Big Baby brings home SEC West crown

Before the game started, head coach John Brady told sophomore forward Glen Davis to dominate the game.

Davis did just that.

"I told him before the game, why don't you go out and your best game of the year tonight?" Brady said.

Davis obeyed his coach, leading the game with a season high 28 points in 32 minutes. Davis also collected 15 rebounds, just one shy of the season best 16 he grabbed against the University of New Orleans in December.

One figure stands above the rest. Davis, who is shooting 65 percent from the free throw line this season, drained all nine free throw attempts in the game.

Brady's challenge for Davis was amplified after freshman guard Tyrus Thomas injured his ankle late in the first half. Brady addressed Davis in the locker room and told him the game plan for the second half.

"At halftime I said Tyrus may not be able to play. We're going to go to you and you just do what you need to do," Brady said.

Even with the challenge from his coach and the added injury to the one of the Tigers' best players, Davis did not try to put extra pressure on himself. Instead, he just performed the dominating role his team has come to expect from him.

"It's just my role that I have on the team," Davis said. "With Tyrus off the court, I knew this is what I had to do."

Davis started the game scoring 11 of the Tigers' first 12 points. Davis went 4 - 4 on field goals, including a three pointer, and 2 – 2 on free throws in the first four minutes of the game.

"If he wasn't involved in the initial shot at the basket, he certainly got his hands on it," Brady said.

His fast start prompted a short conversation between him and Kentucky's Lukasz Obrzut, the man in charge of guarding Davis.

"I just told him, ‘Coach Tubby [Smith] must be mad at you'," Davis said.

Just as Davis started the game hot, he finished in the same manner. With LSU up by two points and under two minutes left to play, Davis blocked a shot, stole another, and hit four critical free throws.

His final two free throws put the Tigers ahead by four with less than one second left, sealing the victory.

Davis's performance is even more impressive considering he was in foul trouble for most of the second half, getting his third foul with 19 minutes remaining in the game. Yet, Brady was able to keep Davis from fouling out by using Magnum Rolle and Darnell Lazare to help Davis double team Kentucky's Randolph Morris under the basket.

For Davis, this victory is special for a number of reasons. One of them is due to the opponent.

On the day when LSU honored the 1986 team, who beat Kentucky to advance to the Final Four, Davis was excited to beat the Wildcats.

Although Davis tries to approach every game like it is a big game, he said he had little difficulty getting ready for this game. With the history and legacy of Kentucky and Tubby Smith, Davis wanted to have a strong performance.

Despite the wealth of big guys for the Wildcats, Davis was able to find the basket 10 times.

"I just try to mix up my game a little bit to keep them guessing," he said. "I tried to do some quick moves to the basket."

Davis stayed in his comfort zone all game long. He said when he got the ball, he would shoot if he felt confident, no matter if he was under the basket or behind the three point line.

Davis' three pointer was the fourth he has made this season.

In addition to beating the historical powerhouse of the Southern Conference, LSU's victory also helps the team in the race for the conference regular season championship.

With Tennessee losing to Arkansas, this victory gives LSU soles possession of first place in the SEC.

Before the game, Davis knew the outcome of the Tennessee game and what a victory would give the Tigers. However, Davis and his teammates tried to put those facts in the back of their minds.

"We didn't dwell on it. We hadn't played the game yet," Davis said. "We hadn't stepped on the court yet."

Even after the game, Davis did not try to think about being in first place in the SEC. With two more games left to play in the regular season, Davis said he just wants to look at the next opponent.

"We've just got to go out and win each game. We've got to get healthy," he said.

With injuries nagging his teammates, Davis may be called upon to step up in another big game. For now, though, he just wants to enjoy this victory.

"We won," he said. "That's all that matters to me."

Tiger Blitz Top Stories