11/23/17 5:20 am CST
Good morning, Tiger Fans,
The first thing I’d like to do today is to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving. I’d also like to thank all of you who emailed me get well wishes (I’m much better now, by the way) and kind words concerning the Thanksgiving message I posted yesterday. It’s great to know that so many of you can relate to the recollections, observations, and values expressed in my Dad’s stories of simpler times in the 30s and 40s, or to my stories of growing up in the 70s and 80s. For many of you, reading those stories brought back magnificent memories of family and all the things we have in our lives for which to be thankful, and to me, that’s what today is all about. If you missed it in yesterday’s report, I hope you’ll take a moment to click here and read my annual Thanksgiving message.
In basketball news, a 39-point effort from Tremont Waters wasn’t enough to give LSU third place in the Maui Invitational Wednesday night, as the Tigers fell to Marquette 94-84. After being held to only eight points against Notre Dame, Waters had a bounce-back performance last night, and that’s actually an understatement. Waters scored 20 of LSU’s first 24 points against Marquette and his 39 points, four assists and four steals on the night kept the Tigers competitive, but a combination of 17 LSU turnovers and Marquette’s efficient shooting from behind the arc (46%) paved the way for a double-digit Golden Eagle victory.
Marquette literally couldn’t miss in the first four minutes of the contest. The Golden Eagles began the game shooting a perfect 8-for-8 from the field, while LSU drained six of its first eight field goals That set a chaotic pace in a high-scoring first half. Waters started the game 4-for-4 with 9 points and two assists, but despite his early heat check, Marquette took a 23-13 lead six minutes into the game. LSU’s defense mirrored its effort against Notre Dame Tuesday night, which meant plenty of Marquette shooters had too much space to get their shots off. Waters drained four 3-pointers in the first half and had 18 of LSU’s 22 points in the early going, but Marquette guard Sam Hauser matched Waters’ production with four 3-pointers of his own and scored 15 points during that same stretch. At one point, Marquette converted 12 of 13 field goals, but LSU scratched and clawed its way back into the game. The Tigers trailed by 13 points twice in the half, but as Marquette’s hot shooting cooled and LSU forced eight Marquette turnovers, the Tigers were able to reduce the gap to 46-44 at the break.
The start of the second half couldn’t have been more opposite than the first. LSU and Marquette didn’t record a field goal until three minutes into the half. Back-to-back field goals by Wayde Sims got the Tigers within a point, but Marquette went on a 9-2 run to expand its lead. A Waters 3-pointer got the Tigers within four down the stretch but the Tigers started settling for outside shots and could not convert from the perimeter. That opened the door for a 12-0 Marquette run. LSU went nearly five minutes without making a field goal after Waters’ 3-pointer and LSU couldn’t make up the gap after.
The Tigers will return to action next Wednesday when LSU hosts UT-Martin at 7 p.m. That game will broadcast on SEC Network+.
Continuing with our normal order of business on football Thursdays, here’s an abbreviated recap of last night’s Coach O Show:
• Filling in for host Chris Blair who was in Maui for the basketball game, stand-in host Gordy Rush asked Coach O about this being the last home game for several seniors. Coach O responded by encouraging fans to honor the 20 seniors by sending them out in style with a big crowd. “It happens so fast, we take things one day at a time and then all of sudden you look up and it's their last day (to play at Tiger Stadium).”
• Rickey in Birmingham asked if the advent of the end-over-end kick has changed his philosophy of fielding kicks. Orgeron said he instructs returners to stand on the 8-yard-line and not field anything behind that.
• Rickey also asked if LSU will restrict senior day to honoring only seniors and not juniors who are expected to leave early. Orgeron answered, “Only seniors. Those (underclassmen who leave early) will be honored at the spring game.”
• Lance in Lafayette asked about the field goal kicking game going forward. Orgeron said they will give Jack Gonsoulin another chance. “Gonsoulin had a chance at the beginning of the season but didn’t perform well enough to hold on to the job. When Culp took over he had five good games and then went downhill. Oregon added, ”If there's a great kicker out there, we're going to recruit him.”
• Jeff in Ponchatoula asked Coach O if he knows Texas A&M quarterback Nick Starkel from Orgeron’s hometown of Mandeville. Orgeron said he knows him quite well since he played ball with his two sons and that he’s even been over to their house several times.
• Asked about the strong possibility of having to replace Arden Key next year, Orgeron praised the play of K’Lavon Chaisson and Ray Thornton, both of whom he said will be phenomenal players.
• A caller by the name of Mark asked about the outlook of the defensive prospects for the next two years. Orgeron was quick to praise Texas Tech transfer Breiden Fehoko. “He benched 505 pounds and in practice is unblockable,” he said. Orgeron also mentioned that Tyler Shelvin, who was ineligible to play this year as a true freshman, is down to a “slim” 355 pounds, and that the team will return Rashard Lawrence, Ed Alexander, Neil Farrell, and Justin Thomas. “And we’re happy about a couple guys committed to us,” he added. Sounds like LSU’s D-line will be awfully strong next year.
• Between calls, Orgeron said how proud he was to have Governor John Bel Edwards attend the LSU game. “[He’s] very supportive of our football program. He’s a big fan. I think it’s the first time the governor of Louisiana came on the (team) plane to a trip.”
• The next caller asked about quarterback Myles Brennan and what he brings to the table. Coach O responded by saying, “I can’t tell you how excited I am about Myles.” Orgeron also called fellow freshman Lowell Narcisse a tremendous talent and said sophomore Justin McMillan will return next year. “We should be fine there for years to come,” he said.
• Larry in Natchitoches asked what we have coming in at running back that will give LSU the type of running back tandem we have now with Guice and Williams, who the caller described as the best duo since the “Dalton-Hames Gang.“ Coach O admitted that it’s something he worries about at night but that Nick Brossette has had some excellent practices, Clyde Edwards-Helaire will be a tremendous back, and Lanard Fournette has made improvement. He added that they have commitments from two other RBs and are looking for more.
• Bobby in Lafayette asked how critical for recruiting purposes is a victory over Texas A&M. Orgeron said you always want to go out a winner. All of the coaches will be in homes next week and it would be great to be able to talk about having 9 wins, and a chance for a 10 win season with a quality bowl win.
• The last caller, Alex from Walker, asked why Danny Etling is so underrated in the SEC. “Has good numbers,” he said. Orgeron responded: “Danny is a blue-collar QB. Does the tough things. He’s a winner. Not as flashy as some other quarterbacks and doesn’t move around as well, but we trust him, we love him and he’s done a tremendous job.”
In football recruiting news, SECCountry.com reports that there’s another big-time player to add to this weekend’s star-studded group of visitors, Class of 2019 running back Noah Cain. Not only is this Baton Rouge native ranked as a five-star, he’s the top-ranked running back in his class. Cain moved away from Baton Rouge at an early age and started his high school playing days at Denton Guyer High in Texas before transferred to IMG Academy prior to his junior year. His top schools at this time appear to be Texas and Ohio State, but LSU is very much in the picture.
• Tiger football greats Billy Cannon and Jerry Stovall will be the featured guests at the LSU Alumni Association’s Sports Legends series Saturday at 10 a.m. in the Andonie Museum on the University campus. It is free and open to the public. LSU Alumni Association members will be given an opportunity for autographs and photographs at the event. Non-members can join the Association to participate. For more from LSUSports.net, click here.
• With November being National Diabetes Awareness Month, LSU published this great article on LSU long-snapper Blake Ferguson who has Type I diabetes but doesn’t let it stop him from excelling on the field. I’m proud to call this young man a Tiger, just as I was for his brother Reid who excelled as a long-snapper at LSU and is now playing for the Bills.
• Looking for tickets to Saturday’s game? Check out our Ticket Exchange which was updated last night.
That’s it for today. Time for me to head to the kitchen and begin preparing for the big feast. Once again, Happy Thanksgiving and thanks for reading DandyDon.com.