FEINSWOG: Why did this come out when it did?

This is a quiet Sunday morning. The quiet before a much-anticipated and welcome storm.

The fans and teams haven't yet filed into the New Orleans Arena where Florida will play Purdue and Memphis will take on Nevada in one of the great days of sports, when the NCAA Tournament fills in the blanks for next week's Sweet 16.


Which is where I expect to find the LSU women in their tournament after a topsy-turvy week when, if you're an LSU fan, finally you got to take a breath and perhaps smile.


Yesterday, Saturday, the LSU baseball team beat South Carolina – no small thing considering USC is ranked No. 3 and LSU is a team most observers will tell you is trying to survive a treacherous SEC season and make it next year relatively unscathed. Now, regardless of what happens later today, the Tigers won't be swept on their first league road trip.


But no matter where you go or who you talk to – in this case, quite a few media members from out of town are here to cover the NCAA Regional – the conversation inevitably gets to LSU women's basketball and Pokey Chatman.


All of us who follow LSU were stunned when the news broke that she was leaving the program.


Not so much about what occurred, but how and when. More when than anything else. Why did this all come out when it did? Why not after the tournament?


We may never know the answers, but I do know this: LSU women's basketball is in great shape with Bob Starkey at the helm.


There is not a more caring, hard-working person in hoops. If anyone could seamlessly pull off what the Lady Tigers are trying to do, Starkey is the right person for the job.


And that in itself is somewhat ironic since Starkey, who has never gotten his college degree (and don't think friends and family haven't busted him on this for years), can't for that reason be LSU's permanent head coach.


But he is LSU's coach now, and it was great to see him and his team roll to an easy first-round victory Saturday night over UNC-Asheville.


The truth is, the Lady Tigers appeared to be in midseason form despite having not played for nearly two weeks and going through the turmoil that Chatman's resignation brought.

Dale Brown always talked about the "resiliency of youth," constantly reminding us the things that concerned adults were usually of no concern to college kids. And that adversity was easy to either brush aside or overcome when you're young.


The Lady Tigers proved that Saturday by steamrolling Asheville, scoring seemingly at will and appearing like a team on a mission.


And as Florida and Purdue begin to warm up, and the crowd fills in and quietude is put on the back burner for the next eight hours or so, I'll tell you that I'm openly rooting for the LSU women's basketball team. I'm openly rooting for Starkey, and I'm openly rooting for my many friends who care deeply for that program.


I'm also rooting for LSU to hire a coach as soon as this tournament ends and would suggest that Van Chancellor, the former coach at Ole Miss who led the Houston Comets to the first four WNBA championships and was our head Olympic gold-medal-winning coach in 2004 – and who just happened to work the ESPN broadcast of LSU's game Saturday – would be a perfect candidate.




Baton Rouge sportswriter Lee Feinswog is the host of the weekly television show "Sports Monday." He's covered LSU athletics since 1984. His book "HoopDaddy" is available at www.HoopDaddy.net. Contact Lee at sportsmonday@aol.com or (225) 926-3256.

Tiger Blitz Top Stories