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BergeLSU
02-16-2009, 02:14 PM
It took forever, but LSU is finally ranked, and people are taking notice of the team with a 2-game lead on the SEC.

Yes, for several weeks, LSU has been leading the SEC, but was a bubble team. Some projections still have them as a 10-seed. Hell, during a couple of the televised SEC-East games, they would talk about whatever team won would take the lead in the SEC. The only problem was that LSU had the lead by a full game.

Why? No one sees them. LSU has yet to have an SEC game nationally televised. So most of these "bracketologists" have never seen them play. They will get their chance next week with Florida and Kentucky on national TV. Those are the only two games picked up. Compare that to Kentucky, with 8 SEC games on CBS/ESPN and game televised. LSU has 6 games not on TV.

We missed out on the best game of league play (possibly) because Raycom picked up Georgia-Tennessee. Why is that important? Even if ESPN wanted to put up highlights of a double-overtime game which included 7 players fouling out and a 41 point performance by Mitchell, they can't.

So here is the final 6 games of LSU's schedule, and it is not kind.

@ Arkansas
Auburn
Florida (ESPN)
@Kentucky (CBS)
Vanderbilt (CST-Tape Delayed)
@Auburn

What makes it so bad? LSU has two shots to make the nation notice, and if they slip up against either of those two teams (both very losable games, especially at Rupp), they will fade back out of the picture. This is the most important part of the season when it comes to the tournament resume, and LSU finishes with 3/6 games on the radio only.

A loss, and everything LSU worked for to get national recognition disappears, and no other shot to redeem themselves. It is an absolute shame LSU set up such an incredibly awful OOC schedule.

Now, I predict LSU to finish 4-2 in the final 6, with the first loss coming Wednesday to Arkansas. Bo Spencer will be out, and his absence nearly lost the game against Ole Miss.

Thoughts?

orange&white
02-16-2009, 02:21 PM
LSU will win the SEC and be a handful come NCAA tourney time.

UA37
02-16-2009, 02:23 PM
4-2 LSU wins the conference. Congrats.

kentubbybasketball
02-16-2009, 02:31 PM
LSU becomes the third team that Trent Johnson takes to the Sweet 16. I'm sorry, but I love this team. I love the backcourt, not only is there a senior in Marcus Thornton, who has never played in the NCAAT so he's hungry, but you've got a steadily-improving Bo Spencer, the best improved guy in the SEC.

Then, you've got a hybrid forward in Tasmin Mitchell, that could guard just about any position if need be, just as the recruiting tape said on him back in 2005. Garrett Temple may be the best perimeter defender in the league. Chris Johnson could provide more offense closer to the basket, but he's a splendid shotblocker.

So, the starting lineup may be one of the best and most experienced of anybody in the NCAAt, besides teams like Marquette and such and UNC.

Then, you come off the bench with some young guys that should have high confidence, this team should win the SEC and get to the second weekend at least (I'm hoping for a Final Four, because this country is sleeping on how great Trent Johnson truly is).

This team will defend, a staple of CTJ teams. I can't say enough about this team. One thing I will say though is that Thornton may get trigger happy from time to time, you can still maybe fluster Spencer a bit at times, and there might not be enough interior scoring at times... but that's nitpicking.

UA37
02-16-2009, 02:37 PM
Kentubby, would you say this team is more of a product of the talent and experience that Brady left behind or CTJ's coaching?

kentubbybasketball
02-16-2009, 02:41 PM
Trent Johnson's coaching. Personally, I see more structure to this team. At times last year (before Brady was fired), the team just seemed disinterested and disorganized, and maybe part of that was due to it being Thornton's JUCO year and he was trying to get adjusted, but it's night and day watching this team... there is more organization, even Pierre seemed to be more structured as the interim.

Plus, I see accountability, whereas that wasn't the case before... also it was Johnson's decision to go with a PMAC based OOC schedule, which seems to be paying dividends... this is CTJ's team all the way.

I must say, I made it seem like LSU was young off the bench, and while that is true, they still have Terry Martin and Quintin Thornton to come off the bench, two upperclassmen.

Now, any first year coach that has success like Gillispie and Pelphrey did last year must credit the previous coach for leaving quality talent, because you win with talent, but CTJ's stamp is visible on this team.

UA37
02-16-2009, 02:48 PM
I figured you would say that. So CTJ should have no problems repeating success next year since the team will have more of the CTJ stamp.

kentubbybasketball
02-16-2009, 02:52 PM
Interesting you should bring that up... in the thread that is debating Horn vs CTJ as COY, I made the comment year two is normally harder for most coaches, because it's normally a mix of the coach's guys and the previous coach's. ANd, it's almost like an even mix... at LSU that might not be the case due to the loss of so many seniors. Coach K would have trouble replacing Thornton (a bonafide scorer... one of the two best in the SEC), Temple (the best perimeter defender), etc. Those are hard losses to absorb. It helps getting Bo Spencer and Tasmin Mitchell back... plus, if guys like Graham and Warren step up, and Dotson ends up playing up to his talent level as a freshman, next year shouldn't be too much of a downturn, but LSU is gonna have a hard time replacing those seniors... but that isnt' Trent's fault. He's still gonna coach the poop out of that team. He's the best coach in the SECW until further notice.

And, I believe Johnson is a senior too (if I'm correct), so that's 60% of the starting lineup... that's tough, man.

OffThePorch
02-16-2009, 03:00 PM
could win out. this LSU team would be good no matter who's coaching imo... not saying anything negative about TJ.

UA37
02-16-2009, 03:00 PM
Interesting you should bring that up... in the thread that is debating Horn vs CTJ as COY, I made the comment year two is normally harder for most coaches, because it's normally a mix of the coach's guys and the previous coach's. ANd, it's almost like an even mix... at LSU that might not be the case due to the loss of so many seniors. Coach K would have trouble replacing Thornton (a bonafide scorer... one of the two best in the SEC), Temple (the best perimeter defender), etc. Those are hard losses to absorb. It helps getting Bo Spencer and Tasmin Mitchell back... plus, if guys like Graham and Warren step up, and Dotson ends up playing up to his talent level as a freshman, next year shouldn't be too much of a downturn, but LSU is gonna have a hard time replacing those seniors... but that isnt' Trent's fault. He's still gonna coach the poop out of that team. He's the best coach in the SECW until further notice.


Okay, that just seems a little inconsistent to give him so much credit when he inherited such a loaded roster that has two guys who could be all-SEC and that also has two 4th year players with final four experience. This isnt your run of the mill roster at all.

By further notice you mean until Bama hires their coach. I agree with him being the best in the west right now.

I will admit that i am more impressed with Johnson than i expected to be. I'll still reserve judgement to see what he does when he has his own players. CTJ seems to be a step above Pelphrey, but look at whats happenning at Arkansas this year.

kentubbybasketball
02-16-2009, 03:07 PM
Okay, that just seems a little inconsistent to give him so much credit when he inherited such a loaded roster that has two guys who could be all-SEC and that also has two 4th year players with final four experience. This isnt your run of the mill roster at all.

By further notice you mean until Bama hires their coach. I agree with him being the best in the west right now.

I will admit that i am more impressed with Johnson than i expected to be. I'll still reserve judgement to see what he does when he has his own players. CTJ seems to be a step above Pelphrey, but look at whats happenning at Arkansas this year.

If Bama were to get Tubby or Cal (then we'll have to adjust it especially if it were Tubby). But, Bama is likely gonna get Mike Anderson IMO, so even there, I'd say Johnson is the best.

Why reserve judgment to see what he does when he has his own players, when he's shown you what he can do with his own players in the WAC (building, not rebuilding, but BUILDING Nevada up). He also did it at the Pac 10 level with his own players, not just the Lopez twins, but Goods, Johnson, and Hill. So, he's won with his own players, and he's winning with "another coach's recruits," seeing as how these same players were on the team last year that cost Brady his job.

Not many coaches have led at least three programs to the Sweet 16. Tubby Smith and Rick Pitino and Lon Kruger are the only that come to mind... CTJ could join them this year... the man is overly-impressive, and I tried my best to warn everybody this off-season, but everybody said "you're only saying that cuz he's black." Well, this "black coach" has shown that he can in fact coach.. and coach well.

And, I'm not speaking out of both sides of my mouth, like you're insinuating. His winning with a roster that hasn't won together before. Mitchell was really the only guy that played a chief role on the Final Four team afterall that's still left around. But, consider the following:

-Mitchell is playing the best he's ever played, after a redshirt year.
-Spencer is playing above his head
-Temple is able to play on the wing, instead of out of position at the 1 (which hurt Brady IMO).

These are all examples of Johnson taking a nice roster adn making it even better. I dont' care if he inherited 13 McD's AA... LSU is winning and that's a credit to Coach.

As for Arkansas isn't that the point, I'm making? I said year 2 is usually the toughest, and especially when you lose your best 7 players like Pel did. CTJ will lose a lot to, making a usually tough second year, even tougher, but nothing Johnson does will surprise me... he may win the SEC next year, too. He's not won it yet this year, but there's finally a coach in the West, that's not afraid to actually win the entire SEC.

OffThePorch
02-16-2009, 03:08 PM
I agree with him being the best in the west right now. I will admit that i am more impressed with Johnson than i expected to be. I'll still reserve judgement to see what he does when he has his own players.

not just the West then.. as Johnson has LSU 1st in the SEC.

UA37
02-16-2009, 03:16 PM
I'd say Temple was VERY crucial to that final four appearance as well. He was playing the 1 for Brady b/c there was no one else.

CTJ is proven. There's no doubt about it. I'm not going to take that away from him. I wouldnt be surprised tho if this is his best year in the SEC. He's going to have to almost completely rebuild and it may be a while before he has three 4th year players as talented and experienced as Mitchell, Thorton, and Temple.

kentubbybasketball
02-16-2009, 03:19 PM
I beg to differ... I felt like Darrell Mitchell played the 1 on the 2006 team, which was still out of position, but he was still the 1... I remember all the props he got for making the smooth transition. Temple moved to the 1 the next year after Mitchell exhausted his eligibility, and that was the beginning of the end for Brady. Or maybe it was when Tack Minor finally got kicked off the team back in 2005?

The great thing about the SEC is you usually don't need an overabundance of 4th year guys to win the league. You really don't. UT had some last year, but the year before that Florida only had Chris Richard and Lee Humphrey as seniors.

UA37
02-16-2009, 03:24 PM
I beg to differ... I felt like Darrell Mitchell played the 1 on the 2006 team, which was still out of position, but he was still the 1... I remember all the props he got for making the smooth transition.

The great thing about the SEC is you usually don't need an overabundance of 4th year guys to win the league. You really don't. UT had some last year, but the year before that Florida only had Chris Richard and Lee Humphrey as seniors.


Mitchell played the 1 that year. After that for some reason it seemed like Brady refused to recruit pg's. Temple did the job on one of the best scorers in ACC history in the sweet 16. His was invaluable to that run.

UT had senior guards in Jujuan and Chris Lofton. That's a helluva luxury as well especially considering their shooting abilities.

UF caught lightening in a bottle. That team was talented, hungry, unselfish, etc, etc., etc. We may never see a run like that again.

Coaching is great but you have to have the talent. CTJ has that this year and thats the main reason LSU is so good imo.

kentubbybasketball
02-16-2009, 03:33 PM
I don't know if Brady refused to recruit PGs, but I do feel like he thought he had Tack Minor in that role for the next two years, but that didn't materialize. You know with Steele how it's hard to recruit to a position when you've got somebody there already.

Don't forget Temple didn't only shut off Redick's water, but he shut off Acie Law's the game before (Billy Gillispie was coaching that game).

I never suggested that CTJ didn't have talent. Of course, he's got talent. That's what wins the games, because that's who plays, but this talent could've just made the NIT also, but CTJ said that's not gonna happen. OF course, LSU's success is a mixture of coaching and talent, but you know me already, I'm gonna talk up Trent Johnson until I turn purple and gold in the face.

OffThePorch
02-16-2009, 03:36 PM
didnt brady take LSU to a final 4 with good talent a few years ago? this LSU team wouldve done well no matter the coach. of course experienced talent means a lot.

BergeLSU
02-16-2009, 05:18 PM
didnt brady take LSU to a final 4 with good talent a few years ago? this LSU team wouldve done well no matter the coach. of course experienced talent means a lot.

Each win in the tournament was from a different player making clutch plays.

D. Mitchell drained a 23-footer to beat aTm at the buzzer.
Temple shut down JJ Reddick the entire game
Tyrus Thomas and Glen Davis went nuts against Texas.

That team was a special group.... just not as special as Florida's.

OffThePorch
02-16-2009, 05:31 PM
JB could deff recruit... & coach sometimes.

BergeLSU
02-16-2009, 05:49 PM
JB could deff recruit FORWARDS... & coach occasionally.

There you go

OffThePorch
02-16-2009, 06:06 PM
There you go

seems i remember some good guards & big men at LSU under Brady.

i think you guys got a good one in Johnson.. it was time for a change. might be before too many more years at MSU. good luck!.

jrltiger
02-16-2009, 07:03 PM
LSU never had a good guard under Brady. That was always one of my biggest frustrations with him. Not that the guys didn't have talent, but they just never developed. Torris Bright never learned how to throw a pass slowe than 100 mph, Tack Minor was better at kicking the ball out of bounds than he was at dribbling, and Temple isn't a true point.

But I am so impressed with CTJ. He did inherit talent, sure, but he has developed and molded that talent to fit his system. And the players have all bought into it and are playing the way CTJ wants them to. So far, it's paying off.

XPS
02-16-2009, 07:14 PM
didnt brady take LSU to a final 4 with good talent a few years ago? this LSU team wouldve done well no matter the coach. of course experienced talent means a lot.

Steve fisher was also took to the final 4 with good players, whats your point?

OffThePorch
02-16-2009, 07:23 PM
Steve fisher was also took to the final 4 with good players, whats your point?

that brady had some good players.. good seasons.. good teams. whats your point?

jrltiger
02-16-2009, 09:25 PM
that brady had some good players.. good seasons.. good teams. whats your point?

But also, look at the players from Louisiana that he let get away: DJ Augustine, Tweety Carter, Greg Monroe, etc.

BergeLSU
02-17-2009, 02:13 PM
Well, someone sent me a link that furthers my thoughts of bias against LSU.

There was a mock NCAA Tournament selection in Indy this past weekend with some respected media personnel.

http://www.nwanews.com/adg/Sports/252651/


We worked in pairs, and my partner was a young man named Kyle Whelliston of Basketballstate.com, and the former ESPN employee was very informed of the college basketball scene.

Starting with the initial vote, when the committee picks from all 330 teams, we had the SEC represented with a minimum of five teams.

In fact, before the voting began, each two-man team was asked to present their thoughts on the conferences they were representing. We had the Sun Belt, Summit and SEC.

The Sun Belt and Summit would get their automatic qualifiers, and the SEC should have Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, LSU and maybe South Carolina.

It is a pretty cool read to see how it is done, but it gets nasty for LSU fans near the end.


Finally, we got the field of 65 set, we had a few seedlings finished, and we took a break.

When we came back, one guy, across the room, asked if there was a procedure to remove a team in favor of another team.

Shaheen said that, actually, there is, and cited how.

The guy, who is well-respected as a writer and for his TV work, proposed that LSU be removed and Siena be added.

That, you can't do. You could have a vote to remove LSU, and that would move Siena up on the bubble. We were still waiting on some conference finals in which each had a team that was already in the NCAA Tournament field playing for its conference championship.

If there were no upsets, spots would open.

Yours truly spoke up for LSU, saying they were the winners of the SEC regular season, and some other guy across the room objected that the Tigers hadn't played Kentucky yet, but he was reminded that for this practice, the regular season was finished.

Still, we voted and it had to be 7-2 to remove, according to the rules. The vote was 5-4 to remove LSU, so the Tigers remained in the field.

Yes, the majority of the media there does not think that if the tournament started today, that LSU even deserves a bid in the tournament.


Overall, the SEC didn't fare well. It got four teams in the field - Florida a No. 8 seed, Tennessee a 9 seed, LSU a 10 seed and South Carolina a No. 11 - and most thought the league had gotten soft on all those cupcakes.

And here is one of those guys who pushed for LSU out:

http://www2.pjstar.com/index.php/wessler


RECONSIDERATIONS

Teams can be reconsidered, even after they’ve been voted into the at-large field, or off the board. This is in the guidelines, but I never really paid attention to it. Until Thursday night, when we had only about six at-large spots left, and Davis and I decided LSU was taking up undeserved space. So we moved to reconsider, got a second and then launched the first and most heated argument of the day. We got the majority to agree with us that we should not have put LSU into the field, but we fell short of the seven votes necessary to make the Tigers extinct.

I don't like this at all.

downtown249
02-18-2009, 05:10 PM
Look, Brady was not a terrible coach. He just acted like a total jack@zz too much and players quit/transferred on him like nothing I've ever seen.

He was not a great recruiter. He was hit or miss. Tyrus Thomas, Glenn Davis, Tasmin Mitchell and the Temples were all basically delivered to him. The Temples took in Glenn Davis and he lived there for two years. Their dad formed one of those AAU type teams with all of them on it. Of course, they all lived like five minutes from LSU and the dad played for LSU. Being a mentor for them all - it was an easy choice for them to go to LSU. So Collis Temple Jr.was a huge factor in LSU going to that Final Four. Hell, LSU didn't initially have a scholarship for Thomas when he committed. He lucked out and got one when one of Brady's great junior college recruits got kicked off the team. God, did LSU luck out...

But let me say that I watched this team last year and have watched them this year. Nobody was saying we were talented last year because of our record (a losing one). Chris Johnson would show flashes here or there, but barely played. Brady would put him in, take him out and not put him back in until the game was almost over. This year he's a shot-blocking machine and a good player.

Thornton was good, but not near as good as he is this year. Yeah, he scored a bunch, but this year he drives more, defends better, etc.

Spencer was almost a nonfactor last year. This year he shoots 3-point bombs, drives, etc. and is likely the most improved player in the SEC.

Tasmin Mitchell was out last year, but this it the best I've ever seen him play. He is much more proactive now.

Coaching has made a huge difference this year. Our team does not get worse as the game goes on like we did the last few years with Brady.

So those saying that this team would have been pretty good this year no matter who the coach is apparently didn't watch this team last year...or the year before. It does matter who the coach is. If Brady would have been coaching this team, we wouldn't be doing anything special this year. He wasn't a bad coach and certainly had times when he did good things. But the shine always wore off and was gone for good (at least at LSU).

kentubbybasketball
02-18-2009, 06:07 PM
downtown249, you're saying exactly what I've said, but with you being a LSU fan there's more merit to it. I look forward to discussing SEC hoops with you. You've got a lot to contribute here, I hope you enjoy your time here. Welcome, buddy. LSU fans are just like UGA fans in my book, I flat love LSU fans in football and basketball.

RedNekTiger
02-18-2009, 11:57 PM
Well, one more down. Tigers had to dig deep to get over the Hogs but they pulled it off.