all together, it was just enough for an 83-78 LSU victory, the final two points coming on two nearly meaningless Tremont Waters free throws with 0.5 seconds remaining. But good enough it was to pull LSU through the knothole of pressure-packed performance, to borrow a D-D Breaux phrase, and emerge on the other side 19-4 overall and 9-1 in conference play.

“He puts his guys in the right spots with their spacing,” Pearl said. “He has a great offensive mind. I think LSU’s staff and my staff are two of the best in the league.”

Saturday’s game was just the latest breathless chapter in a midseason LSU stretch filled with them. In their past five games the Tigers have:

• Rallied from 14 down in the final 2:14 of regulation to force overtime and win at Missouri 86-80.

• Broken out of a one-point halftime game at Texas A&M to win 72-57.

• Rallied from 18 down with 13:45 left to take the lead but lose 90-89 to Arkansas.

• Weathered a 17-0 first-half run by Mississippi State on the road to force overtime and win 92-88.

• What they did Saturday.

You could call LSU lucky. But it one of sports’ truisms that good teams and good athletes make their own luck. And if you leave them an opening, they will make you pay.

“I like that our team hangs in there,” Wade said. “Sometimes we’re hanging by a fingernail. (But) we hang in there, hang in there, hang in there.”

Wade’s second team already has one more win than it did in year one when the Tigers went 18-15 and reached the NIT quarterfinals. And they are in the thick of a lot of good stuff heading into a huge game Tuesday at Kentucky, tied for second in the SEC with LSU a game behind Tennessee.

It will be a tough for LSU to win at UK, the final act of a three-game stretch that it long appeared would define the Tigers’ season. LSU already has won two of those three games, which will for the Tigers hopefully transfer into a loose and confident attitude going into scary Rupp Arena.

Whether LSU springs the upset at UK or not, it appears these Tigers have staying power. They have all the pieces you want with size inside with Naz Reid and Kavell Bigby-Williams and a backcourt that had two point guards handling the Auburn press late with Tremont Waters and Javonte Smart.

The NCAA selection committee Saturday morning revealed its top 16 tournament seeds as things stood going into this weekend’s play. LSU was not among those teams, but committee chairman Bernard Muir did mention the Tigers as one of the teams in the conversation for one of those lofty regional seeds.

“It’s fun,” Wade said. “Everyone likes to have a dog in the hunt. We have a dog in the hunt. That’s what you want.”

Now the question is rapidly becoming how much more can LSU get.



Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...