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Link Gumbo: 3-2-18

End of the week headlines.

NFL: Combine Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

LSU once again found themselves in an early deficit when they faced SLU on Wednesday night. This time, they could not finish the comeback as they fell 5-4. Carlisle Koestler, SLU’s starter, threw seven strong innings. Nick Bush started for LSU and left after two shutout innings. Todd Peterson came in relief for Bush and continued to struggle as he gave up three runs. LSU was in position win late before Hunter Feduccia hit into a game-ending double play.

With Todd Peterson coming out of the bullpen last night, he probably will not be the starter come Sunday. Which begs the question, Who Will? The trendy guess among LSU fans for that third spot is Ma’khalil Hilliard. Hilliard has been real solid coming in as a reliever this year. Hilliard is not a flamethrower but he can really spin his curveball. Hilliard has yet to give up a run in eight innings pitched this year and is allowing an opponent batting average of .214. LSU will face SLU again Sunday, this time at The Box.

The big news coming out of that series, will be that highly touted freshman A.J. Labas, who has battled injury, will be making his debut as a starter.

In hoop’s news, LSU lost at South Carolina 83-74 in overtime on Wednesday night. LSU was down by 15 at one point in this game but fought tooth and nail to come back and tie it with a three from Tremont Waters. LSU was outscored 11-2 in the overtime period and seemingly could not find an answer for USC’s Wesley Myers and Frank Booker all night. Tremont Waters led LSU with 19 points. Brandon Rachal led in the rebounding department with 13. LSU will host Mississippi State on Saturday to conclude the regular season before heading to St. Louis for the SEC tournament.

The NFL Combine got cranking early, with running backs and offensive linemen getting measured and throwing up the bench press. Toby Weathersby led the four Tigers on the day with 28 reps of 225 pounds. Will Clapp followed that up with 25 reps, while K.J. Malone and Derrius Guice finished with 15.

Guice’s total is generally considered respectable for a running back, although Saquon Barkley and Nick Chubb led the way with 29. Guice will run the 40 today, and believes he will be able to show out beyond his LSU numbers in the receiving drills.

Ross Dellenger continued his countdown to spring practice yesterday, this time discussing the depth of the Tigers D-line, something they lacked in 2017 as well as the combined 10 years of experience LSU has at safety with a returning John Battle and Ed Paris, plus more talk about transfer receiver Jonathan Giles, who will be competing for the Tigers’ top receiver spot after sitting out after leaving Texas Tech. The line should be held down by junior defensive end Rashard Lawrence. It will also help to get Breiden Fehoko and Tyler Shelvin on the field. Shelvin and Fehoko were both on scholarship last year but were not eligible to play for different reasons. We have seen over the years, especially in the SEC, that all elite teams have depth on the defensive line. Coach O went out of his way to address that issue with the 2018 signing class.

Fehoko has been lauded consistently for his weight room prowess.

More football talk has the new contract for safeties coach Bill Busch in The Advocate, which pushes LSU’s staff salaries over a collective $6 million.

LSU women’s basketball has earned a double bye for the conference tourney, due to that they don’t have to play until Friday. LSU will play Texas A&M. Tigers Raigyne Louis and Chloe Jackson both made All-SEC teams.