These basketball posts have become a rollercoaster. Two weeks ago, we pretty much hit rock bottom. Last week, LSU pulled out their first conference win, so the world indeed was not ending. This week, LSU took down a ranked foe for the first time since 2007 AND won the following game. Johnny Jones has us all along for the ride this season. What's he got for us next?
*Sorry I'm a day late and a dollar short on my report. Been busy moving the past couple days. It's not been fun.
LSU 73, #17 Missouri 70: This was a fantastic game in which LSU did everything right. Anthony Hickey dueled Phil Pressey the entire game, really matching him move for move. It was a blast to watch. LSU rode 50%+ shooting in the first half to a 16-point lead going into the second period. Mizzou finally arrived at the gym and Pressey took over. At one point, he went on a 8-0 run all by himself, doing all he could to keep the other other Tigers in the game. It ultimately fell short, at LSU held on in the Maravich Center to notch the first big victory in the Johnny Jones era.
LSU 69, Mississippi State 68: Whereas LSU jumped out and never trailed versus Missouri, the exact opposite script was followed in Starkville. Much like LSU had in numerous other games, the Tigers fell into a deep hole early, trailing 14 points at the midpoint. Anthony Hickey got into early foul trouble and spent the meat of the game on the bench. LSU began to slowly chip away at depleted MSU's lead, eventually getting within five with seconds left in the game. They were helped along by just truly atrocious shooting at the line by the Bulldogs and Hickey's return late in the game. The game ended almost exactly as it did a year again in the PMAC. With 7 seconds left, Hickey took the inbounds and lofted a floater with a second left to lift LSU to the win.
The Tigers have true momentum now, winning three of their last four. With that stretch, the Tigers have lifted themselves all the way out of the cellar at 14th to 8th in the conference. If you doubted that the SEC was awful, that will serve to erase some of that doubt.
There's another winnable game Wednesday night against Vanderbilt, a team that's had to totally rebuild and is suffering the consequences, at 2-6 in conference. After that, LSU plays Bama and then gets into the stretch run. There's a lot of winnable games left thanks to the conference's inability to field decent hoops teams, so LSU might find themselves in the hunt for an NIT bid.
A guy can dream, right?