December 21st, 2011 08:40 AM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: LSU
Tags: Coastal Carolina, Credit Johnson, LSU, NCAA
Fresh off their upset victory over Marquette on Monday, LSU is getting some love on a national level. ESPN’s Andy Katz writes today that “LSU is not a fluke.”
Marquette assistant Tony Benford said of the Tigers: “They are a very good defensive team and they have four quality big guys and if their guards are making shots they can beat a lot of teams. They are very physical and they do a great job on the offensive glass.”
Indeed, Trent Johnson’s team might have bigger teeth than initially believed (to borrow a line we used yesterday). But the Tigers also have losses to Coastal Carolina, Northwestern and South Alabama on their resume. Their five-game winning streak includes — in addition to the win over 10th-ranked Marquette — a one-point win over Houston (RPI #207) and victories over Rutgers (RPI #270), Boise State (RPI #129), and Cal-Irvine (RPI #262).
Could the Tigers jell and reach NCAA bubble status? Yes. Especially playing an old SEC West schedule and not having to tangle with Kentucky, Florida and Vanderbilt twice each. But we think it’s still a bit early to start printing dance cards.
Credit Johnson, however, with getting his team off the deck after a 3-3 start. With North Texas, Grambling State and Virginia up next, it’s possible the Tigers could enter SEC play with an 11-3 or 10-4 record. That would be a major improvement over the past two seasons’ work.
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