By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports!
BATON ROUGE: The LSU basketball team would open up SEC play with their 7th straight win against Texas A&M, 77-54 on Tuesday night in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. On a night when team leaders Javonte Smart and Trendon Watford would struggle to score, (6 points between them), this LSU squad would show their poise, talent and depth as they would display the offensive fire power this team is capable of. Cam Thomas continues to shine while Darius Days has molded himself into LSU's Mr. everything. His hard, steady play, scoring from anywhere on the floor, and strong rebounding is a team confidence builder. Improvement on defense shown in the ball game tonight was a very positive step in the right direction as the Tigers would cruise to an impressive victory. LSU is now 6-1 overall, 1-0 in SEC play.
Below is "Da Boot Sports" Game Break Down.....
In a battle between teams with different offensive styles, Texas A&M would do a great job of slowing the ball down keeping the game flow at the slow half court pace. A pace they prefer to play. The Aggies would get on the board first as Andre Gordon would bang in a three pointer one minute into the contest.
Darius Days would respond with a layup and draw a foul, putting him at the line to complete the three point play tying things up early at 3-3.
Both teams would play even early on as we would continue to have a tie game at the 14:23 mark, 9-9, before Gordon would hit another three for the Aggies to go up 12-9.
From that point the Tigers would go on a 8-0 run over the next three minutes of play, putting the score at 17-12 with 10:34 left on the clock.
With seven minutes to go in the 1st half, LSU would begin to pick up the game's tempo as they would begin to push the ball up the floor quickly, taking quick shots. Cameron Thomas would also begin to heat up after a slow start, hitting a three pointer at the 7:03 mark, putting LSU up 25-18. A minute later Darius Days would hit from three point land to extend the Tigers lead to 10, 28-18... Thomas would then score eight straight on three trips down the court with a layup and two three pointers, pulling LSU away, 35-20 with 2:25 left. The Tigers would control the final two minutes of the period, taking a 41-27 lead into the halftime break.
Both Darius Days and Cameron Thomas would lead LSU in scoring at the half with 13 points each, while Charles Manning Jr. would add six in his solid minutes of play. The Tigers would end the first half shooting 16-30 from the floor for 53.3%.., While going 5-12 from behind the 3 point arc for 42%, and a perfect 4-4 from the charity stripe. The Tigers would also lead in rebounds, 20-14....
The Tigers would come out in the 2nd half and begin to flex their muscles as they would continue to control the pace of the contest, forcing the Aggies away from their half court comfort zone. It was obvious that A&M simply couldn't match LSU's athleticism in the up tempo style of play.
Cam Thomas would open the second period scoring on a jumper a minute in to increase the Tigers lead to 16 points.
The Aggies would only manage to pull to within 11 of the Tigers, 46-35 with 16:26 on the clock. From there the Tigers would never look back going on a 18 to 7 run over the next six minutes. LSU would lead by as much as 26 points, 70-44 at the 7:56 mark.
LSU's improved defensive play would frustrate the Aggies down the final stretch, as the Tigers would win their SEC season opener in blowout fashion, 77-54.
POST GAME TALK:
True freshman Cameron Thomas would score a career high 32 points to lead the team. Darius Days was a force all night long, finishing with a double-double on the night, 18 points and 10 rebounds.
LSU would finish the night shooting 47% from the floor, hitting 30-64 attempts. Only 9-27 from three
point land, 33%, while going 8-9 from the free throw line for 89%. The Tigers out rebounded A&M 40-31 and only turned the ball over ten times.
Will Wade's team played all game long with a poised and relaxed style. All that seems to be missing is that mean streak. If this young team could learn to develop a mean streak, things could get very ugly for their opponents.
Next up LSU will travel to Gainesville to take on the Florida Gators on Saturday, January 2nd. The game will be shown on CBS... On Radio 98.1 FM, Tip Off is scheduled for 1:00pm
Photos By: LSU/SEC
PLAYERS POST GAME QUOTES:
LSU vs Texas A&M
December 29, 2020
Forward Darius Days
On playing with Cam Thomas and how he played tonight …
“Phenomenal. He is one of the guys that I am glad we have on the team. He can stuff the sheet with points. He rebounds well. He does a lot of good things for us. He just works. He is a worker. Day in and day out, he is in here shooting. That’s why he is making the shots that he makes. He is in the gym every day and putting up shots.”
On his own success tonight …
“I didn’t force anything. I just made open shots. I was on the glass. I got a couple put backs. I got an and one. I got a free throw in. I was just doing the little things. Nothing too outrageous and out of my body. I was just doing my job.”
Guard Cameron Thomas
On if getting SEC Freshman of the Week motivated him tonight …
“Not at all because it was my first SEC game, and I was hyped up. I felt like I was ready for the challenge, regardless of the award.”
On his confidence when shooting the ball …
“It was a great night for me. I prepared very well. I was very confident in what I came in to do.”
On what it’s been like the last few games for him …
“Just my preparation and rhythm. I am getting a better rhythm. For my preparation, I’ve been shooting shots before the game and in practice. I’ve just been getting shots up on my own, so I feel like I’m in more of a rhythm now than I was the past few games.”