By: Jordan Taylor
Da Boot Sports!
The LSU Fighting Tigers (1-1), would play their first home game of the 2020-21 season tonight against the Southeastern Lions in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center with under a 25% capacity crowd in attendance.
The Tigers would make quick work of the Lions tonight in a 96-43 blowout win to improve to 2-1 on the season. LSU led by as much as 32 points in the first half, and showed no intention of taking their foot off the gas pedal in the second half.
The Lions were just simply overwhelmed tonight as LSU's big men controlled the glass and the outside shots were falling, allowing the Tigers to pull away and quickly increase their lead.
After the victory, Will Wade would comment that he was very impressed with his guy's focus & effort for 40 minutes tonight.
Freshman Cam Thomas was quoted saying that playing with older guys is an advantage on early scoring success for himself.
While Trendon Watford would add that the team's communication on the floor is definitely getting better.
Below is our "Da Boot Sports" Game Recap....
The Tigers would look very impressive in the first half as Coach Wade would stick with the same starting five that started in St. Louis this past weekend.
The Tigers would control the opening tip but misfire. After back to back turnovers from
both teams, Cameron Thomas would get the scoring going with a huge three pointer at the 18:23 mark.
Coach Wade would go with an aggressive approach for his defense out the gate and try to work on a press/trap to force turnovers. The approach seemed to work as the Tigers racked up five steals and three turnovers early on.
LSU needed to defend the three point line better this game after struggling to in their first two contests. A step in the right direction was taking as SLU would only go 3-13 from behind the arc.
The Tigers were very impressive with the effort that was given in the first half, after dominating on the defensive glass and their hustle for loose balls.
Will Wade would play eight different Tigers in the first half with Trendon Watford leading the way with 13 points. Mwani Wilkinson would come off the bench to add an offensive spark as he would add 12 points and collect 6 rebounds.
LSU would lead by as much as 32, as they would control the tempo and pace of the game. The Tigers would shoot 52% from the floor, while going 9-13 at the free throw line.
LSU would take a 50-18 lead into the locker room to end the 1st half.
Cameron Thomas would get the scoring going for the Tigers to start the second half, cashing in on one of two from the free throw line at the 19:10 mark to increase the lead to 51-18. LSU would show no signs of letting up on their opponent and Southeastern La. was never really in the game at any point as we didn't see much fight from the Lions tonight after once being down by 54 points.
LSU out rebounded, out hustled, and out played the inferior Lions for the entire twenty minutes of the second half.
After Shareef O'Neil got into foul trouble, we were able to see new faces come off the bench. Josh Gray showed why he was one of the highest rated centers in the nation last season, as the freshman would introduce himself with a big dunk & some big time rebounds.
The young Tigers would stay at full throttle, continuing to dominate the ball game as they made sure that there would be no second half let down tonight.
Late in the game Coach Wade would start to empty the bench as the Tigers would finish cruising to the 96-43 win.
Heading into the third game of the season LSU didn't blink as they showed on the court tonight why there was so much preseason buzz for this group of young men. They looked really good at times and very few mistakes were made tonight in a complete team effort. Guys will begin to grow up right before our eyes. The veteran players need to continue to lead and the new faces need to continue to impress and improve.
The Tigers, even though playing a much inferior opponent, show improvement tonight, especially defending the three point shot.
True freshman Cameron Thomas led the way for the Tigers tonight scoring 21 points in his impressive home debut. Trendon Watford also had a big night, just missing a double double with a 20 point, 9 rebound performance. O'Neal, Days, and Wilkinson all had big nights around the glass combining for a total of 22 rebounds.
Overall the Tigers had a good night shooting going 30-60 from the floor for 50%, 13-36 from the three point range for 36%, and again shooting extremely well from the free throw line going 23-29 for 79%.
Defensively the Tigers played well with 40 rebounds, 8 steals. 3 blocks, scoring 17 points
off turnovers. This young LSU team still has much improvement to make before SEC play begins, but tonight they continued to head in the right direction.
SLU's Keon Clergeot would lead the Lions in scoring and rebounds tonight with 17 points and eight rebounds.
Next up the LSU Tigers will host LA Tech on Sunday, Dec 6th at 5pm in the PMAC The game will be streamed on ESPN+ and on the radio, 98.1 FM.
Photos By: LSU/SEC
LSU Sports Information
By: Christian Verde
ST. LOUIS, Missouri – The Saint Louis Billikens used a 13-2 over a four-minute period in the first half and made that advantage hold up to score an 85-81 win over LSU Saturday afternoon in The Billiken Classic at Chaifetz Arena.
The Tigers fought back in the second half, rallying to have a three-pointer to tie in the final five minutes and later closed the game to one point inside the final minute.
LSU (1-1) will play its home opener on Monday night at 7 p.m. against Southeastern in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. The game will be broadcast on the LSU Sports Radio Network and streamed on SECN+
Cameron Thomas again hit 10 field goals and four treys in leading LSU with 25 points, while Trendon Watford was two points off his career high with 24 points. For the second straight game, the sophomore led LSU in assists with six, giving him 15 in two games. Javonte Smart also hit four treys and had 18 points.
The trio combined for 67 of LSU's 81 points, shooting 24-of-38 from the field with nine treys.
Javonte Perkins had a big night for Saint Louis (2-0) with 32 points and five assists, including four treys and 8-of-8 at the free throw line. Gibson Jimerson added 16 points while Demarius Jacobs had 13 and Jordan Goodwin 11.
Both teams posted good shooting numbers with LSU shooting 53.8 percent for the game (28-52) with nine treys. Saint Louis shot 55.4 percent (31-56) with 10 treys. Both teams shot over 61 percent in the second half of play.
Saint Louis outrebounded LSU 30-22. The Billikens led by 10, 38-28, at halftime and led by as much as 12 just inside the 16-minute mark of the second half.
By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports!
The LSU Fighting Tigers tipped off their 2020-21 Basketball season with a 94-81 victory over a scrappy, well coached SIU-Edwardsville ball club (0-1), in St. Louis, Missouri on Saturday night. LSU played well in the first half leading by as much as 22, but seemed to relax too much in the second half as they would find it difficult to match their opponent's intensity and energy until their talent would begin to take over late, allowing them to pull away for the win.
Below is our 'Da Boot Sports' game recap.....
The Tigers looked focused and crisp early on in the ball game. Trendon Watford would score the first points of the season as he would draw a foul taking the ball to the rim putting him at the charity stripe. He would hit 1-2, giving LSU the early 1-0 lead only 1 minute into the contest.
Cameron Thomas would score his first basket as a LSU Tiger with a nice running floater that would hit the bottom of the net at the 18:56 mark to increase the lead to 3-0.
After a Cougars layup, Darius Days would flex his muscles the next four trips down the court for LSU, as he would hit three straight three point shots in a row, followed by a layup to give LSU a 14-2 advantage five minutes into the ball game.
LSU would continue to dominate SIUE over the next four minutes as the Cougars would find it difficult to score on a tough and aggressive LSU defense. LSU would score seven points off of three turnovers in the first seven minutes of the game and would eventually open up a 22 point lead, 26-4.
With ten minutes to go, SIUE would begin to heat up from behind the three point line as they would can four straight from behind the three point arc.
The Cougars would continue to find open looks at the basketball from deep range as their ability to make three pointers would cut the LSU lead to 41-32 with 4:02 left in the 1st half.
LSU would go on a 8-2 run to end the first half, taking a 49-34 lead into the locker room.
Darius Days would lead the Tigers in scoring at the half with 14 points, while freshman Cameron Thomas would contribute 11 in his LSU debut. Watford would score 9 first half points and Javonte Smart would add 7. Bryan Peen-Johnson would also score hid first points in a LSU uniform with a powerful dunk at the eight minute mark.
The Tigers over all looked really solid in the first half except for their ability to defend the three point shot. A huge problem that haunted the squad a year ago. SIUE would go 8-16 (50%) from the arc in the first half.
LSU would go into the half shooting 15-30 from the floor for 50%, while going 6-16 from three point land, and 13-16 (81%) from the charity line.
Darius Days would score quickly for LSU to start the second half putting the Tigers up by 17, 51-34. But SIUE would respond with a burst of energetic play going on a 23-8 run over the next seven minutes as they out rebounded, out hustled, and out played the Tigers, cutting the lead to 59-57 with 12:44 to go.
With 10:10 left to go, Shareef O'Neal would score his first basket as a LSU Tiger hitting a three pointer giving the Tigers a 65-60 advantage.
The Cougars would continue to play with intensity giving LSU all they could handle, but thanks to Darius Days coming alive and scoring eight points over the next two minutes to help give the Tigers a little breathing room, 75-68 with 8:06 left on the game clock.
True freshman, Jalen Cook out of Walker High would score his first LSU basket, hitting a three from the top of the key, extending the lead to 79-68 at the 6:33 mark.
The Tigers would finally begin to find another gear as they would start to take back control of the contest, out scoring the pesky Cougars 19-13 over the final six minutes for a 94-81 win.
The young Tigers looked really good at times, especially in the first half as they started the game red hot, playing fast, physical, and at times dominating. But their second half performance resembled the same script that they followed for much of last season. The inability to play a full 40 minutes with focus and intensity on both ends of the court. They also continue to struggle defending the three point shot as Cougar players would find themselves with wide open looks from behind the three-point arc, finishing 13-27 from three-point land.
Got to give SIUE credit. They have some talent and are a very well coached team. The Cougars are now 0-2 on the season as they lost to Saint Louis, 89-52 on Wednesday.
True freshman Cameron Thomas lead the Tigers in scoring with 27 points in his impressive LSU debut. Darius Days had a great game scoring 24 on the night, carrying the Tigers on his back at times when the Cougars would begin to make a run. Trendon Watford contributed 13 points and showed great leadership on the court all game long. Both Javonte Smart, 10 points, and freshman Jalen Cook, 5 points, both did a great job of running the LSU offense from the point.
Overall the Tigers had a good night shooting, going 30-58 from the floor for 52%. 12-26 from three-point range, 46%... and had a solid night at the free throw line, 22-26 for 85%.. Defensively LSU played very well, except for defending the three.. The Tigers would have 10 steals and score 21 points off of turnovers. This young, loaded LSU team still has some work to do, but showed flashes what they are capable of and how dominate they can be when they play at the top of their game.
Next up the Tigers will face a very good Saint Louis University team on Saturday at 2pm. The game will be streamed on ESPN+ and on radio: 100.7 FM......
By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports!
It's time for college basketball and there is excitement in the air around Baton Rouge. Will Wade begins his 4th season as head coach at LSU and his team is loaded. Gone are Skylar Mays and Emmitt Williams, but the Tigers have a solid core of returning starters. Javonte Smart, Trendon Watford, and Darius Days all chose to return to LSU after testing NBA Draft waters. Smart has the chance to be perhaps the best point guard in the SEC, and Watford could end up being the SEC Player of the Year.
Wade has brought in several newcomers, who have unlimited talent and potential, as this season's recruiting class was ranked 6th in the nation. Many think that LSU could have the best roster in the SEC. This team certainly has what it takes to win a Conference Championship and geaux deep into the NCAA Tournament. Some even say they have Final Four talent.
Now, remember this name, Cameron Thomas, because you will be hearing it often. The 6-4, 210lbs Thomas is a five star recruit out of Chesapeake, Va. where he attended high school at Oak Hill Academy. He averaged 31.5 points a game as a senior becoming the program's all-time leading scorer. He can score from anywhere on the court with dazzling moves that will leave fans amazed. Fingers are crossed that he may wear the purple and gold for two or three seasons and won't be a one-and-done.
Wade was able to add up front depth to the team with three key transfers.
Bryan Penn-Johnson transferred from Washington and is expected to start at center for the Tigers. Penn-Johnson arrives at LSU with his 7-0, 260lbs frame and should bring a huge rebounding and shot blocking presence down low in the paint that the Tigers were lacking last season.
Josh LeBlanc, a 6-7, 215lbs forward from Baton Rouge who prepped at Madison Prep, transfers in from Georgetown where he was part of the Hoyas 2018 class. LeBlanc will be a force coming off the bench, however he was not granted a waiver for immediate eligibility. He will be able to play in mid-December when the academic semester ends.
Then there is Shareef! Shareef O'Neal, son of LSU-Legend, and NBA great, Shaquille O'Neal. O'Neal started his college career at UCLA in 2018 where he was diagnosed with a heart condition by the UCLA medical staff. Shareef underwent open heart surgery to correct the problem. He is an inspiration to many after having to deal with a life-threatening situation at such a young age, and still be able to return to play basketball at a high level. He will add talented depth to the Tigers and without a doubt be a fan favorite.
Other newcomers to watch are, .... freshman forward Mwani Wilkinson out of Las Vegas, Nev., ..... freshman guard Eric Gaines out of Lithonia, Ga., ... freshman center Josh Gray from Brooklyn, NY., and freshman gurad Jalen Cook from local, Walker High.
Add Charles Manning Jr. and Aundre Hyatt into the mix and you have a roster that will be a
physical mismatch against any opponent they play. If Will Wade and the LSU staff can put together the right lineup and bench rotation to gel this group quickly, this could be a special season.
The Tigers tip off the season on Thanksgiving Day in St. Louis, MO., against SIU Edwardsville, then take on Saint Louis on Saturday, Nov. 28th, before returning home to the PMAC to host Southeastern Louisiana on Monday, Nov. 30th at 7pm. Click the button below for the Tigers' 2020-21 Basketball Season Schedule...
POSSIBLE STARTING LINEUP:
PG - Javonte Smart
SG - Cameron Thomas
F - Darius Days
F - Trendon Watford
C - Bryan Penn-Johnson
By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports!
Very exciting news for myself and all LSU fans as last night the Atlanta Hawks drafted Skylar Mays in the 2nd round, (50th overall), in the 2020 NBA Draft. Congratulations Skylar!
NBA.com/Atlanta website posted:
Mays, a 6’4 guard, averaged 16.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.8 steals in 31 games (all starts) en route to an All-SEC First Team selection as a senior in 2019-20. A native of Baton Rouge, La., Mays became the first player in LSU history to record at least 1,600 points, 400 rebounds, 300 assists and 200 steals.
“We had Skylar ranked a lot higher (than No. 50),” Schlenk said of Mays. “A four-year guy, an extremely smart basketball player, a very good body, a combo guard, a high basketball IQ, skilled player. We were excited when he was there because, like I said, we had him ranked much higher than that.”
A summa cum laude graduate with a degree in kinesiology, Mays was the 2019-20 COSIDA Academic All-American Player of the Year, a three-time Academic All-American and a two-time SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
It was reported that Mays watched the draft at home with several family and friends. After the Hawks selected him, ESPN analyst Jay Bilas called him, "Ridiculously smart ... He's a complete guard. Just the fact that he is mature, he knows how to play and will play on both ends of the floor. A really impressive young man."
Atlanta is not only getting a superb and electric basketball player, but an incredible person who comes from a wonderful family. For four years this young man has represented the LSU basketball program with class, dazzling us with his high level of play and leadership on the court, as well as his impressive accomplishments in the class room. Skylar Mays is a true American role model for all...
Below is a Q & A that I did with Mays right after the end of the 2019-20 season... Enjoy...
Q&A with Da Boot Sports: