NCAA Basketball

Soft 16: LSU Tigers

LSU v Arkansas

In Will Wade’s second year as head coach of the Tigers, they look to progress from last season’s 18-15 record and losing in the second round of the NIT. So why might LSU be ranked in the top-25 after an just above .500 showing last year? Well they are returning the best point guard in the country, Tremont Waters, and bringing in the 4th ranked recruiting class. Waters, a sophomore, started 32 games last season and averages: 15.9 PPG, 6.0 assists, 3.4 rebounds, and 2.0 steals. The last SEC freshman to average those kinds of numbers was John Wall for Kentucky back in 2009-10.

So, not only do the Tigers have an absolute baller at the point, they have a stellar recruitment class boosted by five-star big men Emmitt Williams and Naz Reid. The two kids are huge too. Naz Reid is 6’10” 250 and Emmitt Williams is 6’6″ 225. These highly touted players will help set a strong presence down low, something the Tigers really haven’t had since Big Baby was down there throwin’ bodies around.

LSU will look to take advantage of the SEC and their lack of ranked opponents in hopes of significantly improving their record from last year.

Here are some of the games to watch for:

12/12 – Houston – Away

12/15 – St. Mary’s – Neutral

1/23 – Georgia – Home

2/5 – Mississippi St. (18) – Away

2/9 – Auburn (11) – Home

2/12 – Kentucky (2) – Away

2/20 – Florida – Home

2/23 – Tennessee (6) – Home

The outlook for this LSU team is very similar to the outlook that we have seen from the SEC in the past few years. There has been a shake-up in college basketball with the emergence of a lot of SEC teams, and LSU is a part of that shake-up. I think that they have a shot to be one of the better teams in the SEC and challenge Kentucky for the SEC Championship title.

This season is going to be played with heavy hearts and a lot of fight and determination. The team has dedicated the season to former teammate, Wayde Sims, who was shot and killed during this off season. The Tigers plan to dedicate this season by winning. Their one goal is to win games for him, and that is something powerful. LSU will certainly be a force this year and that is why I predict that their record will be 24-5 and finish 3rd in the SEC behind Tennessee and Kentucky. I also predict that the Tigers will be runners-up in the SEC Championship game to Kentucky, and go on to have a decent run in the NCAA tournament making it all the way to the Sweet 16 and being bounced there.

Categories: NCAA Basketball

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