Last season, LSU started 0-12 in SEC play and finished 2-14 (2-15 if you count the SEC tournament loss to Tennessee). LSU has now matched that win total and reached double-digit wins in the process.
Player of the game- Garrett Green, who continues his surprising run with a 10-point, 10 rebound performance, just the second double-double of his career. He's now averaging 10 points over his last 7 games. We are looking at a new basketball player here. He was a beast at the boards and he had 3 emphatic slams. With Malcolm White manning the five, Garrett Green has come alive at the power forward position (which is his more natural position).
Malcolm White led LSU scoring with 13 points and 7 rebounds. If not for his 4 turnovers and 4 fouls, I would have named him co-POTG, but his effort tonight remains commendable. Tonight, he was on, shooting well from the paint, and overall getting it done.
Matt Derenbecker continues to prove that he has what it takes to be a part of LSU's starting five. Tonight, he proved that he can make a great impact even when his 3-point shot isn't sinking. He was 0-4 from the arc, but that just gave him a chance to show off his inside scoring game. D-Beck made some great moves to the basket, finishing 5-9 (5-5 on shots inside the arc) for 12 points, adding 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals.
Andre Stringer showed off new depth as a point guard, earning a career-high 7 assists. He had another rough shooting night (2-8, 1-5), but his free throws at the end were huge for the Tigers.
Great first half, not-so-great second half. Obviously, the Tigers are doing something right in the first half. Now the Tigers need to figure out how to continue that rhythm over the second half. Ralston Turner's injury might have been a good thing for the Tigers since it gave Matt Derenbecker a chance to reveal his talents, but the Tigers have been fading down the stretch in the second-half, and lack of depth as a result of Turner's absence could be the key here. Getting him back will make a big difference in that department.
But hell, it's another win. The Tigers have to be brimming with confidence right now, and they'll need all of it and more when they travel to Rupp Arena to play Kentucky on Saturday. Hopefully, the Tigers will have revenge on their minds. Kentucky is a good team, but they are beatable as Georgia proved last week. It's time to spread delusional optimism to basketball. Let's Geaux!