In this week's installment of Tiger Rag's Where Do We Stand, there is plenty going on in the world of SEC basketball both on the men's and women's side o the spectrum.
On the women's side, Pokey Chatman's Lady Tigers are two wins away from wrapping up their second straight SEC title as LSU stands a full game ahead of a struggling Lady Volunteer squad.
Darrel Mitchell, Glen Davis and Seimone Augustus all wrote themselves into the LSU record book last week. Another Mitchell named Tasmin may have been slowed by injury but managed to step up at just the right time.
Speaking of stepping up, the SEC Western Division did so in a big way on Saturday.
Just two weeks away from the start of spring football and Les Miles finally announces his replacement for Karl Dunbar as LSU's new defensive line coach. Is it the hire everyone anticipated?
On the national basketball front, one legend took the rest of the year off in the midst of scandal while one coach found out just how hard it is to follow a legend.
It's all here in our latest rant.
While there were two milestones reached in men's hoops, let's start out with some women's b-ball. Seimone Augustus scored 26 points Sunday against Arkansas to pass Cornelia Gayden for third place on the all-time LSU scoring list. Augustus now stands 34 points away from second place and Julie Gross. She will likely take over second place Sunday in her final home game as a Lady Tigers versus Mississippi State.
To Darrel Mitchell. Mitchell has hit several clutch three pointers in his career, but his school record breaking try came in a game LSU won handily over Mississippi State. Mitchell surpassed Torris Bright for the school's all-time three-point record hitting No. 238 in the Tigers' 72-59 win over the Bulldogs.
To Glen Davis. Davis joined an elite club of LSU players in the 500 rebound club Saturday at Auburn. Davis entered the game needing five boards to become the 34th member of the 500-rebound club. Against the Tigers, Davis pulled down 11 boards giving him 506 for his career – and he is only a sophomore.
More good stuff to go around. How about big kudos to the men's and women's basketball teams, both of which are in first place in the SEC standings. The Lady Tigers stand alone a game ahead of the Tennessee Lady Volunteers. The LSU men head into the second to last week of the regular season tied with Tennessee for the SEC lead.
While this could turn out as a good thing, right now we will question Les Miles' choice for a new defensive line coach. Earl Lane, who spent 10 years on the staff at the University of South Florida, has been named the defensive line coach at LSU. Lane takes over for Karl Dunbar who departed last month after taking the defensive line job with the Minnesota Vikings. Lane comes to LSU after a brief stint as the defensive line coach at Wisconsin, a position that he resigned from early this week after accepting the LSU job. Lane's resume is dotted with several high school jobs and a stint in the law enforcement field? Maybe Les knows something we don't?
To another Mitchell on the LSU basketball team. Tasmin Mitchell has been hampered by back spasms for abut 10 days going into the Auburn game. It was obvious Mitchell wasn't himself struggling with his shot and picking up a host of early personal fouls. However, when LSU needed Mitchell he stepped up grabbing a loose ball and converting a layup that put LSU up for good inside a minute left to play.
To clutch free throw shooting by the Lady Tigers. Obviously drained by a big week that included wins over Tennessee and Georgia, LSU dragged into Gainesville literally running on fumes. LSU lost Scholanda Hoston early to injury then struggled in the last five minutes allowing Florida to force overtime. Both Erica White and Roshanta LeBlanc missed a pair of free throws each that would have iced the game for the Lady Tigers. Instead, Sarah Lowe grabbed the loose ball, was fouled by Seimone Augustus, and then made a pair of free throws that won the game.
To the SEC West. After years of dominance in the SEC, the eastern division is finding out how the other half lives – at least for a weekend. The top two teams in the east – Tennessee and Florida – lost to western division teams Alabama and Arkansas respectively.
To Oklahoma State coach Eddie Sutton. Sutton took a medical leave of absence from the Cowboys after being cited with DUI after a traffic accident two weeks ago. Sutton has been in deteriorating health for some time now and most likely was under the influence of pain killers. Sutton has probably coached his last game, six wins short of career victory No. 800.
To Mike Davis. While some may criticize Indiana coach Mike Davis for throwing in the towel in Bloomington, he will come out ahead in the long run. It is tough following a legend, just ask Les Miles, Smoke Laval, Ray Perkins, Ron Zook and so on. Davis made the national championship game a year after Bobby Knight was ran out of Indiana, but things have been tough ever since as IU has missed the NCAA Tournament three straight seasons. Davis has been under the microscope and will be better served coaching someplace else. Iowa's Steve Alford is the obvious replacement in Bloomington.
To Rudy Niswanger and Hali Saucier. LSU football player Rudy Niswanger and diver Hali Saucier were named the school's Scholar-Athletes of the Year at the annual Academic Excellence Gala at the Cox Communications Academic Center for Student-Athletes. In all, a total of 203 LSU student-athletes were recognized at the gala for their performance in the classroom during the 2005 academic year, each having been named a recipient of the LSU Director's Cup, the SEC Academic Honor Roll, or both.