LSU came into Tuesday night’s game against Alabama with a chance to move into first place in the SEC and possibly sway the minds of enough AP voters to earn Top-25 status in next week’s poll.
Instead Alabama turned the PMAC into an impromptu NBA three-point contest, and ran LSU out of their own gym in the process. Let’s look back on one of the most awe-inspiring ass kickings in recent memory.
23: Alabama three-pointers made
Tuesday’s game starts and stops with that number right there. The Tide made an SEC-record 23 three-pointers and 20 were made by three players: John Petty Jr. (8-10), Joshua Primo (6-8) and Jahvon Quinerly (6-7). LSU finished with 75 points, while Bama had 69 (nice) exclusively from three.
Basketball’s a funny game. Teams get hot all the time, but it fades after a few minutes or maybe once the opposing team calls timeout to stop the bleeding. But Alabama wouldn’t miss all night long, much to LSU’s chagrin.
-11: LSU’s defensive rebounding margin
Now this number’s a little misleading. LSU hasn’t been great on the defensive glass this year, but it’s hard to get rebounds on the defensive end when your opponent isn’t missing any shots. Similarly, LSU did a good job of keeping Alabama’s offensive rebounding in check—only allowing nine—but, again, you’re not provided as many rebounding opportunities when you’re hitting at a 60 percent clip.
0: Number of LSU starters with a positive +/-
Plus/minus is a popular stat but it’s not without its flaws. Plus/minus tries to measure how a team fares when a certain player is on or off the floor. The problem with plus/minus is that it’s influenced by who a player is playing with and against so it’s not the best tool for measuring an individual’s effort on a given night.
What you should really use plus/minus for is evaluating a lineup as a whole and y’all, LSU’s starters were awful Tuesday night. Javonte Smart (-33), Cam Thomas (-31), Mwani Wilkinson (-27), Darius Days (-26) and Trendon Watford (-33) all had nights to forget; hopefully we’ll see a better outing from the starters Saturday against Kentucky.
1: The amount of losses this counts as
It’s just one game, y’all. One terrible, horrible, no good, very bad, rotten game sure. But it’s just one. It’s late January and LSU’s 10-3 overall and second place in a conference that will send at least six teams to the NCAA tournament. It could be worse. We could be Kentucky!