We're on the board. It was an ugly home win against the worst team in the SEC... but it was a win.
Can we build a little momentum? Honestly, I don't see it.
1) We can walk, and we can chew gum. But not at the same time.
There's a frustrating component to this season that hasn't existed in the prior 2-3 years - the talent level. When we're healthy, we have a 9-10 deep that's capable of running with anyone in the conference that's not Florida or Kentucky.
And it hasn't really fixed much.
On days where we rebound, we don't shoot free throws (Kentucky). On days where we shoot well, we don't rebound (Baylor). And just to keep everyone off balance, on days where we don't do anything we oddly shoot enough free throws to win (MSU).
This game is going to take more than that. We'll need a complete effort to win in Baton Rouge, and that's something we haven't seen on the road in a long time.
2) LSU might have the best front court in the SEC.
Sure, part of their statistical advantage over the Kentucky bigs can be attributed to the Cats' insane depth, but it's still tough to ignore the statline of 6-10 Jarrell Martin (16.9 points; 8.9 rebounds; 50% FG) and 6-8 Jordan Mickey (15.5 points; 10.6 rebounds; 3.7 blocks; 51% FG).
Here's a little context for those numbers
- Scoring: Martin (2nd); Mickey (7th)
- Rebounds: Mickey (2nd); Martin (3rd)
- Blocks: Mickey (1st; 2nd nationally)
If we bring our Waco level of rebounding intensity to this game, we'll all be able to turn it off by 11:30.
3) Did I mention that it's on the road? It's on the road.
There are other issues I could discuss. House and Jones appear to have incompatible games on the offensive end, and I don't like that. We tend to have an inconsistent approach to using our second unit, and I don't like that either. But I'll save those points for a later day, because they pale in comparison to the almighty road monster.
We are just flat bad on the road. There's no way around it. And with the exception of a couple of outliers (Space at Tennessee, Elston Turner at Kentucky), it's been happening for years. When you add these three points together, there's really only one way this ends.
Once again, I hope I'm wrong.