Best of TSD: 2014

If it happened in LSU sports and recruiting in 2014, TSD wrote about it. Here's a look at our finest work from a busy year coming to an end.

With only a week to go in 2014, TSD is taking a look back at our most memorable stories from the last 51 weeks in the world of LSU sports and recruiting.

Whether you go nuts for Tiger football, basketball or baseball – or all three – there are a few special memories from each program in the collection below.

Enjoy, have a safe and happy holiday season, and be on the look-out for our coverage during the final week of the calendar year. As the catalog below proves, you just never know when an LSU athlete or coach will do something amazing or noteworthy.


- Bucking a trend of three-and-outs in LSU football, La’el Collins opted to return for his senior season at a press conference joined by many of his teammates. Hunter Paniagua chronicled the big decision for big La’el.

- Arguably the biggest win in the Johnny Jones era, LSU basketball toppled Kentucky in the most improbable of settings, one now referred to as the Ice Dome. Ben Love wrote about an unstoppable performance from Johnny O’Bryant on a bizarre night in Baton Rouge.

- A large contingent of NFL types descended upon LSU’s indoor practice facility for the annual Pro Day this spring. Les Miles talked about Tiger talent, underclassmen leaving and a philosophy validated while also previewing pro careers for Beckham, Hill and Mettenberger in this piece from Ben.

- Want to get to know LSU basketball’s best signee since Shaq a little better? Check out this two-part premium interview from Ben with then-commit Ben Simmons. One of things Simmons discussed: his recruitment of Antonio Blakeney, something that ironically enough is ongoing.

- Over the summer Ben filed this piece on new LSU basketball guards Josh Gray and Keith Hornsby coming together. Despite coming from vastly different backgrounds, the duo that now starts in the Tiger backcourt quickly saw eye-to-eye on the floor.

- Less than two weeks after writing a piece on the resignation of Javi Sanchez, Hunter penned this article on Sanchez’s replacement, former Tulane star Andy Cannizaro. It’s a great refresher on the newest LSU baseball assistant, and why he’s here.

- No prep basketball player in the state of Louisiana enjoyed as big a climb this summer as St. Michael’s (Baton Rouge) Jacob Evans. Ben documented his rise and previewed what would become a highly contested recruitment for the wing, who ultimately signed with Cincinnati.

- A detailed look at the quarterback battle a week into Fall Camp, this story from Ben illustrates how the plan seemed to be unfolding under center from the points of view of Cam Cameron, Brandon Harris and Anthony Jennings. How things actually turned out, of course, is a different story.

- Hunter provided this story with video of LSU freshman Leonard Fournette making a bold statement in the Tigers’ home opener. Relive the experience of Buga hitting the Heisman pose – against Sam Houston State – with the world watching.

- A month into the fall semester, Ben released this three-part series on LSU’s coaches going pro with their recent hires. Paul Maineri, Les Miles and Johnny Jones, in that order, discuss the benefits of reaching up to add to their staffs.

- Ever think about the connection between music and sports, in particular basketball? How about connections between fathers and sons? This story from Ben explores both, peering into how Keith Hornsby is leaving his famous father’s shadow by taking a cue from the Grammy-winner.

- Less than 24 hours after his mother passed away, Miles led the LSU football team out onto the field at Tiger Stadium and to a thrilling 10-7 win over then-No. 3 Ole Miss. Hunter dove into the mindset of Miles and the fortitude it took to make it through this most trying day.

- It’s become an annual tradition . . . as well as one of our site’s best yearly feature stories. Hunter, for the second year in a row, teamed up with Scout’s John Garcia Jr. to tell the tale of how the Tigers and Tide locked horns on the recruiting trail leading up to the 2014 LSU-Alabama showdown on the gridiron.

- A great inside look at the next batch of Tigers on the diamond, this signing period preview from Hunter still serves as one of the best guides out there on the cycle that was in baseball recruiting. With the spring semester close at hand, now is the time to bone up on the new guys.

- Poor Howard Matthews. The Texas A&M safety and leading tackler was just doing his part to bring down LSU freshman back Leonard Fournette, even achieving good pad level. As Hunter illustrates in this story from College Station, with plenty of entertaining video, it wasn’t nearly enough.

- Hindsight is as always 20-20, and Hunter had the benefit of it in this before-and-after story in which he ranked LSU’s football freshman in order of impact at the end of the regular season. The list wasn’t quite the same as how the TSD staff had it pegged in August.

- It’s not always matters on the field or court that determine how a freshman adjusts to life at the next level. As Ben wrote in this feature story, that was certainly the case for LSU basketball’s Tim Quarterman, whose turnaround this season can be traced to the player positively moving forward from the death of his murdered cousin.

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