Florida 74, LSU 52

Stacy Revere

Ugly loss for Johnny Jones in LSU's home conference opener.

Basketball is most certainly not my sport, but I managed to watch LSU take on Florida today for the first time this season, and it turns out actioncuse and Deniz needed somebody to take over the post-game post. So are you ready? Good! That makes one of us!

And it's appropriate, since that's what you'd have to call this Tiger hoops squad when it comes to winning games against a high-level program like Florida.

Things were competitive early, with both teams flustering each other with defensive pressure. But then the Gators switched to a zone briefly, LSU hit a scoring drought (my, have those become really common the last few years) and suddenly a tight game became a nine-point deficit at halftime.

From there, Florida's athletes just took the game over and powered them through the second half to the 22-point win. LSU had some spurts here and there, using their press to make a nice run and get the game to about 13, but the Gators stayed calm and responded with a big 3 by Erik Murphy.

Ultimately, Florida's size was too much for LSU all over the court. The Tigers have some quick, athletic guys on the perimeter, but Florida can match that with taller guards like Kenny Boyton, who led all scorers with 20 points, and Casey Prather. Inside, Murphy and Patrick Young were just too much for Johnny O'Bryant, Andrew Del Piero and Shavon Coleman. They held JOB to all of two points on the day, and the Gators out-rebounded LSU 53 to 34 and outscored them 38-26 in the paint.

If I have to put a silver lining on this, it's that I like some of the things I saw out of Johnny Jones' first squad. They play hard and fly around the court with a style of play that will be pretty damn entertaining once they get some talent on the court. And they managed to draw a pretty solid crowd of around 8,000 people to a nationally televised game on a big recruiting weekend for the football team. Yeah, that's maybe half the PMAC's capacity, but given the way things have gone for the last few years, the crowds aren't going to come back quickly. But right now, this team just isn't good enough to pull in these big wins yet.

LSU fell to 0-2 in SEC play with South Carolina, also 0-2 with a tight loss to Auburn Saturday, coming to Baton Rouge Wednesday.

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