2009-2010 LSU TIGERS BASKETBALL PREVIEW
The LSU Tigers are traditionally one of the better teams in the Southeastern Conference, and it is not unusual to see the Tigers picked to finish in the top 2 or 3 teams in the conference in all of the pre-season polls.
Needless to say, this is not one of those seasons.
This is not to say that LSU will
be a bad team in 2009-2010. Far from it. This team has a lot of talent and brings in a solid, although not exactly spectacular recruiting class as it enters the new season. However, the team has also lost a lot of production from that of the 2008-2009 season, and those players who return from last's squad come back with the memory of a good season gone so very bad quite indelibly etched into their minds.
Head coach Trent Johnson is going to have to work hard to get this team to quite quickly forget the way that the last season ended.
When it comes to reinforcements, the incoming freshman class has potential, but probably only potential to develop role players. There are no standouts among the incoming players, but instead, only what appear to be complimentary players who will potentially contribute, but are unlikely to lead. Shooting guard Aaron Dotson is likely the only player in the incoming class who will see significant time entering 2009-2010. He has potential, and size (which as they say, can't be taught), but clearly needs to develop. Small forward Eddie Ludwig is somewhat of a project who will be at least a year away from any significant contributions.
What is worrisome for LSU fans is that, at least as compared to other SEC programs, this relatively paltry recruiting class joins a relatively bare cupboard, one which lost a lot of production from last season. Tasmin Mitchell is clearly the best player returning from last year's group. This talented power forward is coming off a season in which he averaged over 16 points per game, and for this team to be competitive, he will need to average closer to 19-20.
The most important player on this team however, entering this season, is probably not Mitchell. Mitchell will be the team's #1. The question is, can Bo Spencer step into the role of the team's #2 scorer. Can he be the guy who, when Mitchell is double teamed, can reliably be fed the ball and reliably score. He is a great shooter, that much is certain. He needs to score over 15 points per game for this team to be offensively competitive.
There really are no other reliable scorers coming back from last year's squad, and this again is where some of the difficulty lies in projecting this team anywhere but the bottom half of the conference. There are some reasonably talented players on the bench, such as sophomore Storm Warren (who some think is ready to step out this year) and senior Alex Farrer, but neither of these players have, as of yet, shown that they are ready to be offensive forces this year.
LSU is going to be competitive. But in a conference as deep as the SEC, they will have to do something pretty special finish any higher than the middle of the pack.
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LSU TIGERS BASKETBALL
If you are looking for our 2008-2009 LSU Tigers Basketball page, check out 2008-2009 LSU Tigers Basketball. Here's our LSU Basketball History and LSU Trip Tips pages.
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