GAMETHREAD: Mississippi St. at LSU; 7 pm, ESPN3 (WBXH/KLAF/WNOL)

Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

Even a win against Mississippi State will mean little after LSU's recent spiral.

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Forgive my candor here, but does anyone still care?

After a brutal two weeks, with baseball amping up and a decidedly unsexy matchup in Mississippi State, it's hard to believe there will be much fire in either the fanbase or the LSU squad itself when the Bulldogs come to town tonight.

The Tigers have had plenty of time to stew since yet another road loss this past Saturday. LSU actually played better at Arkansas than it has on the road most of this season, but the same problem doomed it: 3-point defense.

That hasn't been as much of a problem at home, with opposing teams shooting 32 percent beyond the arc in the PMAC. Yet, the lingering question of defense may still torment the Tigers. Because, if LSU wasn't putting in the effort on defense in must-win road games, it's hard to picture any effort showing up for ~ 4,000 fans and a putrid State squad.

Even then, it's hard to picture this one slipping away. The Bulldogs have lost seven in a row, by an average of 14 points per game. They have a strong case as the worst team in the SEC, which is a #2bidleague unless Missouri keeps winning. They're awful offensively, even worse on the glass - 272nd in the country in rebounding - and haven't won a single game on the road this season.

That means this game is all about LSU. This is the first time in Johnny Jones' tenure that serious doubts are looming over this program. There is no sign of improvement in the win-loss column from last year and the team has regressed since an impressive 9-2 start. How will the players handle a dead home environment after a month of excitement? Will Jones switch anything up?

It's doubtful the Tigers will look much different from the squad that lost to three mediocre teams on the road and needed everything in the bag to beat Auburn. Luckily, Mississippi State is just bad enough that it shouldn't matter.

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