SEC Hoops Preview: LSU

It seems like it was a decade ago when the Tigers won the SEC and made a run to the final four. Glen Davis, Tyrus Thomas and Darrell Mitchell are long gone and they've had a hard time continuing the kind of talent and chemistry that that team possessed.

Many had high hopes for the 2006-2007 season but they struggled mightily, finishing last in the SEC West and 17-15 overall.

It was only supposed to be worse this year, especially when the team's best player, Tasmin Mitchell, was lost for the year with an injury. They've certainly had their share of struggles through the non-conference schedule, but there has been some improvement and positive signs for the future. If they can continue to get production from the back court, they could be a factor in a weak West division.

Staff:

Head Coach:
John Brady, 191-130 in 10 years
Associate Head Coach: Butch Pierre

Projected Depth Chart (returning starters in bold) :

PG Garrett Temple Sr. 6-6/195
Bo Spencer Fr. 6-1/180

SG Marcus Thornton Jr. 6-4/198
Dameon Mason Jr. 6-6/190

SF Terry Martin Jr. 6-6/207

PF Anthony Randolph Fr. 6-10/205
Garrett Green Fr. 6-10/218

C Chris Johnson Jr. 6-11/205

Breakdown:

Key Returners: PG Garrett Temple, SF Terry Martin
Key Losses: PF Glen Davis, C Magnum Rolle
Key Newcomers: PF Anthony Randolph, SG Marcus Thornton

Davis' scoring ability was going to be hardest thing for the Tigers to replace but they appear to have an answer in junior college transfer Marcus Thornton who's averaging 18.9 points per game from the shooting guard position.

The loss of Tasmin Mitchell for the season has shifted Terry Martin from the 2-down to small forward. Dameon Mason backs up both Thornton and Martin on the wing.

Garrett Temple is a great on-ball defender and has good size but has very limited offensive ability. Freshman guard Bo Spencer spells him at the point. The Tigers have also been aided by the arrival of highly touted freshman Anthony Randolph, who has tremendous ball skills in a wiry 6-10 frame. He's had an immediate impact on the inside with 13.9 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. He teams with junior center Chris Johnson who averages 11.5 points and 4.8 rebounds of his own. Garrett Green backs up the two but is little more than a "body" at this point in his development.

LSU travels to Gainesville on Wednesday, February 13 at 8 p.m.


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