Opponents, that is.
That's as big a reason as any that a team once ranked No. 5 in all the land is reeling from a five-game losing streak, all in the Southeastern Conference.
On one hand the Tigers are their own worst enemies. To wit: Clank-o-rama from the outside and untimely, late-game turnovers.
On the other hand, this is simply an unlucky bunch that seemingly can't catch a break.
Like in Saturday's defeat at
The lead was suddenly five and LSU never recovered.
It was typical in a season when so much seems to go wrong after a season when so much went right. A year ago LSU came off a tough non-conference preseason in which the Tigers struggled to win close games. But then they got hot in the SEC, made every play, caught every break, saw the ball bounce their way and fought their way all the to the Final Four.
This season just the opposite has
occurred. LSU scored nice pre-conference victories over UConn and Texas A&M.
But a defeat at
That night in
When LSU played host to Vanderbilt on Jan. 24, you could recognize right away that Vandy was pretty good. But every long rebound went to the Commodores against an LSU team that is pretty fierce on the boards. Vandy also hit 10 of 25 3's that night, even better than it normally shoots.
All that aside, LSU is 13-9 overall and 2-6 in the SEC. The Tigers have two huge problems:
They can't shoot from the outside
and, outside of
The good news? Even at 2-6, LSU is just two games off the pace in the SEC Western Division.
Things are never easy in the SEC. LSU is its own worst enemy at this point. But two games is a closeable gap if the Tigers snap out of it, work just a little harder on defense and hit a key shot or two.