...so don't make any assumptions about the season based on one game. Sure, it wasn't pretty, despite some great performances by Andre Stringer, Ralston Turner and Aaron Dotson. Sure, there's a lot of guys that need to play better. But I hear a lot of grumbling about players (particularly Eddie Ludwig) whom people think will never be any good. And to that I say hold your goddamn horses.
Friday night was not Eddie Ludwig's finest performance. He did score 4 points with his still-gorgeous free-throw shot, and he did grab three steals to outdo his 2 turnovers, but he fouled out after just 18 minutes on the floor. Despite his foul trouble, he needs to play more aggressively. He did not attempt a field goal. On one play, Andre Stringer tried passing the ball to Eddie wide open in the paint, but Eddie wasn't ready, and the ball went out of bounds for a turnover. That's the kind of thing that he needs to be ready for. He also made a bad in-bounds pass.
Speaking of Andre, the rookie had 21 points, sank 4 3-pointers and gathered 5 assists and 3 rebounds. He did have 6 turnovers and 4 fouls, but this is a freshman's first game. I'd say there's a lot of promise.
Ralston Turner looks like LSU's best player. He too had 21 points along with 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals, but he didn't nearly have problems with turnovers or fouls that the others had.
As for the other rookies, Matt Derenbecker did little with his six minutes while Jalen Courtney made a nice basket on 3 minutes. I didn't see either of these guys play in the second half, and I wasn't too sure about that decision because Jalen looked good and the sooner we get D-beck going, the better.
Malcolm White and Garrett Green both played well at center. White scored 12 points, nabbed 4 rebounds and blocked 3 shots, while Garrett Green sank his only field goal and led the Tigers with 6 rebounds. White had 4 turnovers and 4 personal fouls, while Green limited mistakes to 1 turnover and 2 PFs.
Aaron Dotson played very well, and, yeah, he's a new man out there. He made all 5 of his field goals, shot 7-8 from the line, got 2 steals, 3 boards and a blocked shot, while only turning it over once. It looks like Trent Johnson's patience with Dotson's struggles will pay off for the Tigers.
Defense was another story. NSU's Will Pratt played great all night, essentially carrying the Demons with 29 points, 5 boards and 5 steals. The demons didn't shoot wonderfully, but they did get 21 offensive rebounds, and were able to capitalize on that.
LSU needs to play better at the boards. The Tigers also need to stop turnovers (we had 25 total compared to NSU's 17) and limit personal fouls (30). NSU shot just 13-27 from the line. Other teams won't be as bad.
But LSU has young talented guys who can shoot the three. Offensively, we're loads better than we were last year, but LSU is not a complete team yet. But, once again, it's the first game of the season.
I know I'm late for this one. I won't be able to make it to the next game against Nicholls State (cue Soviet jokes) so forgive me if I recap based on the box score.