By CODY WORSHAM | Tiger Rag Editor
LSU’s record-setting 15th straight defeat might’ve been its hardest yet to swallow.
The Tigers rallied back from a 13-point second half deficit to lead with six seconds remaining, but Georgia’s J.J. Frazier drove the length of the floor and buried a pair of free throws to hand Johnny Jones’ squad an 82-80 loss.
The 15 defeats in a row are a new school record, breaking the 14 set 50 years ago in 1966-67.
Frazier led all scorers with 29 points and 8 assists. Antonio Blakeney scored 20 to pace LSU, while Brandon Sampson scored 15 points and added 6 rebounds and 6 assists. Skylar Mays tallied 15 points in defeat.
Trailing 55-42 with 16:47 to play, LSU looked out of it, particularly after Georgia shot 54 percent in the first half. But Brian Bridgewater gave the Tigers a spark off the bench, finishing the night with a +17 plus-minus in 17 minutes. His presence helped LSU key a 15-6 run to pull within a point with 12:22 to go.
After holding the Bulldogs without a field goal for more than three minutes in crunch time, the Tigers finally claimed a lead on Wayde Sims’ putback with 1:25 to go, and a Blakeney runner at the 52 second mark put LSU up 80-77.
But Derek Ogbeide’s layup and Frazier’s free throws were the difference. Up 80-79, the Tigers had several looks at the rim, but Duop Reath and Sims’ putback attempts of a Blakeney miss were off the mark.
LSU returns to action on Wednesday for a home tilt with Tennessee. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.
I continue to be puzzled by how little discussion surrounds the question of who will replace Johnny Jones. I googled “Who will be LSU’s next basketball coach?” and got a number of articles from last fall on Les Miles’s replacement but only two hits in the top ten on basketball and both of those were from early January.
Other than the young Chattanooga coach, Matt McCall, who spent four years under Billy Donovan at Florida, and Dayton coach Archie Miller, who may be head to his alma mater, N.C. State, who would be a good candidate to replace Johnny Jones?
LSU’s 2016-17 basketball season is such a debacle and the list of replacements so uninspiring that John Brady looks mighty tempting to me. He led LSU to the Sweet Sixteen in 2000 and the Final Four in 2006. He’s unemployed after eight years at Arkansas State.