I still have absolutely no read on this basketball team. I keep going back and forth between "pretty good squad" to "hopelessly outmatched". LSU loses to A&M, but at least looks promising in the loss. The team beats Wazzu, which is great, but then Wazzu looks terrible in their next game and LSU gets ripped by Utah and then loses to Alabama.
As soon as I'm ready to write the team off as NIT at best, they go out and man-handle a pretty good South Carolina team. The game was essentially over at the half, with LSU up 40-22. The final 20 minutes felt like merely running out the clock en route to a 85-68 victory.
I think LSU is shaping up to be a bubble team who will miss the tournament due to its truly atrocious out of conference schedule. Honestly, I can accept that sort of season as long as it seems like the team is making progress by season's end. I think they've made a lot of progress so far, but we don't want to see them go off the rails in the last month or two now that we're playing conference foes.
It's time to accept the team is maddeningly inconsistent, lacks any real depth, and is devoid of frontcourt size. That's normally not a recipe for success, but this team does play good defense, has terrific guard play, and can shoot (especially given that LSU doesn't have those trees on the inside to get easy layups).
I want the tournament bid of course, and it's still a long time until Selection Sunday, so it's certainly an attainable goal. However, it's not one I think we need to demand right now. This team, more than anything, needed to shake off the stink of the John Brady Era. They have done so, and basketball is fun and exciting again. That's success enough for this season, but we probably won't have more until Qunitin Thornton and Chris Johnson form a more reliable duo upfront, and Chris Bass develops into the point guard we need.
Hey, these were problems going into the season. Things don't solve themselves overnight and coaches need time to put in their own system. I am pleased with the early results when I take a step back and look at the state of the program. but going through the daily ups and downs with this team is causing me severe stress. And my doctor tells me I need to stay away from stress right now.