LSU’s SEC tournament road ends quickly, but promise awaits


In the future, no one will remember there was once an SEC tournament in St. Louis. Heck, based on the crowd size for LSU’s opening round game against Mississippi State, no one remembered it was there this year.

Tthey’re also bound to forget the days of LSU basketball as a non-factor in the postseason. The Tigers were one-and-done in Will Wade’s first postseason appearance, falling 80-77 to the Bulldogs. But don’t count on that becoming a habit.

Thursday’s heartbreaking loss was a good indicator of why that will be the case. Wade’s team battled all the way back from a 19-point deficit to pull within 1 with under 10 seconds left.

In fact, LSU could be primed for a tournament run as early as next week. LSU’s 17-14 record should be good enough for the Tigers to earn a bid to the NIT.

As a tournament, the NIT is a bit of a crapshoot. Most teams are disappointed to be left off the NCAA tournament bubble and fail to show up mentally even if they are present physically. Of course, the last time the Tigers were invited to the NIT they decided to take not showing up quite literally, turning down the bid to bring a premature end to Ben Simmons’ lone, tumultuous season in Baton Rouge.

Even though that was just two years ago, those days are long gone. The players in this program are hungry. You don’t turn around from a dismal 10-21 season with mostly the same cast of characters without a strong will to succeed.

LSU probably needed a win to assure itself of a home game in the NIT. That opportunity was squandered a number of ways against the Bulldogs, who looked like they’d blow the roof of the building by hitting 9 of their first 11 3-point attempts.

Once the game finally got close, LSU’s miserable showing at the free-throw line started to sting. The Tigers were just 57 percent (8 of 14) from the line. A late lane violation on the front end of a Tremont Waters 1-and-1 made a massive difference in the outcome. So did LSU’s inability to foul any Mississippi State player as the Bulldogs ran the final seconds off the clock. Waters had just made a miracle 3 to cut the deficit to 1 with 8.9 seconds left, but LSU never got the opportunity to shoot for the lead because it couldn’t corral any Bulldog dribblers.

The ending was a pretty good summation of Wade’s first year at LSU. A hard fight, but a team that isn’t quite ready for making winning plays in primetime.

Fortunately, the Tigers will likely have another opportunity to learn coming up next week.

The post LSU’s SEC tournament road ends quickly, but promise awaits appeared first on SEC Country.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Teheran slammed early, Braves lose game and series to Orioles
Teheran slammed early, Braves lose game and series to Orioles

Baseball mojo can be a maddening, temperamental mistress, and that’s not even taking into account the unpredictable state of Julio Teheran’s pitching. And so it is that the Braves, who hadn’t lost a home series since early May, saw that streak snapped Saturday when Teheran gave up a first-inning grand slam to Mark Trumbo in a 7-5...
Ohio State QB Dwayne Haskins trains with Deshaun Watson
Ohio State QB Dwayne Haskins trains with Deshaun Watson

Projected 2018 Ohio State starting quarterback Dwayne Haskins trained Saturday with Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson. Quarterback trainer Quincy Avery facilitated the workout and posted the training session on social media, along with incoming Georgia freshman quarterback Justin Fields. Haskins has worked with Avery and NFL players before...
BREAKING: South Georgia athlete commits to Auburn over Tennessee, Florida State
BREAKING: South Georgia athlete commits to Auburn over Tennessee, Florida State

AUBURN, Ala. — Jashawn Sheffield had a clear plan. Sheffield, who was close to committing earlier this summer, wanted to make one more trip to Auburn with his mother before finalizing anything. He made the trip up from St. Simons Island, Ga., on Friday for his official visit. After spending the day with players...
3-star offensive tackle includes 6 Pac-12 schools in top 8
3-star offensive tackle includes 6 Pac-12 schools in top 8

Troy Fautanu, a 3-star offensive tackle from Henderson, Nev., has released his top 8 schools. Six schools from the Pac-12 — Cal, Utah, USC, UCLA, Oregon and Washington — made the cut. Fautanu ranks as the No. 57 offensive tackle in the 2019 class. The post 3-star offensive tackle includes 6 Pac-12 schools in top 8 appeared...
Updated 2019 ESPN NBA mock draft has Indiana’s Romeo Langford going No. 5 overall
Updated 2019 ESPN NBA mock draft has Indiana’s Romeo Langford going No. 5 overall

The 2018 NBA Draft ended just a couple days ago. So, it’s time for 2019 NBA mock drafts to surface. It’s only natural. ESPN updated its 2019 mock draft and has Indiana freshman Romeo Langford going No. 5 overall to the Phoenix Suns. If this proves to be true, the Suns would have a young core of Deandre Ayton, Devin Booker and...
More Stories