It’s been nearly 48 hours since LSU dropped its first Southeastern Conference game of the season in a dramatic 90-89 loss to Arkansas on Saturday evening.
The Tigers erased an 18-point, second-half deficit only for the Razorbacks to stun a raucous crowd in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
One thing LSU coach Will Wade came back to was the fact that he didn’t call a timeout in LSU’s penultimate possession before Tremont Waters attempted to hit Marlon Taylor for an ambitious alley-oop that ultimately ended up turning the ball over.
“I wrestled with calling a timeout, but sometimes it’s tough to get the ball inbounds from the sideline against Arkansas,” Wade said. “They do a good job of frustrating, so I wasn’t sure we could get the ball back inbounds. Just depends on the situation. We needed to get a better shot than we got.”
He wished LSU got a better shot, but after watching the film Wade said he could see what Waters’ intentions were on the play.
“The defense was way up there,” Wade said. “I see what he saw.”
Wade also took the blame for Arkansas’ high shooting percentage throughout the game, saying the scouting report betrayed the Tigers a bit.
The Razorbacks shot 58 percent from the field (while spending most of the game over a clip of 60 percent) and 13-for-24 from the 3-point line, something Wade didn’t expect.
Six different Arkansas players hit 3-pointers, something Wade said he allowed to happen by trusting scouting numbers a bit too much.
“We left a couple kids open, and the numbers said to leave them open,” Wade said. “And they hit them. (Gabe) Osabuohien hit one, (Adrio) Bailey hit one, (Jalen) Harris hit one. We left some of those guys open by design, and they took advantage of it. That’s on me. We didn’t do a very good job with the scouting.”
Now the Tigers must go to Mississippi State, who has one of the SEC’s best 3-point shooting rosters this season.
The Bulldogs have shot 37.1 percent from behind the 3-point line this season, and they’re led by point guard and Louisiana-native Lamar Peters who averages nearly 13 points per game and shoots nearly 39 percent from the 3-point line.
Wade said LSU will have to show improved 3-point defense in order to leave Starkville with a win on Wednesday night.
Waters makes Cousy Award list
LSU point guard Waters was named one of 10 current candidates for the Bob Cousy Award, the Basketball Hall of Fame announced Monday.
Waters joins the elite company as he’s averaging 15.1 points per game on the season and better than 19 points per game through 8 SEC games. He is also good for six assists and three steals per game, making him a multi-level threat for any opposing team.
Given to the best point guard in the country, the Cousy award has been awarded by the Basketball Hall of Fame for 15 seasons now.
The list is malleable, and players can be added to or taken off the list until it is limited to five finalists in March. The winner will be announced and presented with the award at The College Basketball Awards in Lost Angeles on April 12.
LSU remains in the Associated Press Top 25 poll despite Saturday’s heartbreaking loss in the PMAC.
The Tigers dropped just two spots to No. 21 in the poll, making them the last of three SEC teams remaining in the Top 25.
Tennessee remains the No. 1 team in the country while Kentucky moved up two spots into the No. 5 spot.
LSU also holds the No. 20 spot in Monday’s NET rankings, the NCAA’s formula-based poll that will play a factor in the Tournament Selection Committee’s seeding decisions come March.