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30 Greatest Tigers of the Decade: #13 Sylvia Fowles

#13 Sylvia Fowles
#13 Sylvia Fowles

Every season ended the same way for Sylvia Fowles, with LSU in the Final Four and then receiving All-SEC honors.  OK, in her freshman year, she was named the SEC Sixth Woman of the Year and second team All-SEC, but every other year she was first team All-SEC before finally peaking with the SEC Player of the Year in 2008. 

Big Syl is the women's basketball version of Shaq.  She was an absolutely dominant player in the post, she was a tenacious defender, and she racked up a huge number of honors.  But unlike Shaq, she actually went to the Final Four.  Hell, she doesn't know what it's like to NOT make the Final Four.  To this day, I do not understand how she did not win a national title.  Whenever she was slowed down, for she was never stopped, it always caught me be surprise.

Fowles was an impact freshman, posting 12 double-doubles and averaging 11.8 PPG and 9.0 RPG.  She was third in the SEC in rebounds and second in blocks, making it the only season in which she did not average at least a double-double.  Her sophomore year, she posted a 15.9 PPG and 11.6 RPG average, while continuing her defensive domination.  She was named third team All-American.  Then, she managed to get even better.

She averaged 16.9 PPG and 12.6 RPG in her junior year.  She also conquered the LSU record book and became all-time LSU leader in block shots, still in her junior year.  She also soared past the 1,000 mark in both points in rebounds.  Fowles continued to dominate the paint and was named first team All-American.  Augustus was gone from the program, and the 2006-07 season was where Fowles showed she could carry the load herself, as LSU stayed on the same level and made its usual trip to the Final Four. 

Honestly, the 2007-08 team might have been the best in LSU's history.  LSU won the SEC regular season and tourney titles, carried by Fowles' 17.4 PPG and 10.3 RPG.  She was named All-American (again), as well as SEC Defensive Player of the Year and Player of the Year.  Once again, the Tigers made the Final Four, capping a remarkable run of success even given the turmoil of that season.

Fowles' records are pretty remarkable.  She is the all-time SEC leader in career rebounds (1,570) and double-doubles (86).  She cleared the 2,000 point mark, making her the fourth most prolific scorer in LSU history.  She's atop the all-time school leaderboard in rebounds (1,570), blocks (321), free throws made (494), and games played (144).  Her 218 career steals ranks eighth in school history, showing she could do more than just block shots.  Sylvia Fowles was a total badass.  Oh yeah, and she could dunk.  And let's face it, that's cool.