LSU women’s basketball enters SEC play 12-1. It is a long way from how LSU entered SEC play last year at 2-4.
Last year’s 2-4 start basically left LSU dead before SEC play even began. Almost miraculously, the Tigers did manage to resuscitate its season last year handing Texas A&M its first loss of the season and beating a ranked Georgia team.
LSU flirted with the bubble most of the season due to its top 25 wins and a strong SEC start. The Tigers then managed to implode and lost their final five regular season games.
Not long after Coach Nikki Fargas was out and stunningly Kim Mulkey was in.
The Mulkey era has shown marked improvement as the Tigers are off to their best start since 2007-08, LSU’s fifth Final Four season.
In the season before Mulkey, LSU scored over 70 three times. This year, the Tigers have done it 11 times.
LSU’s offensive efficiency has improved tremendously as the Tigers have gone from 38.6% field goal shooting to 46.9% from the field.
It has been in no small part thanks to LSU’s backcourt.
Khayla Pointer ranks 9th in the nation in win share and is well positioned to be a first round WNBA draft pick.
Transfer Alexis Morris is currently LSU’s only other double digit scorer. Morris is having her best season since her freshman year at Baylor, her last season with Coach Mulkey.
Along with Pointer and Morris, LSU have been helped by 5th year senior Jailin Cherry as the other starter in backcourt.
Cherry has been having the best season in her career and her defense has been big.
In the front court, LSU has relied on a roar sting crew of fifth year senior Faustino Aifuwa and Baylor transfer Hannah Gusters at the 5 spot and Vanderbilt transfer Autumn Newby and senior Awa Trasi at the four.
LSU has shared duties in the post so no one is averaging double digits but all four have contributed significantly and helped LSU out rebounded opponents by 12.6 per game this season.
Newby has led the way in rebounds with 7.5 per game while Gusters and Aifuwa are tied in blocks on the season.
LSU will need to rely on its posts as the SEC is loaded with elite post players.
LSU’s depth this season has been a big push. The Tigers currently have eight players averaging five or more ppg compared to just four last season.
It is a depth that has allowed the Tigers to overcome absences of key players or down games that would have doomed them last season.
While LSU has been off to a hot start, SEC play will be tougher than its non-conference schedule.
LSU opens with a brutal three game stretch featuring three top 25 teams including South Carolina, the top ranked team in the country, in the PMAC.
LSU is currently undefeated against ranked teams though and beat both Georgia and Texas A&M in the previous season when LSU was frankly not very good so there is reason to be optimistic.
Still, the next three games will be the toughest LSU has faced.