Yes, this is the same team that upset Michigan last night. Yes, Will Wade is still coaching the Tigers. And yes, that was probably the toughest team LSU will play all season.
There’s only so much I can say about this game. Thirty seconds into the contest, the Tigers lost Brandon Sampson to an apparent high ankle sprain. His timetable for return isn’t available at the moment, but something tells me he’s played his last non-conference game of the season. EDIT: In post game, Will Wade estimated Sampson will be out 3-4 weeks. After losing Sampson, the Tigers fell flat on offense and never really found their groove, other than the always reliable Duop Reath.
Reath, the lone bright spot for the Tigers this evening, led his squad with 17 points on ten shots, including a three pointer and shot 4-5 from the free throw line. He also played pretty well defensively, snagging 6 rebounds, blocking three shots, and stole a pass in the air for the fun of it. Other than Reath, there’s nothing positive to say about this game other than it’ll give Coach Wade some really good tape to shove down some throats.
Let me be clear here. Notre Dame is a very good team. Notre Dame is a very good Tournament team. Notre Dame is a team that at this point, could compete with every single damn team in the country. LSU lost a very important starter in Brandon Sampson, and followed that bad news with possibly their worst performance we’ll see the rest of the season.
I could go on and on about bad stats and what went wrong here, but it’s easier to just say every thing that could’ve went wrong did so. Notre Dame shot 51.6% from the field, made 15 three pointers, and boasts one of the most seasoned players in college basketball in Matt Farrell. He absolutely torched the Tigers for 17 points and 7 assists, helping his teammate TJ Gibbs to a team-high 26 points.
LSU shot 36.5% from the field, and that number falls to 30.9% without Duop Reath. They turned the ball over 17 times. Normally I’d type those numbers and feel numb, knowing the same thing was waiting for me in the next game. That is no longer the case. Sampson will most likely still be out, but Marquette picked the wrong team to play after a loss.
The Tigers will tip off against the Marquette Golden Eagles tomorrow night at 7pm on ESPN2. This will conclude LSU’s stay in Hawai’i, and they’ll have a week off until their next game in the PMAC.