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Behind the Boxscore: Georgia

Putting the UG in ugly

NCAA Basketball: Louisiana State at Georgia Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

I’ll give LSU this, they never cease to surprise me.

I’ve been watching LSU basketball all my life, so I know this is a team that never strings together two good wins. I was certain they’d lay an egg after beating Tennessee, but it would come immediately after against Auburn and LSU would regain their footing against Georgia.

Instead they rope-a-doped me, they scored 104 points against Auburn and then face planted against Georgia. Congrats I suppose.

1.013: LSU’s points per possession

If I had to describe LSU’s night in a word I’d use “inefficient.” LSU scored 78 points on 77 possessions and the majority of LSU’s biggest contributors had rough nights shooting. Cam Thomas needed 19 shots to score 21 points; Trendon Watford needed 13 to score 13; and Darius Days needed seven to score four.

LSU shot 40 percent from the floor, 26 percent from three and was uncharacteristically poor from the free throw line (16 of 27, 59 percent). If LSU has even an average night shooting the ball they win.

11: Jalen Cook points

I said in the recap if there was a bright spot to Tuesday I have yet to find one. Well here’s one: Jalen Cook had the best game of his freshman campaign, scoring 11 points in nine minutes off the bench. Cook also had a pair of rebounds, assists and forced a steal. Good on you, kid.

1: LSU’s assist-to-turnover ratio

One of the first things I always look at in a basketball box score is the amount of assists a team had versus how many turnovers they had. LSU having the same amount of turnovers as assists is indicative of their night. The ball didn’t move like it should have, and when it did there were far too many errant passes.

-2: LSU’s fall in the NET

Surprisingly, LSU’s loss wasn’t punished as heavily in the NET rankings as I thought they would be. Losing by 13 to a middling team is a bad loss, a loss that might keep LSU hovering around the 8/9 line for the NCAA Tournament.

3rd: LSU’s current place in the SEC

The Tigers (9-5) trail Arkansas (9-4) by half a game for second place in the SEC, making Saturday’s game all the more important for LSU. Bud Walton Arena is one of the toughest venues in the SEC and if LSU wants to show they can make a run in March, they’ll need to show some mettle that frankly they haven’t had all season long.