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Losing Big

30 points.  I'm not sure if you saw the game last night, but LSU didn't just get beat, they got absolutely crushed.  And it pretty much showed every problem with the basketball team so far this year.  I'm not trying to be negative, because I'll be happy with a .500 SEC record and a trip to the NIT.  Johnson gets a free pass in his first year, but that still doesn't mean we can't point out the problems so far.

--  The interior defense borders on criminal.  Any team with a halfway decent big man is able to pound the living hell out of LSU's smallish lineup.  Our one big man, Chris Johnson, is pretty soft, and he gets regularly abused by the opposition.  Luke Nevill went 11 for 13 last night.  11 for 13.  Jeez.

--  The bench is thinner than the average supermodel.  The first five have been hogging the minutes all season and the bench has been completely unproductive.  I want to get on Johnson for failing to use his bench and forcing the starters to play long, but he did use his bench last night and we saw why he uses a short rotation.  The six bench players contibuted 58 minutes last night, over a quarter of the team's 200 minutes.  Four of them even went for at least 10 minutes.  Here is the combined line:

2-12 FG, 5-6 FT, 8 RBS, 7 PF, 3 AST, 4 TO, 4 STL, 0 BLKS, 10 PTS

Chris Bass can arguably be said to have given us some good minutes, scoring 3 points and dishing 2 assists, but that's the high point.  That's just some brutal numbers.  Our bench sucks.  So the bench doesn't play.  And the bench gets even worse.  Bass has his moments and he's getting better, so I'm not too concerned with him.  Qunitin Thornoton canplay great defense when needed, but he was awful against Utah.  He needs to play better.  Much better

--  The team relies a lot on the outside shot.  If it isn't falling, bad things happen.  LSU shot 22.6% from the field in the second half.  Utah shot 60.7% in the second half and 63.5% on the game.  Ouch.

-- The schedule has been weak.  This is LSU's first road test.  We failed.  It was probably a neccesary evil, but it's January and I still have no feel for this team.  And the Wazzu win doesn't look nearly as good after they dropped one to Washington.  LSU has played three good teams and gone 1-2.  And the one is pretty questionable.