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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Another basketball victory

Rising LSU continues to gradually get better and will continue to play teams on the decline when it hosts Georgia at 1 p.m. Sunday in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

The Tigers have won two straight for the first time since November and have won three of six games under interim coach Butch Pierre. LSU improved to 11-16 overall and 4-9 in the Southeastern Conference with the 62-55 win at South Carolina Wednesday night.

Georgia, meanwhile, has lost four in a row and nine of its last 10 to fall to 12-14 and 3-10 in the SEC. The Bulldogs, like the Tigers, may also be looking for a new coach as one of the various search firms that LSU athletic director Skip Bertman has spoken to has said that Georgia could be looking for a new coach. Dennis Felton is struggling in his fifth year at Georgia. The best he's done was his 19-14 mark last season, which included an 8-8 record in the SEC. He's never made the NCAA Tournament with the Bulldogs. And to think, Georgia hired him over Tim Floyd, who is now winning at USC and has been to the NCAA Tournament. Bad mistake. Floyd would be a great hire at LSU, but it doesn't look like that will happen.

LSU's two-game winning streak has come against Ole Miss, which lost its third game out of four when it fell to LSU, and South Carolina, which lost its fifth out of six games.

The Tigers have won with defense under Pierre. LSU has held opponents to 63 points or fewer in four of the six games Pierre has coached. Ole Miss was held to 49 points - its lowest total in two seasons under coach Andy Kennedy. The Tigers held South Carolina to one field goal in eight attempts down the stretch.

"We stopped four of their last five possessions," Pierre said. "And that was the game."

Point guard/defensive specialist Garrett Temple limited SEC leading scorer Devan Downey to a season-low six points on 2-of-9 shooting. He came in averaging 19.7 a game.

After Georgia, LSU plays Alabama, which has lost four of its last six. Then the Tigers close the season at Mississippi State, which is leading the West at 10-3 and is 19-8 overall after beating Auburn 89-78 on Wednesday.

"I think we can win out," said Collis Temple II, the father of LSU point guard Collis Temple.

Has Pierre even affected LSU's free throw shooting? The Tigers made 14 of 14 free throws against South Carolina, including 6 of 6 in the final 31 seconds to ice the win.

LSU, which is not the biggest team in the SEC, outrebounded South Carolina 44-28.
Should LSU win out, it would finish a respectable 7-9 in the league and 14-16 going into the SEC Tournament in Atlanta on March 13-16. If LSU, which would likely play on the first day of the tournament, won the SEC Tournament it would be 18-16 going into the NCAA Tournament, and Pierre would have to get strong consideration for the permanent job.

But let's not get carried away just yet.


Blogger Cary said...

"LSU is not the biggest team"

well, that depends how you define "biggest". LSU is the tallest in the SEC and 2nd tallest in the nation.


but their only banger is such an offensive liability that he never sees the court.

8:36 AM  

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