I am going to be as positive as possible in this recap because I think people truly think the sky is falling, it's not.
I'm first gonna start by saying Rhode Island lost to Saint Louis (in my opinion a top 25 team but around 35 in polls) by 1 point on a last second shot last night. URI is playing good ball. Now back to the game at hand.
I've watched Tennessee play 4 times now, and there are two different Tennessee teams that come to play; the team that can hit three pointers, and the team that cannot. When Tennessee hits their outside shots, I believe they can beat any team in the country. Arizona, Ohio State, Wisconsin - Good luck with Tennessee when they hit 64% of their three pointers in a half. With their ability to rebound and protect the ball, they are a tough team to beat when they are hitting shots.
Tennessee last night hit 7/11 three
's in the first half and finished 8 of 15. LSU finished the game 2 of 14 from three
. That is the difference in the game. Looking at the rest of the game, it's a wash. LSU shot a better percentage from two point range hitting 43.5% to Tennessee's 43.2%. LSU had more shots taking 60 fg attempts to Tennessee's 52 attempts. LSU forced the 3rd best team at protecting the ball into 16 turnovers. They only average 9 per game. LSU themselves only turned it over 9 times
. We lost the rebound battle, but not by as much as you may think. The -12 rebound differential was mostly due to Tennessee having many more defensive rebound opportunities. LSU had 11 offensive boards to Tennessee's 13. Not that significant.
LSU was able to block 9 shots of Tennessee
. That's 15% of their shots taken. Before this game, they averaged under 7% of their shots being blocked. Still, there were some things LSU did bad besides shoot poorly.
I was very disappointed in Anthony Hickey's ability to get through a screen. Coach sat Hickey for a significant portion of time because Quarterman was doing a much better job defensively. And that's not even a height issue. Shoot, Quarterman made 40% of his shots while Hickey made 29% of the shots he took.
But honestly, there's not too much to be upset about past that. We left a few three point shooters open. They hit shots. While Andre Stringer didn't score, he got the offense pumping early in the second half with his dribble drive and dish. He ended the game with 4 assists and 0 turnovers. Jordan Mickey had 14 points, 4 rebounds, and 5 blocks. O'Bryant actually played very good defense and had 3 blocks of his own.
Still, LSU cannot win games if they can't hit three pointers. Not against the big boys, and believe me, Tennessee is a big boy. They are now 18th in the KenPom rating. Their last two D1 games have consisted of them beating Virginia (#28KenPom) by 35 and LSU by 18 on road.
This game didn't go our way, but don't for one second think that this team will give up on the year. Still a lot to accomplish. Still a lot to earn.
For listening to my logic:
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