Momentum swinging in Tigers' favor these days

Tiger fans have begged, pleaded, even demanded for LSU coach John Brady to produce something impressive – well, you got what you asked for.

After a slow start this season, the Tigers have been trying to generate momentum winning the games they should be winning. However, fans were not happy with beating Ohio State and Arkansas in overtime. They demanded Brady do something "BIG"


Saturday, Brady delivered in impressive fashion upsetting No. 22 Mississippi State 67-62 and has his team bursting with momentum as they begin a road stint where LSU plays four of five games on the road.


While the naysayers and detractors remain firm in their anti-Brady stance, the eighth-year head coach has his team in a prime position to make a run toward the school's first NCAA Tournament appearance in three seasons and the third under Brady at LSU.


And while there are those out there who still question the Tiger mentor and his ability to lead this team to success, the players are standing up and believing they can get the job done.


"We just try and put all of what the critics are saying behind us," said junior guard Darrel Mitchell. "It really doesn't matter what they are saying. We just try and come out and give the opponents our best. If we do on the road what we have done these last two games, I think we should have a good chance finish at the top on our side of the conference."


Senior reserve point guard Xavier Whipple knew this team was capable of the level of play at which they are currently performing. In his last season as an LSU basketball player, the McIntyre, Ga. native is preaching patience and belief in this team.


"I knew it the whole time," Whipple said. "Everybody knew how good the team could be, but it was a matter of everyone putting it together and playing their part and playing together as a team. I think we have done that the last couple of games. If we keep playing as a team, I think when we play together, we are just as talented as any team in the country."


Freshman Glen Davis said the Tigers aren't done either.


"The sky is the limit for us," Davis said. "We don't worry about the critics. They can talk all they want. They can say whatever they want to say. But this is a team that is trying to get better everyday. We don't look at the critics and listen to what they are saying. We just look to escalate our game to another level and let them worry about all of that stuff."


Mitchell believes Saturday's win over Mississippi State may serve as just the springboard this team needs to make a run in the Southeastern Conference.


"This really boosts our confidence," Mitchell said. "We really needed this win. We came in with the mindset that we were going to get it. We came out and did the things that we said we needed to do and we got the win."


What lies ahead for this team?


While the Tigers have not played well on the road i.e. Alabama and Kentucky, the two toughest road tests are in LSU's rearview mirror. The Tigers are facing winnable games at Georgia, Tennessee, Arkansas, Ole Miss and Auburn in what many are calling a down year in the league. The toughest games remaining for LSU are a road date with the Bulldogs in Starkville and home contests against surging Alabama and floundering Florida.


While the trip to Miss. State is more than likely a loss as is Bama at home, the Gators are struggling and could be another big home win. Toss in a game at home versus Vanderbilt (a "W") and this team could be dancing come March.


However, there is a great deal of basketball between now and then.



From the mailbag:


"I have to disagree with the person who wrote in and said that wins were what put people in the stands at PMAC.  It was salesmanship by Dale Brown.  Brady may be a fine Xs & Os coach, but he is unable to get out and sell his product to the people of a football state.  Dale was a, an, uh... modestly talented coach, but he could and did go out and sell his product to the fans EVERY YEAR.  You don't do it your 1st year and then assume people will come.  Full arenas/stadiums impress both recruits & TV, and also serve to intimidate opponents.  I just don't think Brady grasps this.  He thinks he's at UNC or Indiana and the fans will just come.  Making LSU a basketball school is a 365 day a year public relations job for the coach.  He has to go out and get his fans... or find somewhere else to coach."


- Bill Adams

Monroe, LA




Matt Deville is the editor of Tiger Rag Magazine. He can be reached by e-mail at

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