This team tends to struggle after victories.
For the third time running, we got absolutely worked after a win, and we’re now looking at more than a month without back-to-back victories.
Aside from that, the story of this game is simple: LSU had the best player on the floor and we didn’t. Sometimes, that’s all it takes.
The LSU Tremont Waterses
It’s been a while since I’ve seen one player dominate the way Waters did in this game.
Waters was the only LSU player who made a three in the first half (while the rest of his team was 0-10) and he had more made field goals than the rest of his teammates combined, which led to 23 first half points for the preseason All-SEC first teamer.
Starks was game for the battle, adding 15 first half points of his own to help us keep the game close as we entered halftime. The math enthusiasts among you might note that we were headed for a 74-72 final score.
Halftime Score: LSU 37, Texas A&M 36
The Tigers Were Just… Better
I wish I could treat this game like a solvable riddle. To isolate the attributes we could have improved and dream of an alternate timeline where we pulled this game out.
In truth, we ran into a really good basketball team.
Any time this squad plays someone legitimately ranked in the Top 25, our chances are predicated on the other team bringing a less-than-stellar effort. If we play someone legitimately good, and they play well… we’re hosed.
Tremont Waters was incredible for the full 40 minutes, and while his teammates did not shoot well… they were stout defensively. We never settled into any kind of rhythm in the second half, and the Tigers waltzed home.
Final Score: LSU 72, Texas A&M 57
- Mitchell finally cooled off. After carrying us for an entire week, he struggled to the tune of 2 points on 1-8 shooting
- Starks made us go offensively, especially in the first half. But my dude… why are you shooting 10 threes? TJ was 5-9 inside the arc and 2-10 from downtown… a theme that has consistently proven itself out over this entire season.
- Nebo was great, yet again. His efficiency finally met with some volume, and the big man willed his way to 16 points, 11 rebounds and 4 blocks. He doesn’t start, but he’s getting starters minutes. His 33 minutes played was his high on the season.
- John Walker showed promise early in the season, but he’s in danger of regressing to a point where he doesn’t see minutes. He was a -9 in his five minutes on the court today with no statistical impact. I like his court awareness, and I think we need more guys that pass the ball like him. Hopefully he turns it around.
- A final note on Waters… this team seems hell bent on letting one (or two) players destroy them. I don’t know why this is the case, but when guys heat up like this, we don’t try to adjust our defense. Frustrating to say the least.
Tennessee is next, and they’ve been cracking skulls on the road all season.
We’ve seen the things that work (don’t settle for threes, work the ball inside) and we’ve seen the things that don’t (hero ball, bombing away), so it would be nice to apply those lessons on Saturday. But that’s easier said than done against Tennessee, as they have imposed their will on both ends of the court all season.
Here goes nothing.