The time is now for LSU basketball

The LSU Tigers dropped their fifth consecutive SEC game over the weekend losing to the Alabama Crimson Tide 75-66 in Tuscaloosa. <br><br> Times have been tough lately as a once promising season has quickly slipped out of the grasp of sixth year coach John Brady. A late season push, much like the one he was able to engineer a season ago, will be needed for these Tigers to garner at least an NIT bid.

At the present time, the optimists who still believe a shot at the NCAA's is possible, they need to realign their beliefs.


It would take a near miracle for these Tigers to win seven of their last nine league games (which would get them to 8-8 in SEC play) and get them at least on the bubble. Even an 8-8 record would get Brady's club to a 19-7 mark on the season making them a bubble team at best.


And if the Tigers' play on the court hasn't been bad enough lately, the scene in the Pete Maravich Assembly at last Tuesday night's 70-53 loss to Florida made it a lot worse.


It was bad enough LSU could not throw it in the ocean if they were standing on the beach, but the extra curricular activities further dampened the spirit of the evening.


Things began going sour when junior forward Jaime Lloreda was tagged with a technical foul for an altercation in which he hammered Florida guard Brett Nelson (more on that later). But the scene turned uglier when a plastic Jim Beam bottle came hurtling out of the student section pegging an ESPN producer in the shoulder as the nationally televised broadcast was coming back from commercial. Reports even indicated several students were removed from the building for drinking, which is almost unheard of for a basketball game. However, from the play of LSU on the floor, maybe a drink was necessary.


All right, back to Lloreda.


From the seats on press row, the technical foul issued to the big Panamanian looked unwarranted as it appeared he simply got tangled up with the Gators' senior point man. But watching the replay on ESPN later in the evening, it showed quite vividly Lloreda violently elbow Nelson in the back of his noggin'.


Brady put up a bit of an argument when the foul was called for he was on the opposite end of the floor from the altercation. However, Florida coach Billy Donovan witnessed the incident first hand and voiced his displeasure for Lloreda's actions. The feisty Rick Pitino disciple, standing all of 5-6, looked as if he wanted to mix things up with Lloreda as Nelson went to the line.


It was later learned, after reviewing the tape and seeing the replay, Brady was unhappy with Lloreda's actions and made the 6-9 former junior college player of the year call Donovan to apologize and draft a letter of apology to Nelson.


Brady even planned not to start Lloreda against Alabama on Saturday, but SEC commissioner Mike Slive beat him to it. Slive suspended the LSU forward for the entire game issuing a press release on Friday. Lloreda did not travel to Tuscaloosa with the team on Saturday.


All ugliness aside for a moment, LSU just came out of a difficult stint of games that saw the Tigers play on the road at Arkansas, Mississippi State and Alabama and play at home against No. 5 Florida. The schedule does ease up a bit when LSU hosts South Carolina on Wednesday, so if Brady and the boys expect to make a move, now is the time.



While the men's basketball team is struggling with hard times, the LSU women are gaining postseason momentum.


After having their 15-game winning streak halted with a loss at Arkansas, the Lady Tigers have rebounded with a win at Florida and a pair of impressive victories at home against nationally-ranked Vanderbilt and Georgia.


Former No. 1 Duke lost to UConn over the weekend so LSU should expect to rise in the rankings from their previous spot of No. 5.


When asked if she felt they should move up in the polls, Seimone Augustus said, "of course, we should be No. 1," she laughed.

Head coach Sue Gunter wasn't so jolly.


"I could care less where we are ranked," Gunter said. "Where we are ranked means nothing. We are playing for seeding in the SEC Tournament and placement in the NCAA Tournament. We have eight conference games left. The placement committee looks at your last 10 games when coming up with the bracket, so our time is narrowing."

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