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Hoops Report: Tigers Rebound At Home, Cam Thomas Joins 2020 Class

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Tigers beat Nicholls State, sigh five-star prospect

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

After a tough loss in Richmond last Tuesday night, the LSU men’s basketball team got a win on the court Saturday afternoon and got an even bigger win off it Monday.

Saturday, the Tigers (2-1) got back in the win column beating the in-state Colonels 75-65. Nicholls State (2-2) had a small yet alarming 39-38 lead at halftime, but behind a career day by sophomore forward Darius Days LSU was able to beat the Colonels by 10.

“I thought I did fine, but none of that is possible without my teammates,” Days said. “Javonte looked for me, Skylar looked for me, Trendon looked for me. I’m just happy we got the win.”

Days had his best game as a Tiger Saturday, posting his first ever double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Fellow sophomore forward Emmitt Williams started alongside Days for the first time in the pair’s careers and Williams had an equally impressive afternoon with 11 points and 12 rebounds.

Rebounding, especially on the offensive end, was the question mark for LSU heading into the season. For the third straight game, the Tigers won the rebounding battle and had more offensive boards the past two contests. LSU dominated Nicholls on the glass 45-27 and was +6 in offensive boards. The trio of Days, Williams and Skylar Mays out-rebounded the entire Nicholls team 31-27.

What is a growing concern, however, is LSU’s carelessness with the basketball. After turning the ball over 26 times against the VCU Rams, the Tigers had 25 Saturday afternoon. Javonte Smart and Trendon Watford each had seven turnovers. In its last two games, the Tiger assist to turnover ratio has been an alarming 21:51.

“Turnovers were a problem again,” Will Wade said. “If we don’t get that under control, it’s going to be a long year.”

In other news, five-star shooting guard Cam Thomas from Oak Hill Academy in Virginia signed his National Letter of Intent Monday. Thomas is No. 18 on ESPN’s Top 100. With Mays and Marlon Taylor set to graduate this year, there’s an immediate opening for Thomas to step right into the LSU starting backcourt in 2020.

Thomas makes the fourth five-star prospect Wade has recruited to LSU in his three seasons as head coach. Thomas joins Naz Reid and Emmitt Williams, who were in the 2018 class, and Trendon Watford who was part of the 2019 class.

“We knew we needed a particular scorer, and he’s that in spades,” Wade said Monday at his media availability. “He’s the best scorer I’ve seen come out of high school or AAU since I’ve been coaching. He’s as prolific a scorer as I’ve ever seen.”