Like most of you, I've been focused on football the past few weeks, and for good reason. However, it's probably time to assess where the basketball team is at this point in the season.
I think the loss to Wichita State kind of cemented the fact that the team wasn't quite as good as its lofty preseason ranking. I still say LSU is slightly overrated right now at No. 10, at least until it starts playing better.
That said, this is a very good team. Glen Davis is as advertised, averaging 19 and 9 right now. He may be the most overlooked player in the country right now with all the talk about Tyler Hansbrough and Greg Oden. Heck, after the way Kentucky's Randolph Morris dominated Hansbrough on Saturday, I'm not sure he shouldn't be considered one of the top big men in the nation right now. Unfortunately, LSU just doesn't get the national play a lot of other teams do.
On the perimeter, Tasmin Mitchell and Garrett Temple have emphatically answered LSU's biggest offseason question, "Can this team shoot from the outside?" Mitchell is hitting a rediculous 61 percent from behind the arc and Temple is better than 35 percent. Tasmin is going to end up being a very special player before he leaves LSU.
The fact that Temple and Darnel Lazare are each averaging 12 points is amazing to me. I'm not sure it's their offensive improvement as much as LSU's schedule thus far though. The best thing about Temple right now is that he's turned it over just six times despite averaging 35 minutes through the first five games.
LSU's biggest problem is depth. Mr. Offense Tack Minor can provide a change-of-pace with his quickness and Magnum Rolle is a solid big man off the bench. However, Ben Voogd doesn't offer a whole lot other than being steady and not making mistakes.
After that the Tigers don't have much. Chris Johnson is still too raw to have an impact. Terry Martin will help when he becomes eligible, but he's another swingman. LSU really needs another inside player that can come off the bench, especially if they suffer an injury. Unfortunately, that's not coming unless Johnson steps up.
All that said, this is definitely a team with the talent to match up with anyone. If you ask me, Ohio State is clearly the best team in the country, despite their loss to North Carolina. If Greg Oden plays in that game, the Buckeyes win. After that, I think it's pretty much a toss up between Carolina, Florida, Kansas, Pitt and UCLA. Although, the Gators lost again this weekend. LSU could make a case to get back in the discussion with those teams if it can knock off Texas A&M on Tuesday.