LSU Men's Basketball - 2013-14

Discussion in 'The Tiger's Den' started by TGer'nLHornLand, Oct 20, 2013.


With a top 4 SEC pre-season prediction, what best describes your attitude about LSU Mens' bball?

Poll closed Nov 10, 2013.
  1. Still going to follow LSU football and won't think about LSU basketball until January.

  2. Cautiously optmistic--but I'll believe it when I see it.

  3. Coach Jones is the real deal, I'm taking notice... I'll buy a ticket to see a game before December.

  4. So psyched for basketball. I'm getting season tickets, and Football is only about A&M Bama now.

  1. TGer'nLHornLand

    TGer'nLHornLand Founding Member

    Well, LSU's good winning streak comes to an end in its last non-conference game before heading into SEC play on Tuesday night against Tennessee. Rhode Island ends the streak yesterday afternoon with a close win after LSU either came out flat, or simply underestimated their opponent. URI had come into the game with some non-conference challenges of playing teams like Arizona, SMU, and their 8-6 record was probably deceiving.

    At the same time, the play of certain key LSU players is a little alarming. Particularly again, we find Johnny O'Bryant either unmotivated or inconsistent, having an off night in the post, particularly in staying down low and getting rebounds. Good game again from Mickey although, URI was able to win by killing LSU on the boards. What was a strength for LSU in the early season has now become an achilles heel. O'Bryant and Martin should not be losing rebounding battles against some of our competition and that is something that is mere effort. Stringer had a nice game, but this team displays still a little bit of weakness in terms of depth and skill on the perimeter. Not one of Hickey's best games, but more important is the depth and ability to really hurt teams with scoring guard depth. Morgan and Coleman seemed to have off games.

    We brace ourselves for Tennessee and the beginning of SEC which is for the marbles. A 18 SEC game season, is a long and brutal one, and a top 5 in the league season should be the goal. Certainly achievable if the team is playing well and firing on all cylinders. However to date, this team has been pretty up and down. CJJ has certainly shown the ability to push the right levers to keep LSU competitive, but you'd like to see his players own it from tip to finish.

    Tennessee game on ESPN. Watch it.
    ParadiseiNC likes this.
  2. diamondheadtiger

    diamondheadtiger Founding Member

    Not a good showing primetime ESPN slot as far as fans in the stands at pmac for the conference opener...
  3. WestCoastTiger

    WestCoastTiger Founding Member

    I'll be a little more direct. Pitiful display tonight. I was expecting more from CJJ and this team. After a strong start the last two games have lacked intensity and desire.
  4. islstl

    islstl Occupy the BCS Staff Member

    Wow. That was pretty disheartening.
  5. MobileBengal

    MobileBengal Founding Member

    Yeah, not a good showing on the court either.
  6. TGer'nLHornLand

    TGer'nLHornLand Founding Member

    Well, the dust has settled from Tuesday's SEC opener and loss to Tennesse at home. Wanted to take a calculated look at the game and then give my thoughts. First off, I always say judge a season when the season's over and well, the season not over. No reason to forget that we're 13 games into a 30 game season, and we're 9-4. During the season, however, you look for trends, patterns, potential problem areas and you correct them, or see if the team builds on them. That's what CJJ and the fans should be doing and hoping for. Second, you have to take the loss in context. Tennessee is a very good team and frankly a team that has had LSU's number for some time... in fact, LSU has lost to them I think 6 straight times. Regardless of new team and new squad, sometimes a team has your particular number--why in this case is it Tennessee? Well, I believe personally that comes down to match ups and a mentality. Tennessee has bigger guards that create difficult match ups and a mental toughness with a Cuonzo Martin coached team of more experienced team. Let's not forget that most folks picked Tennessee to finish ahead to LSU in the SEC, they were just struggling earlier on. I think some of the local fans expected more from a talented freshman led injection into the team, but that also is reality. Freshmen need time to develop and this team needs time to develop.

    Not making excuses for the loss, or the nature of the loss, but there are at least justifiable reasons for it. Let's also keep this in perspective--our losses have been to Memphis (who beat Louisville last night), UMass who is ranked, URI (probably the alarming one) and now Tennesse, which should be a tourney team. So, no, we shouldn't give up just yet.

    What do you make of it? Well, there certainly are some red flags... the ability to drive effort in the face of adversity, the ability to correct the ship mid game, and also frankly the ability to be tough and make shots when needed. This game came down to a very defensive minded team who got into a hot streak hitting threes and LSU without necessarily the gumption to execute and get back into the game. That certainly is what CJJ and staff have to do going into a road game against USC...

    I too was a fan hoping for something surprising against Tennessee. I'm left disappointed, but certainly there's a lot of season left. I think to the coaches there are some interesting questions, and flags (some of which I have pointed out earlier). What style of offense and which players can we depend on in crunch time? Is it a JOB inside out offense, is it an offense that breaks more and tries to get easier points in transition, is it an offense that tries to find SOMEONE who can hit a three? The folks that have played know sometimes it has to be a little bit of all of the above but the players have to know when to go get it. There's still some chemistry and playing together that hopefully finds that comfort in the face of adversity. Second, what is wrong with our defense? Our defensive intensity isn't to the level of scaring anyone. I hate to quote a Trent-ism, but it's true--are we "tough" enough yet? No, probably not. I don't know if its a CJJ system thing or a player thing, but our defense isn't effectively creating turnovers for 40 minutes. In the second half against Tennessee we were better, but I think with inexperienced or less consistent teams, they don't realize that they have to play at a top level for 40 minutes. When talent and effort match, then you've got a top-notch team, and right now, we're still developing. But, it's a cycle--without the turnovers we can't break, and without made shots we can't press. I think based upon Coach's comments heading into the USC game, there is certainly a level of intensity and execution that he's looking for. I surmise he's looking at starting players and driving minutes to players that can reach that level.

    In the case of Tennessee I chalk it up a little bit to player match-ups against a good team that had (and has shown over time to have) a level of toughness and confidence, that this team needs to develop. Expect some growing pains folks. But, if you trust CJJ (and I do), you hopefully see our team improve as the season goes on. More experience for guys like Jarrell Martin. Hopefully a renewed JOB playing with more fire, and Hickey/Stringer being more assertive and smarter at the same time. We also need to continued passion/fire from guys like Odo, Morgan, Quarterman--we need truly stronger depth that challenges the starters for time throughout the rest of the season. I like the fact that the team had a team meeting right after the game--good sign of coaches seeing the issues and trying to address them. Let's see what translates on to the court tomorrow at South Carolina.
  7. TGer'nLHornLand

    TGer'nLHornLand Founding Member

    Wow, don't know if the lack of even an obligatory congratulations post to Coach Johnny Jones' tigers is apathy, a close road win against a 0-2 USC team, or just the fact that even football off-season stuff is more interesting to this board.... not showing off the interest in LSU basketball in this particular fan base.

    Also says something when 12k+ go to USC to watch the Gamecocks against LSU, and we're trying to break 8K at the PMAC. Let's see where this goes as the SEC season wears on...

    Look, congratulations on a ROAD win by the Tigers, regardless of who it is. Anytime you can get a road win in the SEC it means something and kudos to the Tigers who needed to find something on the team, a little experimentation by CJJ and staff and a little motivation to some of these players to keep improving.

    What we saw was a motivated Jarrell Martin--whether it was just not having the pressure of starting or whether it was just finding a groove with reserves, you have to like what you saw from the talented freshman. Alot of his shots were outside, and shots taken in rhythm with confidence. Here's to hoping he finds more of that. Also, you have to like what Malik Morgan brought in terms of an all-round game, relatively tough d, and he played smarter than what we've seen from him. Don't try to do too much and let the game come to you. Expect a little bit more exploration from CJJ but let's hope this tinkering continues to light the right fires under folks. Still too many turnovers from our big men, and you'd like to see LSU shoot better, plain and simple--not a great percentage from either the field or the free throw line. Get some of those things tweaked and the rebounding and athleticism of LSU will make this team pop.

    Next up, Ole Miss on Wed night. Frankly another team that is jeckyl and hyde--a team that always seems to get up for LSU and play well, but also lays an egg now and then. Playing them at home at Tad Smith Coliseum will be a tougher test than the Gamecocks. Particularly since the controversial Marshall Henderson is back after missing their first two SEC games due to suspension. He always seems to give LSU fits, and particularly as LSU has typically thrown Stringer at him. Malik Morgan's defense will be tested on Wednesday night and that will be a measure of his improvement for sure (I wonder if we won't see some Shavon Coleman on him as well). Win this game and it's a more significant statement to the basketball world, and LSU comes home to play Vanderbilt (who is down relatively speaking) with good momentum and hopefully a bell-weather attendance home game--a game against an SEC team that LSU should beat when students are there on campus. A very interesting early season stretch here for the Tigers.
    lsu-i-like likes this.
  8. MobileBengal

    MobileBengal Founding Member

    For me, it was just that the game wasn't on TV, and I wasn't able to watch it. I try to stream games when I can, but I couldn't catch this one. One of the reasons I'm so looking forward to the SEC network.
  9. ParadiseiNC

    ParadiseiNC don't worry, be happy

    I'm not posting much on bball, just sitting back, watching, and keeping up. I'm readin' your stuff HornLand, so keep postin', bro.
  10. islstl

    islstl Occupy the BCS Staff Member

    Well with going 20 years with only 2 years that you truly got excited about (2000, 2006), you can probably somewhat understand the wait and see approach as Paradise just alluded to.

    Things are trending in the right direction, we will just have to see if Jones can get us over that hump.

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