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Behind the Box Score: Kentucky

Dude where’s my offense?

NCAA Basketball: Louisiana State at Kentucky Arden Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The LSU men’s basketball team dropped its second straight game Saturday evening, losing 69 to 82 against a Kentucky team that was riding a three-game losing streak.

Beating Kentucky in Rupp Arena is no small task. LSU’s only beaten Kentucky on their court just six times in program history. But still I was hoping that this particular LSU team, the deepest one Will Wade has had, could beat a Wildcat team that was off to its worst start since the Great Depression. It wasn’t meant to be unfortunately and now LSU’s hitting a nosedive right as its schedule amps up in intensity.

15 seconds: The amount of time LSU led

Give LSU credit, against Alabama they didn’t lead at all so this technically counts as progress

9: Number of field goals by someone not named Cam Thomas or Trendon Watford

Sure LSU’s defense wasn’t great, but this was a game begging to be given away. Kentucky shot 31 percent in the second half, but LSU couldn’t steal a win because they bricked far too many shots. Speaking of bricks

17 percent: Cam Thomas’s three-point shooting the last four games

I used the last four games because the fifth game was Ole Miss, which he left early because of a rolled ankle. Since then, Thomas has been in a bit of a shooting slump and it’s hurting LSU. But I believe that’s an indictment on the roster more so than Thomas. If the offense is hope the freshman bails you out, then that’s a problem.

Give credit to Thomas, he’s getting to the free throw line and still hitting at a high rate. Over that same four-game stretch he’s shot 34 free throws and made 28 of them. For whatever reason the shooting hasn’t extended to the three-point line, and until it does something needs to be done about the volume of shots Thomas is taking.

-15: LSU’s rebounding margin

I’ve been beating this drum all year, LSU is getting worked on the boards and it will almost definitely be the end of their season whenever that time comes. Of course if it’s not rebounding that will do LSU in maybe this will...

6: LSU’s assists

I talked about this in the recap, assists are kind of a chicken and egg thing. You won’t have a lot of assists if you’re not making shots. But when the offense insists on shooting threes that won’t fall (4/23) when do you change the approach and find an easier look?

This goes back to my thoughts on Thomas’s shooting struggles. The offense has to be more creative than just “have Cam shoot.” LSU has a junior point guard, Javonte Smart, who has been running the offense for two years now and Trendon Watford has really elevated his playmaking; let the offense flow through them. Get some pick and roll action going with those two.