Tigers Top Gaels, 78-74

Led by Tremont Waters, the Tigers got the win

Coming off a disappointing loss, LSU desperately needed to get back in the win column.

In their last outing, LSU blew a 15 point lead en-route to dropping a winnable game against Houston. Today, the Tigers were able to hold onto a 15 point second half lead.

Saint Mary’s gave LSU all that they could handle in this ballgame. Despite being down for much of the game, the Gaels would not go away. Saint Mary’s was able to shrink the LSU lead to just four points with a minute left to play. But, two Emmitt Williams free throws and a Tremont Waters layup secured the win for the Tigers.

Naz Reid scored 14 points in the winning effort. Reid made 5 shots on 13 attempts. The freshman also grabbed 5 rebounds.

Coming off the bench, Tremont Waters led the Tigers in scoring with 18 points. Waters was extremely efficient in the victory, shooting 7-12 from the filed. Waters also shot 3-5 from beyond the arc. Will Wade said that Waters had played his best game for the team in a month.

Jordan Ford led Saint Mary’s with 21 points. Ford was the only reason that the Gaels were able to hang around in the second half.

Jordan Hunter was also a difficult player for LSU to stop. Hunter scored eight consecutive points to begin the game, and scored 15 total.

This was not the prettiest victory, but a win is a win.

In a postgame interview, head coach Will Wade said the he was pleased with his guys, and that this was a really, really good win.

Next up, LSU will travel back to Louisiana to take on No. 23 Furman.

GAMETHREAD: Basketball vs. Saint Mary’s, 10pm, ESPNU

The Tigers head to Las Vegas for a neutral site showdown

The LSU Tigers (7-3) head to Las Vegas Saturday night to face off with the Saint Mary’s Gaels (7-4) as part of the Neon Hoops Showcase benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer. The Gaels are on a four game winning streak and are 1-2 on neutral courts, the same as the Tigers.

Saint Mary’s finished last season with a record of 30-6, led by the incredible big man Jock Landale. They beat Southeastern LA and Washington in the NIT before falling to Utah in overtime, the same team that ended LSU’s season a game prior.

By KenPom efficiency ratings, the Gaels have the 17th best offense in the nation but the 135th best defense. The Tigers are 23rd and 107th respectively in those categories. As of now, the Tigers are projected as a one point favorite. Suffice to say, this should be a pretty evenly-matched game.

“(Saint Mary’s) run a European style offense,” said Coach Wade Friday. “We’ll have to guard a lot ball screen action, a lot of different cutting actions which will be different than kind of the power games of some of the teams we have played.”

Tonight’s contest will tip off at 10pm and will be televised on ESPNU. You can also listen in on 98.1FM or join the discussion in the comments.

Saint Mary’s Gaels Projected Starting 5

#3 Jordan Ford - 22.5 PPG, 1.5 SPG, 35.1 MPG

#1 Jordan Hunter - 10.3 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 22.5

#10 Elijah Thomas - 6.4 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 22.8 MPG

#24 Malik Fitts - 15.1 PPG, 7.9 RPG, 30.6 MPG

#00 Tanner Krebs - 6.9 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 22.7 MPG

LSU Tigers Projected Starting 5

#1 Ja’Vonte Smart - 12.1 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 29.3 MPG

#3 Tremont Waters - 11.3 PPG, 5.2 APG, 30.7 MPG

#4 Skylar Mays - 13.2 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 28.9 MPG

#0 Naz Reid - 12.2 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 22.7 MPG

#24 Emmitt Williams - 8.0 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 24.1 MPG

22 Fall Graduates Honored at ‘The Tribute’

Twenty-two LSU student-athletes that are set to graduate on Friday were honored at The Tribute on Thursday night at the South Stadium Club inside Tiger Stadium.

LSU to Broadcast ‘Hold That Tiger’ Show on Signing Day

BATON ROUGE – "Hold That Tiger", LSU's National Signing Day Show hosted by Julie Stewart-Binks, who has worked for both ESPN and Fox Sports, will air live on SEC Network+, LSUsports.net/signingday, Facebook Watch and @LSUFootball on Twitter on Wednesday as the school formally announces the newest additions to the football team.

2018 ATVS BOWL PICK’EM SPECTACULAR

Well here we are, back again for another round of bowl pick’em. No prizes for this round, only the admiration and respect of your fellow degenerates.

It’s a simpler, more relaxed game around here, none of those confidence pool shenanigans. Just simple spread picks. We’ll update things here periodically through the bowl season to keep an eye on the standings. As with the pick’em game in the regular season, picks are only due right before kickoff, so you can just pick this weekend’s games now and fill out the rest later. Be aware of the following: The spreads on the entire bowl slate (except the national championship) were locked on Dec. 11th. Any further events/injuries/arrests that might alter the predictions for a game will not be taken into account in the spread.

If you played the pick’em game this season or last year’s bowl pick’em, you’ve likely already received an invitation. For everyone else, got to FunOfficePools.com and create an account, then come back here and click on THIS LINK to join the pool. The Password is geauxtigers.

  • THE UL ANGELES CAJUNS OF ANAHEIM
  • THE FIGHTIN’ CHUCKY KEETONS
  • EIGHT WIN HERM EDWARDS
  • THE FACTORY IS PUTTING IN SOME OVERTIME AT THE CRAMPTON BOWL
  • APPY
  • TROGDOR
  • Ohio, I guess? yeesh
  • USF, THIS ONE’S FOR ALL THE CORNED BEEF WONTONS

Grant Delpit A Unanimous All-American

LSU safety is in elite company.

With the news that LSU safety Grant Delpit was selected to the 2018 AFCA All-American team (along with Devin White and Greedy Williams, with Cole Tracy on the second team), the sophomore has become LSU’s first unanimous All-American selection since Morris Claiborne in 2011.

Delpit is now one of just eight players in program history to be a unanimous All-American pick, joining Claiborne, Patrick Peterson, Glenn Dorsey, Nacho Albergamo, Jerry Stoval, Moonie Winston, Billy Cannon and Gaynell Tinsley.

Delpit, Williams and White together make 35 total consensus All-Americans for LSU, with the three making a first team from most of the five major selectors (the Associated Press, Walter Camp Foundation, AFCA, Football Writers Association and the Sporting News).

Delpit finished the 2018 regular season with 73 tackles, including 9.5 for losses and 5.0 sacks, along with an SEC-leading five interceptions.

Tigers Eye Improvement, Tenth Win During Bowl Prep

Tigers Focused on Improvement, Ten Wins During Bowl Prep

POSTGAME: #24 Houston 82, LSU 76

Tigers blow a 15 point lead for their third loss

After leading by 10 at halftime and as much as 15 in the second half, the LSU Tigers fell to the Houston Cougars Wednesday night in Houston 82-76. LSU’s record falls to 7-3 while the Cougars improve to 9-0 and extend their home winning streak to 22 games.

The Tigers have now lost nine straight true road games and will end the calendar year of 2018 without a single true road win.

Thirteen seconds into the second half, Naz Reid dropped in a layup to extend LSU’s lead to 47-35. The Tigers would fail to score a single shot from the field for another ten minutes and eighteen seconds, a Darius Days layup. Although the Tigers scored 10 points on free throws during that field goal drought, the damage had been done. What initially seemed like a relatively easy night for the Tigers turned into a one possession game while LSU did...nothing.

The entire second half was frustrating as hell, and I’m sure if you’re like me you had war flashbacks of the Simmons season...all that talent on the court yet seemingly no offensive plan when the crowd gets to them. It’s an issue that haunted Wade’s squad last year and unfortunately seems to be the case so far this year: they turn clueless and just can’t win on the road.

Before we get too ahead of ourselves with negativity, we’ve really got to give credit where it’s due. KenPom had Houston ranked as the 28th best defense in the nation and that was very evident in their performance tonight. Shooting 37% from the field and giving up 18 offensive rebounds and 16 turnovers won’t win very many games at all, but fortunately I don’t think there are too many teams that could do that to LSU. Houston is special and coming to a TruTV near you.

Ja’Vonte Smart led scoring for the Tigers with 18 points on 14 shots and snagged a pair of rebounds and steals. His point guard counterpart Tremont Waters was stunningly not great tonight, shooting a very poor 3-of-13 from the field and giving up 5 turnovers.

Naz Reid scored 13 points in 20 minutes, but found himself in foul trouble pretty early in the second half. Had LSU been working with Reid during that long field goal drought, who knows how this could’ve gone. But a physical team like Houston will frustrate young big guys like Reid and Darius Days (who ended up fouling out) and force them to make dumb mistakes.

From here, the Tigers will head to Las Vegas for the Neon Hoops Showcase against the Saint Mary’s Gaels on Saturday. The Gaels won 30 games last season before falling to mutual opponent Utah in the quarterfinals of the NIT.

GAMETHREAD: Basketball vs. #24 Houston, 8pm, ESPN2

The Tigers take on their first true road game of the season

Having made quick work of their previous two opponents, the LSU Tigers (7-2) will take a trip down I-10 to take on the #24 Houston Cougars (8-0). The two teams met at the same time last year in the PMAC, a thrilling 80-77 victory for LSU. This game will be played in the newly christened Fertitta Center, which opened Houston’s home season only eleven days ago in a win over Oregon.

This game marks the beginning of the “real” season for LSU, with two ranked teams and a strong Saint Mary’s making up the next three contests. While Saint Mary’s and Furman will be very tough tests on their own, KenPom currently projects Houston as a five point favorite for tonight.

While the Tigers are working on a 13 game winning streak at home, the Cougars currently boast a 21 home game winning streak, good for the second longest in the nation. According to KenPom efficiency ratings, Houston has a top 50 offense and a top 30 defense. The Tigers haven’t won a game on the road since January 10th against Arkansas.

Coach Will Wade spoke with the media about the different challenges of a road game, especially against a ranked opponent.

“I hope we learn we can compete in a high pressure, high stakes game where it’s going to be a blood bath,” said Coach Wade. “You could call a foul every possession. (Houston is) as physical a team as we’ll play all year long. It’s like playing Georgia when Mark Fox was in our league. It’s going to be a huge test on the backboards, it’s going to be a huge test of our toughness. It’s going to be a huge test of our three-point defense. Our transition defense is going to get tested. Everything is going to get tested. Can we counter punch when they punch us? Can we settle into a game? All that stuff is going to be extremely important. It’ll be a game on the road against a top 25 ball club. Those are never easy.”

Tonight’s contest will tip off at 8pm and will be televised on ESPN2. You can also listen in to the game on 98.1FM or join the discussion in the comments.

Houston Cougars Projected Starting 5

#3 Armoni Brooks - 16.5 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 32.2 MPG

#25 Galen Robinson, Jr. - 8.8 PPG, 6.3 APG, 33.0 MPG

#23 Cedrick Alley Jr. - 7.4 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 27.8 MPG

#5 Corey Davis Jr. - 16.5 PPG, 4.4 APG, 32.2 MPG

#24 Breaon Brady - 7.5 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 16.1 MPG

LSU Tigers Projected Starting 5

#0 Naz Reid - 12.1 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 23.0 MPG

#1 Ja’Vonte Smart - 11.4 PPG, 3.3 APG, 28.6 MPG

#3 Tremont Waters - 11.4 PPG, 5.5 APG, 31.0 MPG

#4 Skylar Mays - 13.9 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 28.6 MPG

#22 Darius Days - 7.3 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 17.7 MPG

Bowl Edition of ‘Ed Orgeron Show’ Set for Dec. 19

BATON ROUGE - The Fiesta Bowl Edition of The Ed Orgeron Show presented by Hancock Whitney will air live from TJ Ribs on South Acadian Thruway in Baton Rouge on Wednesday, Dec. 19, from 7 to 8 p.m. CT.

And the Valley Drinks: Southern Craft’s Murder Bean

New brew that’s on the lighter side of the darker side.

Southern Craft brewing is the other shop here in Baton Rouge. Still small, but they have some quality offerings — flagships Redstick Rye and Pompous Pelican, in addition to having excellent names, are good, quality spring/summer time beers.

Likewise, their newest offering has a pretty excellent name as well: Murder Bean.

Untappd lists it as a coffee stout, but it’s much more of a dark ale with coffee flavor mixed in. If you’re a fan of the flavor of darker beers, but can’t handle the heft of a stout or a porter, this is a good way to get your feet wet with the style.

Review

This one has a nice warm, roasted aroma, but with a very light texture on the pour. Flavor on the opening has a good, rich and malty start, then pivots hard into the roasted coffee flavor. Nice warm beverage that gives you that cold weather flavor of a stout without the body. Very drinkable. Four stars out of five.

Delpit Named Unanimous All-American

BATON ROUGE – LSU placed four players on the 2018 AFCA FBS Coaches' All-America Teams, including safety Grant Delpit, who became only the ninth unanimous All-American in school history.

Reviewing LSU’s Legendary 2014 Signing Class: Hits, Misses and The Rest

Taking a look back at LSU’s class from 2014.

As we approach another signing day and LSU ramps up bowl prep, let’s take a quick look back at the 2014 signing class. We shall bid farewell to the final members of the class after the Fiesta Bowl.

Hop in your time machine and go back to 2014 to do a quick refresh on the 2014 signing class, which, at the time, many believed may be the best LSU signing class of all time. Here’s a quick table:

HITS

Leonard Fournette, Jamal Adams, Garrett Brumfield, Davon Godchaux, Will Clapp, Darrel Williams, John Battle, DJ Chark, Russell Gage

Fournette: Billed as the second coming, Fournette lived up to and even exceeded the hype. He was a transcendent SEC talent that became a top draft pick. It’s a shame LSU’s passing game never came along to support him. Better Know a Freshman.

Adams: I remember first watching Adams tape and thinking, “why would anyone want Hootie Jones over this guy?” This is the test case for why it’s not the end of the world for top Louisiana prospects to leave the state. Adams far outperformed Hootie and became a legitimate superstar. Better Know a Freshman.

Garrett Brumfield: I’d be wrong if I said I didn’t expect more from Brumfield, but it’s hard to not call four-year contributor and two-year starter a success. Brumfield never became an All-American, but he was a very capable starter. Better Know a Freshman.

Davon Godchaux: He didn’t get a ton of hype due to his injury his senior year, but Godchaux held a top 150 ranking. I was a big fan of his game and he wound up being dead wrong about my prediction of his timeline. Godchaux took a starting role as a freshman and never looked back. Now he’s a quality NFL starter on the Dolphins. Better Know a Freshman.

Will Clapp: Clapp somehow barely eclipsed the 4-star barrier, but I was always keen on him. I thought it may take time, but much like Godchaux, it did not. After redshirting, Clapp became a freshman All-American, becoming a 3-year starter and eventually a Rimington finalist. He’s not discussed this way, but Clapp is genuinely one of the best OL of the Miles era and in the last decade at LSU.

Darrel Williams: Darrel Williams could have gone to Tennessee or Arizona State and been the lead dog. Instead, he chose to come to LSU, signing in the same class as Leonard Fournette. Pause and think how remarkable that is from every angle. Williams then spent his entire LSU career playing in the shadows of Fournette and then Derrius Guice. Then he signed with the Chiefs as an undrafted free agent and made the team. Williams career is a resounding success and a real testament to grit. He’s truly one of my favorite LSU players ever. Better Know a Freshman.

John Battle: Battle was a guy that was difficult to pin down as a recruit. Listed at six foot and 180 pounds, he seemed corner size. He’s now listed at six-foot-two and 206 pounds. Battle grew and matured into a quality SEC safety and a team leader. Is he a star? No. Did he punch Jimbo’s punk ass nephew in the jaw? Yes. For that alone, he’s a hit. Better know a Freshman.

DJ Chark: Chark was a recruit met with tepid response. I liked his athletic upside but you just never know with players that raw. Chark, of course, went on to become LSU’s best WR since Beckham/Landry. Although he never hit 1,000 yards, he caught 40 passes, returned a punt to help beat Auburn and went on to be a high NFL draft pick. That’s a hit for a 3-star. Better a Know a Freshman.

Russell Gage: I toss Gage here because he was a late take that wound up in the class because Tony Brown picked Bama over LSU. Most were devastated by that news, but in the end, I think LSU got the better player. Brown was all over the map at Bama, in and out of the lineup, battling trouble and eventually undrafted. Gage became a starter his junior season, put together some great plays as a Senior and had a penchant for avoiding defenders by jumping the hell over them. AND he got drafted. He’s a hit. Better Know a Freshman.

MISSES

Malachi Dupre, Clifton Garrett, Ed Paris, Brandon Harris, Trey Quinn, Deondre Clark, Jacory Washington, Devin Voorhies, Jevonte Domond, Tony Upchurch, Sione Teuhema, Trey Lealimatafao, Donnie Alexander, Cameron Gamble, Colin Jeter, Travonte Valentine

Malachi Dupre: Never really amounted to his recruiting hype. I know some will rush to blame the QBs, but look at this way: Russell Gage signed in the same class and got drafted 60 spots higher than Chi. So, same QB issues, same hamstrung by the offensive system issues and the NFL thought more of him. Chi has a ton of athletic giftings, it just never all rounded into shape. I must also acknowledge, this is relative to ranking. As a three-star, he’s a hit. But as a five-star, not so much. Better Know a Freshman.

Clifton Garrett: Chi is just a miss. Garrett is an utter bust. He lasted barely a year at LSU, played in three games and didn’t record a stat. Then he left and bombed out of football altogether. Devin White became the guy we thought Garrett would be. Better Know a Freshman.

Ed Paris: It just never seemed to come together for Ed. He started at corner and never found his way up the depth chart. Last year he earned a spot as a starting safety, got injured and never got the job back. These things happen. He produced some fantastic locker room dance videos and seemed like a great teammate, though. Better Know a Freshman.

Brandon Harris: Harris has been raked over the coals enough. His football career didn’t go the way we or he wanted it to. After showing some promise, he never progressed and eventually transferred out to UNC. Good kid, just didn’t put it together. Better Know a Freshman.

Trey Quinn: Quinn is a miss for LSU but a success overall. He looked poised to become everything we dreamed but that concussion his freshman season just derailed his entire LSU career. He left for SMU and united with Chad Morris, who nearly won his commitment to Clemson. Trey’s making plays in the NFL now and we’ll always have him crowd surfing after we beat Ole Miss. Better Know a Freshman.

Deondre Clark: For whatever reason, Clark just never did much of anything at LSU. He must have been solid enough in the locker room that the coaches wanted to keep him around, because unlike Ed Paris, who remained in the 2-deep, Clark was barely a rotational player and even then only after injury. Better Know a Freshman.

Jacory Washington: The Deondre Clark of offense. Washington and his imposing frame seemed like would make an intriguing receiving option and instead he’s barely ever contributed. Better Know a Freshman

Devin Voorhies: Voorhies never really found his home on defense. He played special teams consistently, but after toying at safety he became a linebacker. Never really an impact player, which you grow to expect from a Gatorade Player of the Year. Better Know a Freshman.

Jevonte Domond: Never rose up the depth chart and got booted off the team for assaulting a woman. Good riddance. Better Know a Freshman.

Tony Upchurch: Never was really an SEC-level take. Never found a role and transferred out. Better Know a Freshman.

Sione Teuhema: More or less a take to secure his younger brother. I remember Sione flashing some serious pass rush on a single play where he really bent the edge like an elite player. He never really found his footing battling injuries and disciplinary issues. Better Know a Freshman.

Trey Lealimatafao: Redshirted, got booted, transferred and then got arrested. Now in jail. Better Know a Freshman.

Donnie Alexander: Donnie’s fine. He played here and there, moved into a starting role last year and promptly lost it as the freshmen emerged. He was a three-star, but it feels excessive to call him a hit. He was about what I expected. Better Know a Freshman.

Cameron Gamble: Gamble came with solid enough hype for having a monster leg, but the dude couldn’t manage to kick it out of the end zone with any consistency. He never secured a starting role. That’s a bust for a scholarship-level kicker. Better Know a Freshman.

Colin Jeter: Unranked as a recruit, a late add. He started 17 games and I don’t really know what that says about him or the LSU offense in that span. He caught 23 total passes. You know, I guess technically he’s a hit because he was expected to do nothing at all and well, he didn’t not do anything. Better Know a Freshman.

Travonte Valentine: The great elusive nose tackle. Valentine was to be a signature cherry on top of the great sundae signing class and while he did make it to campus, he wound up being held out due to SEC review or some inane bullshit. It’s hard to say what would have happened to his career if that didn’t occur. There were always rumors of him absolutely dominating upperclassmen linemen in practice. He eventually got booted but then went to JUCO got right and came back only to leave again. Valentine never came together and I can’t help but believe it’s partially due to the fact that he got held hostage by the SEC as a young man and he couldn’t get that taste of football that could have helped him push some of his baser desires and bad habits to the background. Better Know a Freshman.

THE WHAT COULD HAVE BEENS

Sione Palelei: Committed to LSU for about six months his senior year, he flipped to Oklahoma State and signed there. Battled injuries as a senior and in Stillwater and never played a down of college football as far as I can tell.

Speedy Noil: Early on it looked like Noil would be intent on making LSU feel the wrath of his loss. He looked like a quality player as a freshman at A&M but then fell out of favor and into disciplinary issues. Ultimately undrafted. He’s in the CFL now.

D’haquille Willliams: After a couple JUCO stints, he finally signed with Auburn and had a so-so career there. He is also in the CFL, but starring, leading the league in receiving yards this past season.

Cam Robinson: Robinson became a star at Alabama and eventual 2nd round pick. He had a run-in with the law prior to his senior season and battled some injuries, but no way to argue LSU couldn’t have used him from 2014-2016.

Derrick Kelly: Down to the wire battle with FSU, Kelly picked the Noles. He played a ton on some of the worst FSU lines in recent history. So, not sure it’s a major loss.

Rod Taylor: Took a while to get on the field and wound up starting 12 games as a right tackle for Ole Miss. Drafted late. Just an okay player.

Lorenzo Carter: Solid player for UGA but never really lived up to his five-star status. Still, would have been a quality player for LSU.

Gerald Willis: Troubled. Bounced out of Florida for disciplinary issues. In and out of trouble at Miami. He made all-ACC this year on the 2nd team defense. He’s a really good player with some issues. LSU could have used good Gerald but bad Gerald, not so much.

Breeland Speaks: All-SEC player, second-round NFL draft pick and father of one of the greatest college football gifs of all time. Definitely could have used him.

Kain Daub: Committed to LSU for a few months, he signed with the Noles and never materialized at FSU, transferred out to JUCO and then signed with FAU where he only played lightly.

Otaro Alaka: Late interest in LSU but ultimately signed with A&M. Became a big time threat for A&M as a backfield disruptor. Late round NFL draft prospect. Could have been a nice player for Aranda even though he was recruited for Chavis.

Adoree’ Jackson: Became a sensational star at USC. Long shot for LSU but did visit. Thorpe winner. 1st round pick. Yeah, coulda used him.

Tony Brown: Mentioned above. We did better with Russell Gage.

Hootie Jones: Never really materialized in college and isn’t in the league.

Summary

10 Hits

15 Misses

40% success rate

Not great. The hits were big, but the misses were too. This was judged to be one of the best classes in LSU history and wound up being kinda so-so? Harris/Dupre being just average and Garrett/Valentine outright busting takes it down several notches. Fournette may have carried the LSU offense but he can’t carry this signing class to legendary status alone.

Johnny Robinson Named 2018 Doak Walker Legend

DALLAS – The PwC SMU Athletic Forum has selected former LSU running back Johnny Robinson as the recipient of the 2018 PwC Doak Walker Legends Award. The award was created in 1998 to honor former running backs that excelled at the collegiate level and went on to distinguish themselves as leaders in their communities.

Hoops Gets Ready for the Real Season

More penetration!

The big games start now

We’re not used to having a relevant basketball team around these parts, but believe it or not, LSU is playing two critical games this week that will matter come Selection Sunday. I know you’re currently trying to learn all of the high school football players in America in anticipation of Signing Day, but there’s actual LSU sports to watch.

LSU plays Houston tomorrow night in their gym, and then travels to Vegas to play St. Mary’s in the Neon Hoops Showcase. Houston is undefeated in eight games and currently ranked 24th in the AP poll. St. Mary’s is just 7-4, but they are a dangerous team that can exploit LSU’s biggest weaknesses.

And what are those weaknesses? With four freshmen in the top six players in minutes, Will Wade is learning about this team just like we are. He’s tinkered with the lineup all season and while he hasn’t settled on a concrete lineup, we can see the pecking order emerge.

First off, this is Tre Waters’ team, and it will only go as far as he takes them. He’s the point guard in our four most common lineup combinations, and he’s the only guy averaging over 30 minutes per game. He hasn’t found the three-point stroke from last year, shooting just .314 from behind the arc, but the offense is flowing through him.

However, Skyler Mays has arguably been the team’s best player. He leads the team in scoring at 13.9 PPG. The shots are pretty evenly spread about among the team’s top four of Mays, Reid, Waters, and Smart, but Mays is simply a better shooter from both inside and outside the arc. He has an effective FG% of 64.8% on the season, well ahead of anyone on the team who taking a large number of shots.

While the veteran backcourt of Mays and Waters (with freshman Ja’Vonte Smart) was supposed to make the team go, it’s really all of those freshmen stalwarts up front which gives the team its identity. Wade’s usage patterns clearly shows he views freshmen Emmitt Williams and Naz Reid as the first team and freshmen Darius Day and senior Kavell Bigby-Williams as the bench guys, coming in to give those guys a breather.

The thing is, forcing those four into just two slots with that essentially set backcourt is cutting against the thing the team does well. LSU ranks 18th in the nation in effective FG% at 56.2%, but that’s not because of the guard play. LSU ranks 200th in three-point rate and 168th in three-point FG%. Let’s call that mediocre at best. The high eFG% is driven entirely by the fact LSU shoots 59.1% from inside the arc, mainly on short attempts from inside the lane.

But those attempts in the lane are not being created by guard play. One of the best ways to determine whether a team drives the lane is looking at FTA/FGA ratio. Teams that drive the lane go to the free throw line a lot, for obvious reasons. LSU ranks 189th in FTA/FGA rate at 33.6. It’s not bad officiating either. LSU has an assist on 51.5% of field goals made, just shy of the national average of 51.8%.

No, what drives the LSU offense right now is the unglamorous work of hitting the offensive boards with a frenzy. LSU grabs 37.5% of available offensive rebounds, 16th best in the country. Two LSU players rank in the top 50 in the nation in offensive rebound rate: Darius Days (11th) and Emmitt Williams (34th). Kavell Bagby-Williams ranks 57th.

Which creates a problem for Will Wade. Naz Reid is clearly his most talented frontcourt player. Reid’s game isn’t all there yet, but he just oozes raw talent. However, the things that are driving the LSU offense come from those offensive rebounds, and he lags well behind his teammates on that front. While Bagby-Williams, his backup, has a 14.2 OR%, Naz Reid has just a 6.5.

The good news for Wade is that the answer to most of his dilemmas for this team are simple: his best players need to play like it. The backcourt needs to start creating more shots, and Tre Waters needs to start hitting more threes. Naz Reid has to cash in on that potential, and start playing like the team’s best player all of the time, not just in flashes.

The bad news for Wade is the guys on the team who are producing and driving the team’s success are the back of the rotation guys. This is great for when the top guys need to rest, as the team can generate offense without its playmakers, but its also a problem because the way to get Naz to the next level is to keep feeding him minutes.

Right now, LSU has only played three teams ranked in the KenPom top 100. LSU has lost to the two highest ranked teams it has played, #15 Florida St and #64 Oklahoma St. Those games were learning experiences. Well, learning time is over. The Tigers need to start winning games against top ranked squads, and Houston is ranked 35th and St. Mary’s 53rd in the KenPom. These are key games for LSU’s eventual tournament profile come March.

Once SEC play starts, the only two teams on the schedule not ranked in the top 100 are South Carolina and Georgia. After that, is a steady stream of tournament contenders. LSU is going to need to go .500 in SEC play, but they also need to go at least .500 out of conference against quality teams.

We still don’t quite know what kind of team we have right now. But Wade has to roll with the one he’s got, and it’s time to start producing victories.

Hoops Gets Ready for the Real Season

More penetration!

The big games start now

We’re not used to having a relevant basketball team around these parts, but believe it or not, LSU is playing two critical games this week that will matter come Selection Sunday. I know you’re currently trying to learn all of the high school football players in America in anticipation of Signing Day, but there’s actual LSU sports to watch.

LSU plays Houston tomorrow night in their gym, and then travels to Vegas to play St. Mary’s in the Neon Hoops Showcase. Houston is undefeated in eight games and currently ranked 24th in the AP poll. St. Mary’s is just 7-4, but they are a dangerous team that can exploit LSU’s biggest weaknesses.

And what are those weaknesses? With four freshmen in the top six players in minutes, Will Wade is learning about this team just like we are. He’s tinkered with the lineup all season and while he hasn’t settled on a concrete lineup, we can see the pecking order emerge.

First off, this is Tre Waters’ team, and it will only go as far as he takes them. He’s the point guard in our four most common lineup combinations, and he’s the only guy averaging over 30 minutes per game. He hasn’t found the three-point stroke from last year, shooting just .314 from behind the arc, but the offense is flowing through him.

However, Skyler Mays has arguably been the team’s best player. He leads the team in scoring at 13.9 PPG. The shots are pretty evenly spread about among the team’s top four of Mays, Reid, Waters, and Smart, but Mays is simply a better shooter from both inside and outside the arc. He has an effective FG% of 64.8% on the season, well ahead of anyone on the team who taking a large number of shots.

While the veteran backcourt of Mays and Waters (with freshman Ja’Vonte Smart) was supposed to make the team go, it’s really all of those freshmen stalwarts up front which gives the team its identity. Wade’s usage patterns clearly shows he views freshmen Emmitt Williams and Naz Reid as the first team and freshmen Darius Day and senior Kavell Bigby-Williams as the bench guys, coming in to give those guys a breather.

The thing is, forcing those four into just two slots with that essentially set backcourt is cutting against the thing the team does well. LSU ranks 18th in the nation in effective FG% at 56.2%, but that’s not because of the guard play. LSU ranks 200th in three-point rate and 168th in three-point FG%. Let’s call that mediocre at best. The high eFG% is driven entirely by the fact LSU shoots 59.1% from inside the arc, mainly on short attempts from inside the lane.

But those attempts in the lane are not being created by guard play. One of the best ways to determine whether a team drives the lane is looking at FTA/FGA ratio. Teams that drive the lane go to the free throw line a lot, for obvious reasons. LSU ranks 189th in FTA/FGA rate at 33.6. It’s not bad officiating either. LSU has an assist on 51.5% of field goals made, just shy of the national average of 51.8%.

No, what drives the LSU offense right now is the unglamorous work of hitting the offensive boards with a frenzy. LSU grabs 37.5% of available offensive rebounds, 16th best in the country. Two LSU players rank in the top 50 in the nation in offensive rebound rate: Darius Days (11th) and Emmitt Williams (34th). Kavell Bagby-Williams ranks 57th.

Which creates a problem for Will Wade. Naz Reid is clearly his most talented frontcourt player. Reid’s game isn’t all there yet, but he just oozes raw talent. However, the things that are driving the LSU offense come from those offensive rebounds, and he lags well behind his teammates on that front. While Bagby-Williams, his backup, has a 14.2 OR%, Naz Reid has just a 6.5.

The good news for Wade is that the answer to most of his dilemmas for this team are simple: his best players need to play like it. The backcourt needs to start creating more shots, and Tre Waters needs to start hitting more threes. Naz Reid has to cash in on that potential, and start playing like the team’s best player all of the time, not just in flashes.

The bad news for Wade is the guys on the team who are producing and driving the team’s success are the back of the rotation guys. This is great for when the top guys need to rest, as the team can generate offense without its playmakers, but its also a problem because the way to get Naz to the next level is to keep feeding him minutes.

Right now, LSU has only played three teams ranked in the KenPom top 100. LSU has lost to the two highest ranked teams it has played, #15 Florida St and #64 Oklahoma St. Those games were learning experiences. Well, learning time is over. The Tigers need to start winning games against top ranked squads, and Houston is ranked 35th and St. Mary’s 53rd in the KenPom. These are key games for LSU’s eventual tournament profile come March.

Once SEC play starts, the only two teams on the schedule not ranked in the top 100 are South Carolina and Georgia. After that, is a steady stream of tournament contenders. LSU is going to need to go .500 in SEC play, but they also need to go at least .500 out of conference against quality teams.

We still don’t quite know what kind of team we have right now. But Wade has to roll with the one he’s got, and it’s time to start producing victories.

Hoops Gets Ready for the Real Season

More penetration!

The big games start now

We’re not used to having a relevant basketball team around these parts, but believe it or not, LSU is playing two critical games this week that will matter come Selection Sunday. I know you’re currently trying to learn all of the high school football players in America in anticipation of Signing Day, but there’s actual LSU sports to watch.

LSU plays Houston tomorrow night in their gym, and then travels to Vegas to play St. Mary’s in the Neon Hoops Showcase. Houston is undefeated in eight games and currently ranked 24th in the AP poll. St. Mary’s is just 7-4, but they are a dangerous team that can exploit LSU’s biggest weaknesses.

And what are those weaknesses? With four freshmen in the top six players in minutes, Will Wade is learning about this team just like we are. He’s tinkered with the lineup all season and while he hasn’t settled on a concrete lineup, we can see the pecking order emerge.

First off, this is Tre Waters’ team, and it will only go as far as he takes them. He’s the point guard in our four most common lineup combinations, and he’s the only guy averaging over 30 minutes per game. He hasn’t found the three-point stroke from last year, shooting just .314 from behind the arc, but the offense is flowing through him.

However, Skyler Mays has arguably been the team’s best player. He leads the team in scoring at 13.9 PPG. The shots are pretty evenly spread about among the team’s top four of Mays, Reid, Waters, and Smart, but Mays is simply a better shooter from both inside and outside the arc. He has an effective FG% of 64.8% on the season, well ahead of anyone on the team who taking a large number of shots.

While the veteran backcourt of Mays and Waters (with freshman Ja’Vonte Smart) was supposed to make the team go, it’s really all of those freshmen stalwarts up front which gives the team its identity. Wade’s usage patterns clearly shows he views freshmen Emmitt Williams and Naz Reid as the first team and freshmen Darius Day and senior Kavell Bigby-Williams as the bench guys, coming in to give those guys a breather.

The thing is, forcing those four into just two slots with that essentially set backcourt is cutting against the thing the team does well. LSU ranks 18th in the nation in effective FG% at 56.2%, but that’s not because of the guard play. LSU ranks 200th in three-point rate and 168th in three-point FG%. Let’s call that mediocre at best. The high eFG% is driven entirely by the fact LSU shoots 59.1% from inside the arc, mainly on short attempts from inside the lane.

But those attempts in the lane are not being created by guard play. One of the best ways to determine whether a team drives the lane is looking at FTA/FGA ratio. Teams that drive the lane go to the free throw line a lot, for obvious reasons. LSU ranks 189th in FTA/FGA rate at 33.6. It’s not bad officiating either. LSU has an assist on 51.5% of field goals made, just shy of the national average of 51.8%.

No, what drives the LSU offense right now is the unglamorous work of hitting the offensive boards with a frenzy. LSU grabs 37.5% of available offensive rebounds, 16th best in the country. Two LSU players rank in the top 50 in the nation in offensive rebound rate: Darius Days (11th) and Emmitt Williams (34th). Kavell Bagby-Williams ranks 57th.

Which creates a problem for Will Wade. Naz Reid is clearly his most talented frontcourt player. Reid’s game isn’t all there yet, but he just oozes raw talent. However, the things that are driving the LSU offense come from those offensive rebounds, and he lags well behind his teammates on that front. While Bagby-Williams, his backup, has a 14.2 OR%, Naz Reid has just a 6.5.

The good news for Wade is that the answer to most of his dilemmas for this team are simple: his best players need to play like it. The backcourt needs to start creating more shots, and Tre Waters needs to start hitting more threes. Naz Reid has to cash in on that potential, and start playing like the team’s best player all of the time, not just in flashes.

The bad news for Wade is the guys on the team who are producing and driving the team’s success are the back of the rotation guys. This is great for when the top guys need to rest, as the team can generate offense without its playmakers, but its also a problem because the way to get Naz to the next level is to keep feeding him minutes.

Right now, LSU has only played three teams ranked in the KenPom top 100. LSU has lost to the two highest ranked teams it has played, #15 Florida St and #64 Oklahoma St. Those games were learning experiences. Well, learning time is over. The Tigers need to start winning games against top ranked squads, and Houston is ranked 35th and St. Mary’s 53rd in the KenPom. These are key games for LSU’s eventual tournament profile come March.

Once SEC play starts, the only two teams on the schedule not ranked in the top 100 are South Carolina and Georgia. After that, is a steady stream of tournament contenders. LSU is going to need to go .500 in SEC play, but they also need to go at least .500 out of conference against quality teams.

We still don’t quite know what kind of team we have right now. But Wade has to roll with the one he’s got, and it’s time to start producing victories.

Delpit Adds Fifth All-America Honor; Sporting News

BATON ROUGE – LSU safety Grant Delpit added his fifth first-team All-America honor on Tuesday as the sophomore was named to the Sporting News All-America Team, the organization announced.

Tigers Rack Up All-American Honors

White, Delpit, Tracy all near-consensus collections.

Devin White, Grant Delpit and Greedy Williams were named to the Football Writers Association All-American teams today, with Delpit and Williams making the first team while White was named to the second unit.

While White finishing behind Josh Allen, Devin Bush and Ben Burr-Kiven may seem odd, LSU’s first ever Butkus Award winner has three other first-team selections via the Associated Press, Sports Illustrated and the Walter Camp Foundation.

Delpit, likewise, was a first-team pick for the AP, SI and Walter Camp. Williams was a Walter Camp first-teamer, and second with the AP and SI.

LSU kicker Cole Tracy was also a second-team pick by the AP, SI and Walter Camp.

Recruiting: Q&A with Sam Spiegelman

LSU recruiting insider gives us some scoop on LSU’s 2019 class as we reach the final stretch before the December signing period.

If you’re a true recruiting junkie, you’re probably aware that there’s a new site in town, with Tiger Details, the newest LSU affiliate site on the Rivals.com network. Sam Spiegelman, formerly of SEC Country, is working with longtime recruiting analyst James “Jimmy Details” Smith to add some more angles to the LSU recruiting scene.

Sam, who also gave us a few contributions last summer, was good enough to give us some time and answer some questions.

1. As somebody who covers this for a living, how do you feel about LSU’s 2019 recruiting efforts as we reach the closing stretch before the early signing period?

I think LSU has done a fantastic job of getting most of their priority targets on board and signed before Christmas. These aren’t just good players; they’re elite prospects from Louisiana, and they will be either on campus or signed in the first early signing periods. That’s Derek Stingley Jr., John Emery Jr. and Trey Palmer, among others, that are coveted by programs all over the country. LSU has made a strong enough push to sign them and convince them staying home is ultimately the right move.

Besides that, LSU is again on track to sign about 80 percent of its class before Dec. 21. In this class, LSU should nab its quarterback, two blue-chip running backs, some quality pieces to add up front and key defenders to plug into the secondary. Oh, of course, and a placekicker to possibly replace Cole Tracy’s rather large cleats. There are some really good players here — like Marcel Brooks, Maurice Hampton, Cordale Flott, Ray Parker, Kardell Thomas, Tyrion Davis, so on and so forth. These are difference-making players that fill major needs and supplement LSU’s depth in a lot of different areas, and also allow the staff to focus on a small collection of elite prospects into February.

2. Do you think LSU will sign all of their commitments in the signing period? If not, who might go until February?

It does not appear everyone will sign. Donte Starks and Maurice Hampton are two commitments to monitor. Starks wants to take all of his visits, which includes LSU next weekend, but he is resolute on letting his recruitment play out until the end. With Nakobe Dean still in play, it will be interesting to see how this thing shakes out over the next few weeks.

Hampton, too, wants to wait until February, but I expect that to change once he’s on campus soon as well. The biggest threat to Hampton’s course to LSU is a Major League Baseball contract.

Additionally, I see LSU and Dreshun Miller parting ways in the near future.

**Ed. Note: Miller has since announced his intentions to sign with West Virginia, after some speculation he could end up at Texas A&M.**

3. Who do you think LSU closes with this month in terms of signees? Any surprises?

Nakobe Dean, Raydarious Jones, Siaki Ika, Jay Ward and Marcus Stripling are the main uncommitted prospects still in play as Dec. 19 approaches. I don’t think it’s fair to call any of those prospects a “surprise” if they were to ink their paperwork with LSU, but certainly, Dean and Ika would be critical gets where it appears other teams are out in front.

For Dean, a 5-star linebacker on Rivals, Georgia and Alabama have jumped to the forefront. Alabama and Oregon are also heavily involved with Ika. LSU is sort of middling in that No. 2 or 3 spot with both defenders, but the staff has turned up the heat since the Contact Period, so it would not be too surprising to see them pull off one of those prospects on the 19th.

4. Defensive line is still a big need spot for this team -- how do you see LSU moving forward there?

There’s a lot of theories I could go with, but a lot involves a little bit of luck.

We know the story with Ishmael Sopsher, but there are a few other pieces in play, and it could get very convoluted once the early signing period comes and goes. There are a few Mississippi defensive linemen committed to other SEC teams that plan to officially visit LSU — Charles Moore, Jaren Handy, Nathan Pickering and Byron Young. If Ika picks the Crimson Tide on Dec. 19 or Sopsher chooses Alabama on National Signing Day in February, does that put LSU in position to snag Young away from them? Moore and Pickering are solid to State, but won’t sign their letters of intent this month, keeping the door open on LSU to make its move. LSU had Handy on board in the spring — for all of 11 days — and given the shaky state of Auburn there’s a belief an official visit back to Baton Rouge could be something to monitor.

5. Obviously, Ishmael Sopsher is the big remaining fish still out there. What do you think LSU’s chances are at landing him?

A lot of the public perception is that this is an LSU versus Alabama battle for the 5-star defensive tackle, but I truly think Sopsher remains wide open at this point. Texas A&M is in play. So is Oregon. Of course, I think this thing boils down to LSU and Alabama. The keys here are the official visits, winning over Mom and Dad, and which school joins LSU in making a move for his older brother, Rodney.

I’m probably in the minority, but I think LSU nabs Sopsher in the end. I don’t know if LSU can bring Pickering or Moore out of Mississippi or go into Utah and land Ika. The way Ed Orgeron has prioritized Sopsher and Amite, and the success he’s had with other prospects like Stingley, Emery and Palmer, I think this ends up a win for the Tigers in February.

6. Are there any under the radar prospects that may pick up an offer between now and National Signing Day in February? Kids that maybe had a big senior season?

There’s a few. Tay Gowan is a junior college defensive back that LSU could fall back on if it swings and misses late on Ward or Jones. He visited for the Rice game and has a lot of connections to this staff. Myron Warren isn’t a sleeper. He’s committed to Texas and does not hold an offer from LSU. If that changes, he could make an official visit to Baton Rouge, which might be a piece in this defensive line puzzle. Vic Viramontes is a junior college linebacker that Dave Aranda visited during December. If Starks left the class and LSU whiffed on Dean, he’s a name the staff could move onto as a linebacker in this 2019 class.

Recruiting: Q&A with Sam Spiegelman

LSU recruiting insider gives us some scoop on LSU’s 2019 class as we reach the final stretch before the December signing period.

If you’re a true recruiting junkie, you’re probably aware that there’s a new site in town, with Tiger Details, the newest LSU affiliate site on the Rivals.com network. Sam Spiegelman, formerly of SEC Country, is working with longtime recruiting analyst James “Jimmy Details” Smith to add some more angles to the LSU recruiting scene.

Sam, who also gave us a few contributions last summer, was good enough to give us some time and answer some questions.

1. As somebody who covers this for a living, how do you feel about LSU’s 2019 recruiting efforts as we reach the closing stretch before the early signing period?

I think LSU has done a fantastic job of getting most of their priority targets on board and signed before Christmas. These aren’t just good players; they’re elite prospects from Louisiana, and they will be either on campus or signed in the first early signing periods. That’s Derek Stingley Jr., John Emery Jr. and Trey Palmer, among others, that are coveted by programs all over the country. LSU has made a strong enough push to sign them and convince them staying home is ultimately the right move.

Besides that, LSU is again on track to sign about 80 percent of its class before Dec. 21. In this class, LSU should nab its quarterback, two blue-chip running backs, some quality pieces to add up front and key defenders to plug into the secondary. Oh, of course, and a placekicker to possibly replace Cole Tracy’s rather large cleats. There are some really good players here — like Marcel Brooks, Maurice Hampton, Cordale Flott, Ray Parker, Kardell Thomas, Tyrion Davis, so on and so forth. These are difference-making players that fill major needs and supplement LSU’s depth in a lot of different areas, and also allow the staff to focus on a small collection of elite prospects into February.

2. Do you think LSU will sign all of their commitments in the signing period? If not, who might go until February?

It does not appear everyone will sign. Donte Starks and Maurice Hampton are two commitments to monitor. Starks wants to take all of his visits, which includes LSU next weekend, but he is resolute on letting his recruitment play out until the end. With Nakobe Dean still in play, it will be interesting to see how this thing shakes out over the next few weeks.

Hampton, too, wants to wait until February, but I expect that to change once he’s on campus soon as well. The biggest threat to Hampton’s course to LSU is a Major League Baseball contract.

Additionally, I see LSU and Dreshun Miller parting ways in the near future.

**Ed. Note: Miller has since announced his intentions to sign with West Virginia, after some speculation he could end up at Texas A&M.**

3. Who do you think LSU closes with this month in terms of signees? Any surprises?

Nakobe Dean, Raydarious Jones, Siaki Ika, Jay Ward and Marcus Stripling are the main uncommitted prospects still in play as Dec. 19 approaches. I don’t think it’s fair to call any of those prospects a “surprise” if they were to ink their paperwork with LSU, but certainly, Dean and Ika would be critical gets where it appears other teams are out in front.

For Dean, a 5-star linebacker on Rivals, Georgia and Alabama have jumped to the forefront. Alabama and Oregon are also heavily involved with Ika. LSU is sort of middling in that No. 2 or 3 spot with both defenders, but the staff has turned up the heat since the Contact Period, so it would not be too surprising to see them pull off one of those prospects on the 19th.

4. Defensive line is still a big need spot for this team -- how do you see LSU moving forward there?

There’s a lot of theories I could go with, but a lot involves a little bit of luck.

We know the story with Ishmael Sopsher, but there are a few other pieces in play, and it could get very convoluted once the early signing period comes and goes. There are a few Mississippi defensive linemen committed to other SEC teams that plan to officially visit LSU — Charles Moore, Jaren Handy, Nathan Pickering and Byron Young. If Ika picks the Crimson Tide on Dec. 19 or Sopsher chooses Alabama on National Signing Day in February, does that put LSU in position to snag Young away from them? Moore and Pickering are solid to State, but won’t sign their letters of intent this month, keeping the door open on LSU to make its move. LSU had Handy on board in the spring — for all of 11 days — and given the shaky state of Auburn there’s a belief an official visit back to Baton Rouge could be something to monitor.

5. Obviously, Ishmael Sopsher is the big remaining fish still out there. What do you think LSU’s chances are at landing him?

A lot of the public perception is that this is an LSU versus Alabama battle for the 5-star defensive tackle, but I truly think Sopsher remains wide open at this point. Texas A&M is in play. So is Oregon. Of course, I think this thing boils down to LSU and Alabama. The keys here are the official visits, winning over Mom and Dad, and which school joins LSU in making a move for his older brother, Rodney.

I’m probably in the minority, but I think LSU nabs Sopsher in the end. I don’t know if LSU can bring Pickering or Moore out of Mississippi or go into Utah and land Ika. The way Ed Orgeron has prioritized Sopsher and Amite, and the success he’s had with other prospects like Stingley, Emery and Palmer, I think this ends up a win for the Tigers in February.

6. Are there any under the radar prospects that may pick up an offer between now and National Signing Day in February? Kids that maybe had a big senior season?

There’s a few. Tay Gowan is a junior college defensive back that LSU could fall back on if it swings and misses late on Ward or Jones. He visited for the Rice game and has a lot of connections to this staff. Myron Warren isn’t a sleeper. He’s committed to Texas and does not hold an offer from LSU. If that changes, he could make an official visit to Baton Rouge, which might be a piece in this defensive line puzzle. Vic Viramontes is a junior college linebacker that Dave Aranda visited during December. If Starks left the class and LSU whiffed on Dean, he’s a name the staff could move onto as a linebacker in this 2019 class.

Three Tigers on FWAA All-America Teams

BATON ROUGE – LSU put three defensive players on the All-America team for the Football Writers Association of America, the organization announced on Monday afternoon.

Four Tigers Appear on AP All-America Teams

AP All-America Teams

Four Tigers Appear on AP All-America Teams

AP All-America Teams

POSTGAME: LSU 91, Incarnate Word 50

Tigers cruise to a victory in a glorified practice

The LSU Tigers extended their home winning streak to 13 games Sunday afternoon with an easy 91-50 victory over the Incarnate Word Cardinals. The Tigers improve their record to 7-2 after two blowout wins in the PMAC over a nine day period.

Four Tigers finished with double digit points, led by a freshman duo 16 point effort by both Naz Reid and Ja’Vonte Smart. Reid struggled with a few turnovers but ultimately turned in a very solid 22 minutes, adding 7 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals to his stat line. Smart showed increasing maturity as a freshman, dishing out 5 assists and allowing no turnovers in 26 minutes.

Senior Kavell Bigby-Williams finished in third with 14 points, but tacked on 10 rebounds (6 offensive!) for his first double-double as a Tiger. This is also his first Division I double-double since December 3rd, 2016 in a 128-59 Oregon win over Savannah State.

Skylar Mays scored 13 points and snagged 5 rebounds while leading the Tigers with 6 assists and 4 steals. Mays’ very strong performance helped to remedy a relatively disappointing 9 point, 1 assist, 4 turnover appearance by his sophomore counterpart Tremont Waters. Waters averaged 32.5 minutes per game going into today and only saw the court for 19 minutes, the lowest of the season and the lowest since the season opener against Southeastern LA.

Walk ons Marshall Graves and Will Reese scored a combined 8 points and played 20 and 9 minutes respectively. Graves finished with the team’s best +/- at 31.

The Tigers will take a trip down I-10 Wednesday when they take on the Houston Cougars of The American Conference. Houston is 8-0 after Saturday’s most recent win against Oklahoma State, who waxed LSU by 13 only two weeks ago. That game will tip off at 8pm and will be televised on ESPN2.

GAMETHREAD: Basketball vs. Incarnate Word, 1pm, SEC Network

Tigers wrap up finals week with an easy test

The 6-2 LSU Tigers look to extend their home winning streak to 13 games Sunday afternoon when they take on the 5-5 Incarnate Word Cardinals in the PMAC. The Cardinals hail from San Antonio, TX and represent the Southland Conference, where they finished in 12th place last season with a paltry 7-21 (2-16) record.

Incarnate Word is 5-5 on the season, albeit only one of their wins came against a Division I opponent, an overtime victory over North Dakota State. By KenPom efficiency ratings, the Cardinals rank 300th in offense, and 353rd in defense among 353 Division I teams. The Cardinals are a 25 point underdog to LSU and are given a 1% chance of winning.

Coach Wade spoke with the media Thursday, with Naz Reid’s transition from high school to college basketball being one of the main topics.

“Naz is doing well. You look at some of the freshmen around the country. Nassir Little comes off the bench for North Carolina. (Jahvon) Quinerly doesn’t even play sometimes for Villanova. It’s hard. It’s a major transition,” said Wade. “For a lot of guys, this is the first time in their basketball lives that things haven’t gone exactly as they planned. When things don’t go as planned, in the past if they had a bad game, they could just show back up and everything would work out the next game because they were just so much better than everyone else. This is a great time for growth. It’s a great time for learning.”

“He’ll continue to learn what he can and can’t do offensively, what he can and can’t get away with. Some of the things that worked before, aren’t going to work now. He’s got a good feel for that. He’s such a smart player. He’s such a smart person. He understands.”

This afternoon’s contest will tip off at 1pm in the PMAC and will be televised on the SEC Network. You can also listen in on 98.1FM or attend the game for free with the donation of a new, unopened toy at the LSU box office via the Toys for Tots campaign.

2018 ATVS Pick’em FINAL RESULTS

And so we come to the end of another year of the pick’em. It was a mostly chalky Champ Weekend, though I did get to prove my amazing powers of prognostication one last time, picking Fresno’s straight up upset of Boise. Buffalo face-planting in the MAC Championship was our last Bad Beat of the season. Your Fearless Leader ends the season with a 91-98 record. Shameful, but not completely embarrassing.

As per the rules of this pick’em, laid down by our forefathers many moons ago on a Chimes napkin, Army-Navy is only in play if a tiebreaker round is needed and we will not need it this year. With an overall record of 111-78, crawford30341 wins the 2018 ATVS pick’em challenge by a single game. Congratulations, a grand prize of questionable and indeterminate value will be on it’s way.

To all of you who won one of the weeks of this challenge, check your emails for shipping information requests. The ATVS KOOZIE OF POWER will be heading to you ASAP. If you respond quickly enough, it may even get home in time for Christmas.

We will once again be doing a bowl pick’em as well, but I’m going to take the weekend to look around at the various platforms before picking one. I’ll take your suggestions in the comments as well in the annual blood fight over whether or not we do confidence points for the bowl pick’em. Expect an announcement of the pool around Wednesday ahead of next weekend’s first bowls. For now, I have activated this final week for the Army Navy pick’em strictly for honor.

GEAUX ARMY!

BEAT NAVY!

Pay Attention to These Recruits For Early Signing Day 2019

Crootin’!

By nature of being so close to season finales and bowl selection, early signing day doesn’t quite generate the same fan momentum as the standard first Wednesday in February did in its hey day. Yet, as we saw last year, it’s arguably the more important date and most teams lock up their classes then and leave a handful of spots for truly elite recruits/graduate transfers/oh shit we just need a warm body guys.

As such, these are the recruits to keep your eye on in the final two weeks before signing day on December 19th.

Current Commits!

Some notes here.

Dreshun Miller: He will sign in the early period but most suspect it won’t be with LSU. He’s likely to flip to Texas A&M and that’s okay and expected. Miller wants to play CB and LSU likes him more at S. He also wants a direct path to playing time and LSU’s loaded at DB and A&M is in desperate need of a talent injection there. This will probably work out for all sides.

T.K. McClendon: There were some murmurings that LSU could distance themselves from McClendon as well, but he’s visiting this weekend. I would suspect he winds up in the class after the staff made a run at Keon Zipperer and likely struck out.

Maurice Hampton: Hampton is interesting because he remains vigilant that he’s solid to LSU but hasn’t yet said he will sign during the early period. There are various rumors about him flipping to Ole Miss and he’s even taking an official visit to Auburn this weekend. He’s also a pro baseball talent, so that is somewhere in the stew. Betting odds say he’ll sign with LSU, but there’s enough there to keep an eye on him.

Cordale Flott: No serious rumors here, but there’s no confirmation yet he’s going to sign in December. If he doesn’t that may cause the staff to up and move on from him.

The Targets

Nakobe Dean, 5 star, LB

You may have heard that Dean was recently selected as the HS Butkus Award winner. Fitting that this weekend he’ll be on campus and hosted by the current collegiate Butkus winner, Devin White. The Horn Lake, Mississippi native has a list of suitors as long as SEC referee mistakes during the Texas A&M game. Alabama and Georgia are the teams that get all the play here, but Aranda’s kept in his ear and kept his attention. Dean is very, very good and one of the elite remaining targets for this class. The visit this weekend should really clue in where LSU stands, and LSU is legitimately his last official visit. He took in Auburn, Georgia, A&M and Alabama earlier in the year. He’s played things very close to the vest. Most expect Georgia but “be the guy who steps in for Devin White” is a pretty compelling sell. He’s also visiting with...

Raydarious Jones, 4 star, DB

HS teammate of Nakobe Dean. There’s been no talk of a package deal really, but LSU’s been keen on Jones for a while. Jones is a super interesting prospect. He’s played QB for Horn Lake all year but he’s a DB recruit. I think that hurts his ranking. He’s long and lean and downright explosive. I see a little Greedy in him. Six-foot-one-ish. Only 166 pounds (same listed weight as Greedy as a HS Senior). Immense upside.

He’s not as highly recruited as Dean, but still features a nice offer list. He’s visited Ole Miss and Auburn and still has a State visit lined up next weekend. I expect the staff to put the full court press on Jones this weekend. He’s highly coveted and I think they will press him, perhaps even urging a verbal commitment and shut down.

Vic Viramontes, Unrated, LB

Viramontes took one of the more interesting routes you’ll ever see for a prospect. A 3-star athlete out of HS in 2016, Viramontes signed with Cal looking to play QB. When that didn’t work out, he went to JUCO to work on his game and then signed with Minnesota as a 3-star dual threat QB. Once again, the path to QB didn’t quite work out so he returned to JUCO again. Now he’s given up on the QB dream and is looking to play LB at the next level.

Aranda offered Viramontes when he was the DC at Wisconsin, so this is a full circle deal. I think, to the staff, he’s more of a wait and see what happens with Nakobe Dean. He’s said he’s visiting and wants to sign early. He’s got two years of eligibility left. I really, really like his game. I’m just a doof, but I’d give him a spot in the class and help ease the transition off White. Check out these highlights. He labeled them #TalkWithYourFaceMask at one point.

Devonta Lee, 4 star, ATH

Lee is a fascinating athlete with a thick build that could project him to many different positions at the next level. He’s starred as a WR in HS, but I’ve seen some project him as a LB. He visited Arizona State, Ole Miss and he’s set to take in Kentucky next weekend. An interesting list of visits for a kid that has offers from Bama and LSU. For him to pick anyone but LSU would be a stunner.

George Pickens, 4 star, WR

Stud WR is committed to Auburn but visited LSU on November 30th. The staff continues to try and push for a flip here, which would be a tremendous accomplishment. The Hoover, AL native is one of the top 40 prospects in America. Consensus seems he’ll stick with Auburn, and he’s visiting there this weekend, but LSU will continue to press and try to sell instability with Gus and their lack of OC. There’s opportunity here and LSU’s got two of their best recruiters on the job in Tommie Robinson and Mickey Joseph. Keep paying attention.

Siaki Ika, 4 star, DT

The monster DT from Utah is a long time Bama lean. But LSU is pressing and word is they are making big inroads. LSU really needs DL depth. He will visit Utah this weekend. He does not have an Alabama visit lined up. As LSU’s chances with Ishmael Sopsher look dim, things seem to be turning up with Ika. Oregon is majorly in play here as well. Definitely keep monitoring Ika as this is one that could turn to LSU’s favor late.

12 Days to Go

There’s just 12 days to go until early signing day is kicked off. It’s not likely the early signing list extends beyond this list, but there’s always the possibility the staff finds someone they want to bring in on that final weekend before signing day. At 19 commitments, LSU has six spots remaining to fill. Toss in Lee and LSU’s looking to fill five spots in the 2019 class with some combination of grad transfer and incoming freshman. It’s a strong class, but can Orgeron take it even further?

Sneaky Good Pod Episode 56: Does College Football History Matter & Question Time!

Poseur’s mad at the committee and Dan doesn’t care about SEC history. Plus, questions!

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Four Named Walter Camp All-Americans

Four Named Walter Camp All-Americans
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