2/19/19 5:35 am CST
Good morning, Tiger Fans,
TUESDAY TIDBITS: YOUR DAILY DOSE OF TIGER NEWS DELIVERED IN A BAKER’S DOZEN QUICK HITTERS
1. LSU basketball fever is really heating up, and with good reason. After stunning No. 5 Kentucky in Lexington and then remaining undefeated in SEC road play with a big win at Georgia, Coach Will Wade’s Tigers climbed to No. 13 in this week’s AP poll. #BootUp, baby!
2. Folks, that No. 13 ranking is a big deal. The last time LSU was ranked that high was back on March 2, 2009, when the Tigers checked in at No. 12 after Coach Trent Johnson’s Tigers defeated Kentucky in Lexington. LSU went on to claim the SEC regular-season title that season.
3. LSU will have a chance to climb considerably in the rankings this week with home contests against Florida on Wednesday (6 p.m. CT on ESPN2) and against No. 5 Tennessee on Saturday (11 a.m. CT on ESPN).
4. Tomorrow’s tip time is not exactly ideal for working Tiger fans, but I applaud LSU’s for trying to make it as convenient as possible for fans to attend. Tickets start at $9, and LSU has your dinner plans all figured out. For $10, you can pre-order a Chick-fil-A Meal Deal that includes your choice of a chicken sandwich or 8 count chicken nuggets, plus chips, a cookie, and a drink. To take advantage of the offer, click here and preorder before 5 p.m. today.
5. As for Saturday’s game versus Tennessee, the Tigers shouldn’t have any trouble at all packing the PMCA for that one. Tennessee was the No. 1 team in the nation before losing to Kentucky this weekend and dropping to No. 5. But still, a chance to bring down the No. 5 team at home is a big deal, especially with the Tigers being ranked where they are. The last time a Top-15 men's basketball game was played in Baton Rouge was Jan. 7, 1984 when No. 9 LSU hosted No. 2 Kentucky. To put that into perspective, LSU coach Will Wade was just 14 months old at that time, and I was 13. (Man do I feel old after writing that sentence.)
6. After these last two SEC wins, I’ve heard from a few of you who wanted me to review the results from the online poll we took back in January asking “How Many Regular Season SEC Games Will LSU Men’s Basketball Win?” At that time, the leading vote-getter was 14 (24.88%) with 12 being close behind 24.04%). Honestly, I thought fans were overly optimistic at that time, but now it looks like Will Wade’s Tigers could surpass both of those figures. At 11-1, LSU will likely be favored in each of its remaining six games except for this Saturday’s.
Moving on to baseball…
7. After defeating UL-Monroe, Army, and Air Force over the weekend, LSU baseball remains No. 1 in Perfect Game and Collegiate Baseball’s rankings. LSU stayed put at No. 2 in the Baseball America Top 25 and the D1Baseball.com Top 25.
8. Several newcomers shined brightly on opening weekend, but none more so than freshman right-hander Jaden Hill. After his head-turning collegiate debut, Hill was named SEC Baseball Freshman of the Week. In five innings of work, Hill limited Air Force to just one run on four hits in five innings with one walk and eight strikeouts. Three fun facts about the Ashdown, Arkansas native: 1) Hill was drafted as a high school senior last summer by the St. Louis Cardinals but turned down good money to come to LSU. 2) Hill had double-digit D1 football scholarship offers as a quarterback; 3) Hill is the cousin of former LSU centerfielder Cedrick Harris, the starting centerfielder for the Tigers’ 2000 national championship team.
9. If weather permits, we’ll get a chance to see another freshmen make his first collegiate start today when LSU takes on Southeastern. Freshman Cole Henry, a 6-foot-4, 214-pound right-hander from Florence, Alabama, is slated to get the start today. You might recall that Henry pitched two-thirds of an inning in the opener against ULM (just to get his feet wet in front of a large crowd) and demonstrated a fastball that touched 96 mph. Like Hill and Landon Marceaux, Henry turned down a huge MLB signing bonus (reportedly seven figures) to attend LSU.
10. I mentioned weather above because today’s game versus Southeastern has been moved up to 4 p.m. instead of the originally scheduled 6:30 start time due to the threat of rain in the Baton Rouge area. The game will still be broadcast online on the SEC Network+ and can be heard on @LSUradio!
11. Here’s this week’s baseball schedule and coverage:
Feb. 19 (Tue.) – SE LOUISIANA, 4 p.m. CT (SEC Network +)
Feb. 20 (Wed.) – at Northwestern State, 6 p.m. CT (ESPN+)
Feb. 22 (Fri.) – BRYANT, 7 p.m. CT (SEC Network +)
Feb. 23 (Sat.) – BRYANT, 3 p.m. CT (SEC Network +)
Feb. 24 (Sun.) – BRYANT, 2 p.m. CT (SEC Network +)
12. Before going any further, I have to give big props to LSU baseball fans. The three opening weekend games drew a total attendance figure of 35,463, which was the largest three-game total for a season-opening weekend in the history of Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field. Best fan base in the nation!
13. Alright, how about we end this baker’s dozen with some great news on the football recruiting front. LSU landed a huge commitment last night from 2020 4-star DE Alec Bryant of Pearland, Texas. Bryant (6-3, 230) who chose LSU over offers from Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU, Arkansas, Vanderbilt, and many others, and is an outstanding get for the Tigers. (Check out his video highlights.) Ed Orgeron made DLs a priority in 2020 and already has four in the nation’s No. 1 class.
No. 1 team in baseball, No. 1 recruiting class in football, and a No. 13 basketball team on the rise! It’s a great time to be a Tiger!