Your LSU Basketball Tigers improve to a perfect 3-0 start, but not without showing some incredible weaknesses. 14 turnovers and 24 teams fouls almost spelled disaster for LSU, if it weren't for North Florida turning the ball over 20 times themselves and fouling 22 times. It was one of those games where the refs took over the pace of the game and fouled every little bit of contact. Even the coaches themselves got bench warnings, and Duop Reath and Romelo Banks both fouled out on a double technical. Reath and Banks had a tough battle in the paint tonight, as Duop noted “he had the size...so he was a little tougher than the 6’7”, 6’8” guys we’ve played against.” This was clearly evident in the box score, as North Florida out-rebounded the Tigers 44-34.
On the positive side of things, Antonio Blakeney led the Tigers again with another 20 point performance. Brandon Sampson caught fire in the second half, at one point scoring 10 in a row. When asked if he had a hot hand, he dismissed that notion, saying “I just really let the game come to me, just trying to be patient. I had some open looks, they got me involved, and I took good shots.” Elbert Robinson III only played 10 minutes, but was very poised and productive, scoring 5 with 4 rebounds and 2 assists. Jayln Patterson seems to have taken over primary PG duties with 8 assists, while Freshman Skylar Mays only posted 3 assists and 3 turnovers. Mays is very talented, but the game may be a bit too fast for him at this point.
It could be worse, as the North Florida Ospreys fall to 1-3 led by Chris Davenport who scored 16 but committed ELEVEN TURNOVERS! ELEVEN. Hey, still a double double right?
It was mentioned in the postgame presser that the halftime speech was “fiery,” except the “fiery” speech apparently came from Craig Victor. Antonio Blakeney declined to comment on the content of the speech, laughing that it might be inappropriate. Speaking of Victor, as far as we know he has served his two game suspension, but did not make an appearance in the game. He was, however, on the bench this time wearing sweats. Hopefully that gets resolved sooner rather than later.
The Tigers leave Baton Rouge Monday for a trip to The Bahamas, where they will participate in the Battle 4 Atlantis. Their first contest will be an 11AM tip against Wichita State Wednesday, televised on ESPN2. A win Wednesday could pit the Tigers against usual basketball powerhouse Louisville.