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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

***Remember to continue checking the TigerDroppings Home Page for more LSU Hoops articles.***

Comments (41) - Add Comments

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NawlinsTigah270 - 9 months ago
Nice write up :geauxtigers:
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heartbreakTiger - 9 months ago
very good write up. I agree with it 100 percent. I really like our movement on offense id just like more dribble penetration.
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SouthOfSouth - 9 months ago
quote:

id just like more dribble penetration.


This takes us from our current level to top tier SEC. We have too much athleticism to settle for jumpers.

When these guys start driving to the rim, we are gonna get a lot of foul calls. And look around the SEC and you won't find more than a handful of "deep" teams.
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heartbreakTiger - 9 months ago
Honestly i hate the inside the arc jump shots. I did like what we saw against a few teams where we penetrated and kicked. Ill take open 3s all day long, but i think with the guys we have if we attack the rim we either get the foul/lay up or we drop it to a cutter for a nasty dunk. I hope it comes with time as the guys get use to where each other will be on the floor. I really believe TQ could end up being a force if he take its to the basket. no point guard has a shot if we clear out and the pg gets no help when TQ drives.

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.
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Ignignot - 9 months ago
quote:

SouthOfSouth


grass roots movement gonna get the PMAC filled :dude: :bow:

RA'd for sticky...
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oauron - 9 months ago
quote:

When these guys start driving to the rim, we are gonna get a lot of foul calls.


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.
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bubbz - 9 months ago
I ra'd for sticky as well
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SouthOfSouth - 9 months ago
quote:

grass roots movement gonna get the PMAC filled


Always been the best way IMO to increase excitement around the team.

quote:

RA'd for sticky...


All of my articles show up on the homepage under LSU Basketball so if one doesn't stay up on TR, you can always find there. :cheers:
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S - 9 months ago
butler was outworking us on the glass and winning hustle plays until late in the game. as long as we bring the effort not many teams will out rebound us.

and i heard kent lowe on the radio the other day. holy shite talk about voice not matching the body.
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GeorgeWest - 9 months ago
Folks better not take winning these next 5 OOC games for granted. Beating Texas Tech in Lubbock will be difficult. We lost our only real road game this year, at UMass. Neutral site games are equally difficult for both teams.
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BigEdLSU - 9 months ago
Yeah and UAB too rabble rabble.

No disrespect intended, because you're right, but I just have this feeling we do it.
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S - 9 months ago
uab beating unc will prob grab our guys attention. tech could be tricky but they are not good. tubby should have them competing soon though.
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SouthOfSouth - 9 months ago
Martin had two in one game but they were both in fast break spots where he was out of control. I want him doing it in half court.
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Iam4LSUnTN - 9 months ago
One of the most insightful analysis ever read on the rant. Great stuff. Some of which was not obvious or intuitive for the casual basketball fan. Thanks...you are an anvils basketball junkie! Keep it up. :dude:
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Hiyoka - 9 months ago
First, I've been able to stream a few games so far and love the talent and depth we have. Easily the best product we've put on the court in a long time.

Second, great details and stats South...you clearly know your stuff.

That said, I have to disagree on the defense and rebounding from what I have seen. We are hustling and giving good effort but our on-ball defense has been average to poor and we are consistently over-helping (especially from the corners vs hard show/get back and trusting our weak side help).

Stats may not reflect this when we are playing lesser athletes and talents but a lot of our blocks are after we let the guy drive right by us and we are giving up a lot of open shots in the corners. Teams as talented/more talented will expose this and it shouldn't be glossed over if we want to be as good as we can be.

Re: rebounding - we block out about as much as guys blackout in pickups games.

Glad it looks like we have settled on a starting lineup with Hickey. I'm typically not a fan of having two small guys on the court at the same time, but Hickey is our toughest player by far and our huge/talented front court can cover the lack of back court size. I think.

IMO we beat UMass and Memphis if we play again. Prognosis right now is that we will be good and a fringe tourney team on talent alone...we could challenge for the SEC Championship if we toughen up and tighten up on the above.

:geauxtigers:
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S - 9 months ago
quote:

That said, I have to disagree on the defense and rebounding from what I have seen. We are hustling and giving good effort but our on-ball defense has been average to poor and we are consistently over-helping (especially from the corners vs hard show/get back and trusting our weak side help).

Stats may not reflect this when we are playing lesser athletes and talents but a lot of our blocks are after we let the guy drive right by us and we are giving up a lot of open shots in the corners.


agree. butler also kind of schemed for their guards to get to the rim and crash while their 'bigs' got bodied up on our guys. sometimes our smaller players would get wiped out of the play on the baseline. i think their little guard had like 9 boards or something. kentucky used to do that shite all the time for rondo and cliff hawkins.
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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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tigers32 - 9 months ago
quote:

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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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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Britgirl - 9 months ago
quote:


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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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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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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Britgirl - 9 months ago
quote:

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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tigers32 - 9 months ago
quote:

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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drizztiger - 9 months ago
quote:

SouthOfSouth
quote:

Singlehandedly Increasing the Interest in LSU Basketball
:bow:

:geauxtigers:
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