2007 LSU Tigers Basketball Preview
Remember 2005- 2006 when LSU managed to make it to the Final Four in the March Madness brackets? That was a heady time for the basketball program. Last season, the LSU Tigers (17- 15 overall, 5- 11 SEC) finished last in the SEC West. Wow, what an aberrant tumult! This season coach Jim Brady (184- 126 in 10 years LSU, 273- 203 overall in 16 years), who’s sporting a weak frontcourt, will try to get his team to the NIT. Anything better looks near impossible.
The club had one of the best defenses in the conference, holding opponents to 62.7 PPG, which ranked them second in the conference. They were also effective rebounders, placing third with a plus-5.6 margin. However, on the other end of the court the Tigers were 11th in scoring, averaging 68 PPG, and 10th in assists, with 13.9 assists per contest. LSU’s 33.7% from the three-point was next to last in the conference.
Upfront, this team is in trouble in the college basketball predictions. That’s unusual for a Jim Brady coached team. The problem is bulk—LSU doesn’t have any in the frontcourt, although, they do possess some young talent. Center Chris Johnson (3.2 PPG, 1.6 RPG, 55.8 FG%) is an excellent perimeter shooter, but he’s needed in the paint. Freshman forward Anthony Randolph brings his big frame to the court and will start immediately. He’s a solid shooter, shot blocker and rebounder.
In the backcourt, Tasmin Mitchell (14.5 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 46.6 FG%) can play outside and inside. Mitchell is a highly skilled player who has the potential to be perhaps the most dominant player in the conference. There’s depth at guard with veteran juniors Terry Martin (10.5 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 41.0 FG%) and Garrett Temple (8.6 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 4.3 APG) offering sound experience. Temple can play the point and Martin offers excellent shooting from downtown (great when you bet on college hoops).
The plummet from 27 wins in 2005- 2006 to 17 in 2006- 2007 was dramatic and drastic. This season, the LSU Tigers will try to find some consistency. It won’t be easy with their weakness in the frontcourt. Additionally, the team’s shooting game must improve, which will also inprove the college basketball betting odds. The new recruits will have to mature quickly for LSU to make major strides.