2008 LSU Tigers Basketball Preview
In 2007-2008, the LSU Tigers (13-18 overall, 6-10 SEC) finished fourth in the SEC West and for the second year straight missed the NCAA and NIT. In 2005-2006, they made it to the Final Four in a season that saw them go 14-2. The next two seasons, they won a total of 11 conference games. This year, LSU welcomes new coach Trent Johnson. Johnson has a lot of work to do, but he does have the luxury of inheriting a team with some fine veterans.
Although forward Anthony Rudolph (15.6 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 2.3 BPG) left LSU after one season, the Tigers still have a strong frontcourt. Senior Chris Johnson (29.8 MPG, 11.6 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 0.8 APG, 52.5 FG%, 85.2 FT%), a six-foot-eleven center, can defend and rebound. His season was shortened last year due to injury. If he plays healthy this year, he could be a truly potent force. Junior forward Tasmin Mitchell (22.0 MPG, 7.3 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 2.0 APG, 33.3 FG%, 80.0 FT%), who missed most of last season, will be a powerhouse as long as he too stays healthy. He’s simply a dominant presence.
Guard Marcus Thornton (33.6 MPG, 19.6 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 1.4 APG, 43.6 FG%, 81.7 FT%) offers some fine shooting chops, while senior Garrett Temple (34.4 MPG, 6.4 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 3.6 APG, 39.4 FG%, 78.3 FT%) provides good defensive skills. Thornton can hit threes and frees at will. The point spot will be manned by sophomore Bo Spencer (15.8 MPG, 3.4 PPG, 1.2 RPG, 1.4 APG, 32.4 FG%, 72.7 FT%) and freshman Chris Bass. Bass offers quickness and athleticism. There are some fine backups, including senior Terry Martin (24.3 MPG, 8.3 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 1.6 APG, 37.2 FG%, 72.4 FT%) who is a master at three-point shots.
The veterans on this team are looking to bring LSU back to a point
where they can be competitive. First year coach Trent Johnson has
talent with which he can work. The Tigers possess the potential
to finish in the top tier of the SEC West and get back to the NCAA