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Link Gumbo: 2-20-18

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Looking back at a crazy weekend

NCAA Basketball: Missouri at Louisiana State Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

It was a wild weekend for LSU athletic teams with some highs and lows. We got to watch quite a few teams in action this weekend. So let’s jump right in and recap what we saw.

Why don’t we start on the diamond, where we saw LSU drop it’s opening series for the first time since 1999. It was an exciting start to the series on Friday night. After early struggles by Caleb Gilbert, a Bryce Jordan grand-slam put the Tigers within striking distance of the Irish. Well, Josh Smith struck a three run homer and gave LSU the lead to take the opener. The next two games did not go as well as LSU saw troubles from starting pitchers, Zack Hess and Todd Peterson. Paul Mainieri gave three big takeaways from the weekend. LSU will look to get their second win tomorrow when UNO travels to The Box.

In bigger baseball news across the SEC, former LSU assistant Tulane star Andy Cannizaro appears to be out at Mississippi State after one very successful first year, reportedly for cause. Early rumors have it linked to some “inappropriate relationship” shenanigans with a current or former State athletic department employee.

Saturday was a fun day for LSU basketball as the Tigers got back in the win column with a 64-63 victory over Missouri. It was close game that LSU pulled out due to free throw shooting and a clutch play late by Tremont Waters. Waters also added 21 points. Aaron Epps contributed 12 points and 9 boards. At his press conference yesterday, Will Wade made it clear that LSU is not focused on any postseason bid but only on the present.

On the women’s side of things, Nikki Fargas has kept her group rolling and has gotten LSU into the AP Top 25 for the first time since 2014. LSU got a win over Arkansas on Sunday, 62-57. Ayana Mitchell pured in 18 points while Raigyne Lewis earned a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Next up for LSU is a game at South Carolina, which will not be an easy task.

LSU Softball remained undefeated with 1-0 shutout of Oregon State on Sunday. As expected, LSU has been lead by pitching this year from aces Carley Hoover and Allie Walljasper. At the plate, Beth Torina would probably like to see some more runs being scored. Next weekend LSU will travel all the way out to California with six games on the schedule.

LSU Gym had two meets this weekend and LSU took both. It started with Mardi Gras invitational where LSU was able to edge out three other teams with a score of 198.075. Sarah Finnegan led the way with a 39.775 on the all-around, which included a 9,975 on the beam. LSU outdid their work from Friday, when on Sunday, when they posted a 198.175 on Sunday to beat Texas Women’s University.

Lexie Preissman set her career high in two events on Sunday with a 9.975 on bars and a 9.95 on the floor. LSU will travel to Athens on Friday to take on the Bulldogs, now as the No. 2 team in the country.

To close out with some pigskin news, LSU will be moving Mannie Netherly from receiver to corner. After failing to land one in the recruiting cycle, LSU had to move Kelvin Joseph who they planned to sign as a safety over to corner and now Netherly who signed as a receiver last year. Although SEC Country’s Nick Suss points out that the Tiger secondary still returns more defensive back production than the rest of the conference.

In other recruiting news, SEC Country posted this strong feature on linebacker Micah Baskerville, who has already enrolled at LSU, and a strong ranking/video feature on the top 19 prospects in Louisiana for the fabled 2019 class.

In #NFLSU news, Arden Key recently opined on his lost 2017...

NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah recently discussed Key’s polarizing nature, as a player who did miss his final year of college, but has also shown top five talent at a premium position. Jeremiah also had some good things to say about D.J. Chark, fresh off his big Senior Bowl performance.

If you’ve wondered how TAF is keeping the money flowing to LSU, the Advocate has this report citing the Louisiana Legislative Auditor, with fiscal year 2016 numbers:

TAF gave $10,596,644 to LSU athletics for operating expenses in the calendar year 2016, up about $2 million from 2015, according to last year’s numbers. The club gave $12 million for operating expenses in 2014. In 2016 TAF contributions, the football program received $2.4 million, far out-distancing the $239,961 given to men’s basketball. Women’s basketball received $60,561. All other sports, including baseball, took in $1.4 million.

About $6.3 million of the $10.5 million was not listed to a specific sports program. Combined with the $12.8 million in facilities donations, the club contributed more than $23 million, about $1 million more than in 2015.

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Of the $35.1 million in contributions, a whopping $25.3 million went to coaching salaries, benefits and bonuses, the documents say.