LSU - Can This Be The Year?

The top SEC foe and perhaps the second best team in the country should be LSU

1 Kathy Graham G 5-11 Fr.
3 Latear Eason G 5-8 Fr.
22 Porsha Phillips F 6-2 So.
23 Allison Hightower G 5-10 So.
44 Kristen Morris F 6-2 Jr.
4 Katie Antony G 5-10 Sr.
5 Erica White G 5-3 Sr.
10 Khalilah Mitchell G 5-11 Sr.
12 R LeBlanc G 5-7 Sr.
15 Quianna Chaney G 5-11 Sr.
24 Marian Whitfield G 5-9 Sr.
25 Mesha Williams C 6-3 Sr.
34 Sylvia Fowles C 6-6 Sr.
54 Ashley Thomas F 6-0 Sr.

LSU Players minutes and scoring average vs the LSU schedule

34 FOWLES, S 30.6 16.9
15 CHANEY, Q 26.7 11.8
05 WHITE, E 29.6 8.2
23 HIGHTOWER, A 20.0 6.2
12 LeBLANC, R 26.4 6.1
54 THOMAS, A 23.9 4.7
22 PHILLIPS, P 12.8 3.8
04 ANTONY, K 10.4 2.9

This LSU team of nine seniors has made so many consecutive final fours it is difficult to believe they haven't seen the championship game yet. Could this be their year?

LSU was one of 3 teams to top the Lady Vols last year. They couldn't get it done in Baton Rouge in the first meeting but they really dominated in the second round of the SEC tournament in Duluth in March. LSU shut down Candace Parker and managed to hit from the perimeter with impunity. They actually made Tennessee look as if they didn't belong.

So if the Lady Vols don't play their best and LSU does this is a team that could unseat Tennessee and finally reach the goal they have been so close to attaining for 3 consecutive years. The added incentive is the last time around for 9 Seniors. The downside is that these seniors don't seem to have much 'room' to improve. By that I mean the improvement has to come from each individual player who's minutes will most likely remain close to the same.

Where the Lady Vols can look at 42 average minutes from departed or red shirt players and see who might fill those minutes and what they might do, LSU only adds two freshmen to an established rotation.

Of course there is a new coach in bayou country and the question is what he can do to improve the LSU offensive performance. If he is successful this will be a formidable opponent.

Tennessee only managed 54 points in our last meeting with the Lady Tigers and we were beaten by 9. That was only 4 points better than the final Connecticut performance of the season. LSU trashed Connecticut by 23 a 14 point greater margin. They only managed 35 points in their final game with Rutgers. At times it seemed like LSU didn't recall how to score.

LSU went 30 and 7 last year even though they handily beat two of the better teams in the country prior to losing to Rutgers in the semi-finals. Maybe Coach Chancellor will bring some consistency to the LSU performance and help them get beyond the final four semi-finals. Figuring out how to score consistently will be the trick.

It remains to be seen but I think the Lady Vols upside is far better than that of LSU. The additional height and athleticism of Cain and Baugh giving Sylvia Fowles a bit more to concern herself with besides Candace and NiKKi. It will most likely be the Tennessee LSU show in the SEC and the SEC will be well represented by these two in the NCAA Tournament.

The Lady Vols seem to have more offensive weapons and they definitely have more height.