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Finals Break: Hoops Review

The early part of the season is over and we are now moving into a stretch of 5 winnable games that the Tigers MUST take advantage of. However, before moving on, let's look at what LSU has done well and what they need to concentrate their efforts on fixing.

Need Fixing

Turnovers
LSU averages a turnover on 22% of their possessions. Good enough for 315th in the NCAA. With their fast paced game, this number will be higher. Greater risk, greater reward; however, the Tigers have had far too many unforced errors to consider themselves successfully taking care of the ball.

The craziest part is, the guards are doing great. Johnny O'Bryant (4.6), Jordan Mickey (2.7) and Jarell Martin (1.8) have the most turnovers per game. Stringer (1.6), and Hickey (1.3) have done a very good job of protecting the ball. The problem here is fixable. O'Bryant needs to continue to improve passing out of double teams and Mickey needs to sharpen up his footwork in the post. Otherwise, LSU's roster looks like it can protect the ball.

Getting fouled

LSU is 4th to last out of Major Conference Teams in getting to the free throw line. Their FT rate (FTA/FGA) is at a miserable 30.2. What does that mean? LSU is not driving to the rim. WHAT?!?! With LSU's roster, we should be getting that rate over 40%. Late in the Butler game, Jarell Martin started driving inside which is a good start.

Players can't shy away from contact. Drive through opponents and get the fouls called. It's interesting however that LSU is still shooting two pointers at a high rate. They score over 60% of their points from 2 point shots, which is 21st in the NCAA. The fact that LSU is shooting inside the arc and not getting fouled is troublesome.

Free Throw Percentage

Maybe there's a reason why LSU is trying not to get fouled... They have shot 65.7% from the line, however that number has been improving with every game and I find it as less of an issue than the previous two. The biggest reason for LSU's FT woes is Johnny O'Bryant shooting 58% and taking the lions share of our attempts. Martin has made 9/11 and needs to get his attempts. Stringer has been solid as always hitting 82% while Hickey has once again struggled in limited attempts making only 4/7 so far.


Keep it up

Defense

LSU has the 27th best defensive efficiency in the NCAA. And they do everything on defense well. They have held opponents to a 42% two point percentage (36NCAA) mostly in part to LSU's ability to block shots in the paint. LSU has also been an effective rebounding team which omits easy second chance putbacks. While there is some work to do in their press, overall, LSU has to be happy with the way their D has performed.

The Rotation

With all the interchangable parts LSU posses, Coach Jones has had some work discovering how to use his players and what combinations work. He has obviously found his starting lineup (Hickey, Stringer, Martin, Mickey, JOB) and he has also used the bench well in spurts to add energy. Coleman, Morgan, and Quarterman have given good minutes off the bench and will be the main guys coming off the bench during important games.

While Odo, Malone, and Hammink will get minutes, they won't play quite the role that the other 8 will. Coach has also shown that he is willing to play Quarterman and Hickey at the same time, which we didn't expect to see. Players are still fighting for time and at this point LSU fans have to feel good about the rotation.

Rebounding

LSU has been dominant on the boards (exception being Butler). LSU is 6th in the NCAA with 45.6 rebounds per game and rebound over 40% of their missed shots on offense. This has been able to counter LSU's turnover problem. Fix the turnover problem and LSU will be taking 10-20 more shots than their opponents per game.

In the Butler game, LSU was outrebounded in mostly due to Butler attacking the rim and a ton of long rebounds. Still, LSU has to feel good about rebounding with the personnel they have.

Singlehandedly Increasing the Interest in LSU Basketball

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Comments (41) - Add Comments

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RBWilliams8 - 8 months ago
nice read. spot on.
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S - 8 months ago
if we start the conference schedule out hot and generate some momentum (getting nationally ranked would also help) they will start to come. i liked what i saw this year with the bayou madness and johnny showing up in a delorean equipped with goggles and lab coat. once mike the tiger parachuts from the rafters, you know we are doing good.
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Britgirl - 8 months ago
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.it's gonna take a true grass roots effort as you allude to S.


Well SoS and I are doing our part :cheers:

I might decorate my car and put signs on it and drive around Baton Rouge and outer environs with a loud hailer/speaker thing. :rotflmao:

Or take a leaf from the politicians' marketing book - put signs on roadsides and TV ad's (I'm britgirl and I approve this message).

Maybe I should ask Coach Brown for suggestions.
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Tiger Ugly - 8 months ago
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It's a process.


Johnny's much different than Dale, even moreso than I anticipated.

He's not going to go door-to-door passing out purple and gold nets and kissing babies and calling up reporters. He wants to coach basketball, and I'm good with that.

So yes, to recussitate hoops interest to the full extent that in can be in the present culture, with the added issue of competing for interest with baseball that the vast majority of schools don't have to do...it's gonna take a true grass roots effort as you allude to S.

The thing football and baseball here have is tailgating. Hard to replicate that for basketball.

Product on the floor is of course first and foremost but it's deeper than that for hoops here. What else can be done?

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SouthOfSouth - 8 months ago
It's a process. There's also a lot of people reading about basketball but not responding because they haven't seen enough to really have input. I'm looking forward to sec play when others will get involved. At this point it's a grass roots movement to increase interest.
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heartbreakTiger - 8 months ago
we have the proper length and athletes to really hurt people with our press. We also have the depth to where we can run it for long stretches. I think cjj will start to employ it more and more as the year goes on. I think our team is best in the open court
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Tiger Ugly - 8 months ago
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Just watch Arkansas kill Southeastern. They used a full press the entire game. When we play them we should do likewise IMO, their guards are not that good.


I'm not a proponent of 40 minutes of hell. I think it forces you to sub a lot more and unless you've got 10 kids where there's not dropoff (which I don't think we have at this point) it can lead to inconsistency.

But can we press more than we have been? I think so.
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Tiger Ugly - 8 months ago
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This thread been stickied for 3-4 days and its on page 2. Basketball just has a hard time at LSU.


It's a sad reality. Especially for a hoops fanatic like me.

But I keep reading and hearing...built it and we will come.

The truth is they'll be a bit of a bump. And maybe get a couple of near sellouts in February. But it ain't never gonna be like it was in the 80's, and probably not close.

Different culture at LSU now.
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Britgirl - 8 months ago
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And Mickey with his length, lagniappe.


I meant to include him as an addition to the experienced guys!


Just watch Arkansas kill Southeastern. They used a full press the entire game. When we play them we should do likewise IMO, their guards are not that good.
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BT - 8 months ago
This thread been stickied for 3-4 days and its on page 2.
Basketball just has a hard time at LSU.
:casty:
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S - 8 months ago
thinking of attending the uab game. 4pm on a saturday against a team with some momentum. hope we get a nice turn out.
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Tiger Ugly - 9 months ago
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Not sure if the "newbies" are up to running it properly yet


Maybe not, but Coleman, Hickey and Morgan have shown from jump they are the catalysts for the press. Run it with them in there. And Mickey with his length, lagniappe.

Remember Seton Hall last year? We sprung it then without really having practiced it. Those kids are naturals at it. They probably all ran it in high school and AAU and it's second nature.
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Britgirl - 9 months ago
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Id also like to see us press more and run more half court traps. I think we have the depth to do it and we could be extremely nasty if we turn up the heat.



Me too heartbreak. I neither expected or wanted 40 minutes of pressing as some did, but i did expect we'd do a bit more of it than we've done to this point.


I'm really perplexed as to why we're not doing this more often. It has definitely proved to light a fire under the players which carries through to offense.They love doing it.
Not sure if the "newbies" are up to running it properly yet, but we still have the guys (minus Carmouche) that ran it so well last year. Put those guys on the floor as our trapping/pressing unit
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Tiger Ugly - 9 months ago
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Id also like to see us press more and run more half court traps. I think we have the depth to do it and we could be extremely nasty if we turn up the heat.


Me too heartbreak. I neither expected or wanted 40 minutes of pressing as some did, but i did expect we'd do a bit more of it than we've done to this point.
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Tiger Ugly - 9 months ago
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Greater risk, greater reward; however, the Tigers have had far too many unforced errors to consider themselves successfully taking care of the ball.


A must to avoid a bad OOC loss S. You are correct, can't rationalize the number just because of the pace of play. Gotta clean this up.

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LSU is 4th to last out of Major Conference Teams in getting to the free throw line.


Too many guys settling for jumpers too often. Need a better balance to the offense.

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Free Throw Percentage
Usually is what it is and unfortunately I would not count on this improving significantly. Just keep shooting them at practice and hope for the best.

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Defense
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And they do everything on defense well.


I wouldn't say everything...need to improve on ball defense. Mickey's off ball blocks are masking some issues with letting teams beat us off the dribble a bit too often and we need guards to block out better as I consider that a part of defense.

My early projection S would be we need at least 22 overall wins (including SEC tourney) with no bad OOC losses to get in. I think that's a reasonable and achievalbe goal. I expect we'll be right around that number.

Geaux Tigers!
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themunch - 9 months ago
thanks


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drizztiger - 9 months ago
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SouthOfSouth
quote:

Singlehandedly Increasing the Interest in LSU Basketball
:bow:

:geauxtigers:
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tigers32 - 9 months ago
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What good does it do us to have a mobile, athletic 6'9" small forward if all he is going to do is shoot long jumpers?

I think that's why we ran a few cuts for Martin toward the basket. Seemed like an easier way for him to get a head of steam going towards the basket without having to take a defender off the dribble. We've done the same for Coleman.
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Britgirl - 9 months ago
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Another reason we haven't been slashing to the basket is we have been zoned a lot. That makes it harder but not impossible. With our front line, our opponents want us to take that three. Martin has settled for that all too often. What good does it do us to have a mobile, athletic 6'9" small forward if all he is going to do is shoot long jumpers? Those last two drives against Butler is what he needs to do all game long.


Agree with you Tom.
Pretty sure most of our offensive plays are of the "get it to JOB down low" type. Don't always work, depending on size/mobility of post opposition.
I sometimes have doubts about JOB's ability to put the ball on the floor and go back up in some of those situations. Kicking it to Jarrell is going to be huge as soon a he's 100% healthy and confident, not tentative. I thought he was back to normal for the OSC, but apparently he was only 75%, according to reports.
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S - 9 months ago
if there is one thing i can credit trent johnson and his staff for while they were here, they really coached up our bigs on how to draw a charge.
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Tom Bronco - 9 months ago
Another reason we haven't been slashing to the basket is we have been zoned a lot. That makes it harder but not impossible. With our front line, our opponents want us to take that three. Martin has settled for that all too often. What good does it do us to have a mobile, athletic 6'9" small forward if all he is going to do is shoot long jumpers? Those last two drives against Butler is what he needs to do all game long.
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Britgirl - 9 months ago
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It would be interesting to see how many charges ahve been called against, because I remember several. I think that plays into the reluctance to drive to the hoop a lot.


I think you're right on that, because of the way the officials are now calling charges/blocks.
From what I was told, in order to avoid having the charge called, the offensive player must be seen to have FULL control of the ball, held in to the body (chest, if poss. so more visible). Since that type of possession goes so fast and amongst bodies in the post, I think you'll see them calling charges more often because they can't be sure the offensive player has full control.

So if a player doesn't think they're fully in control when driving to the basket, they'll shy away so they don't get called for a foul/turnover the ball. This team played in "avoid all the turnovers mode" after Memphis.

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S - 9 months ago
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Guards take risks because they know the forwards can clean up the mess. I think it's effective.



agree. stringer has been a reliable on ball defender when he can match up with a guy at least 6'2, 6'3. dunham looks a legit 6'6 so that was an awful matchup for him. hickey has to take risks for us to be successful and he has great instincts for when to attack the ball.
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tigers32 - 9 months ago
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run more half court traps

I love this idea, and think it would give teams fits.

I agree that we need to get to the free-throw line more. But, a small back-court contributes to that problem. Hickey's offense isn't getting to the rim. Neither is Stringer's (I think he feels more comfortable with a pull-up jumper). That's where Martin, Mickey, and O'Bryant come in. Sometimes, Mickey almost looks out of control when he makes up his mind to go to the rim.
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SouthOfSouth - 9 months ago
I think the defense allows guys into the lane too much but we've been able to put enough hands in faces to prevent easy shots.

I feel like we got mentally tired during that butler game and stopped blocking out but overall I think the team blocks out and gets boards. However, our best rebounding is on the offensive end.

I can totally understand how you can say the defense hasn't performed. I don't think the defense is necessarily "classic great" but I think they use their skill set well. Our
Guards take risks because they know the forwards can clean up the mess. I think it's effective.
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