The following post was created by Stromile Swift (the user, not the player):

Heading into Tuesday night’s game versus Utah, I really didn’t feel good about LSU’s chances. Here are a few things that had me concerned before tip off: 1) LSU had yet to play a true road game 2) The disappearance of Chris Johnson 3) Lack of bench production 4) LSU’s inability to defend the interior against a credible big man. LSU started out the game nicely, and really didn’t show any signs of being nervous. However, it did seem they became a bit rattled in the second half and subsequently raised the white flag. Chris Johnson had no chance at stopping Utah in the paint, but at least he finally showed some signs of life on the offensive end. The bench played a total of 62 minutes, scored a total of 10 points, and was 2-12 from the field. Luke Nevill tore LSU apart, and could have dropped 30 on LSU had he decided to do so. Utah racked up 50 points in the paint, and it was obvious LSU had no answer from the outset. Although I didn’t expect LSU to win this game, I was disappointed they couldn’t at least make it a competitive game. I’m ready to put this debacle behind us, and take a quick glance at the rest of the season.

Coming into this season, I really felt that LSU could win 20-21 games due to a very weak non-conference schedule and another down year in the SEC. At 12-2, these are still realistic expectations. The upcoming three game stretch will go a long way in setting the tone for the rest of the season. First up, LSU must travel to Alabama on Sunday to open up SEC play. The Crimson Tide were tabbed as the pre-season favorites to win the SEC West, and they have three very talented players in Gee, Hillman, and Steele. This is a winnable game for LSU, but I’m not overly optimistic about LSU’s chances after last night. Next up, an 11-2 South Carolina team will be coming to Baton Rouge. South Carolina is still a bit of a mystery, but they can score in bunches as they are currently averaging 82 points per contest. The Gamecocks knocked off #20 Baylor in Waco, and they are led by a very talented scorer in Devan Downey (20.5ppg). Assuming that LSU loses to Alabama, LSU will need to win this game in the worst way possible. LSU will conclude this three game stretch with a visit to Oxford to take on the Ole Miss Rebels. Ole Miss (9-5) has incurred a few nasty losses this season, but LSU hasn’t won in the Tad Pad since the 2005-2006 season. I’m not really sure if LSU is capable of going 3-0 during this stretch, and I’d be very satisfied with a 2-1 mark (1-2 wouldn’t shock me either).

As far as the rest of the season is concerned, I’m not sure what to expect. I have really stayed away from making any serious predictions due to LSU’s weak schedule so far. The SEC has looked better in the last couple of weeks, and the SEC West might be a little stronger than once thought due to Arkansas’ emergence in the last two weeks. LSU’s only decent victory against Washington State certainly looks less impressive since they got smoked by UW. The Tigers have one more chance to make a statement outside of the SEC when #16 Xavier visits Baton Rouge later this month. It’s very possible that a 20-21 win LSU team could be NIT bound especially if they lack marquee wins against teams like Tennessee and Xavier. Coming into this season, I was hoping that LSU would compete for the SEC West and make an NCAA tournament appearance. These goals are still intact, but LSU will need to show some major improvement for either of these two things to happen. Was last night's loss at Utah an aberration or a sign of things to come? Stay tuned as we will learn a lot more about this team after the next three games.
Filed Under: LSU Sports


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