1/17/19 5:35 am CST
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With no game to recap and things a little slow on the news front, I used the time to begin looking ahead to the 2019 football season by posting our Way Too Early Unofficial 2019 LSU Football Depth Chart. What I did was remove the players who aren’t returning, add the players who are returning, and change everyone’s classification (SO, JR, SR, etc.) to reflect the class they will be in next season. I also added the incoming freshmen at the bottom of their respective position, though it’s likely several of them will lock down starting roles, particularly at running back, cornerback, and placekicker. What stands out to me is the large number of juniors and seniors returning. (I counted ten seniors in the two-deep chart without including special teams.) It should be noted that I probably left out a few names (I always do) and that this is a work-in-progress. As always, your feedback is welcome.
Right now, the topic on many Tiger Fans’ minds is basketball after LSU’s huge win on the road over No. 18 Ole Miss. Just how big was the win? Well, consider this: LSU’s Todd Politz tweeted that the Tigers’ 83-69 win represents the largest margin of victory over a ranked opponent away from home since a 72-56 win over No. 20 Arkansas on March 20, 1981, in the Superdome (NCAA Sweet 16). It was also the largest margin of victory in a true road game (at the opponent’s venue) over a ranked opponent in LSU history. Pretty impressive stuff.
As mentioned yesterday, the win also gave LSU basketball its first 3-0 start in league play since the 2005-06 season, which makes this is a good time for an online poll. Just as we’ve done with football and baseball the last few years, I’m asking you today to predict the number of SEC games LSU basketball will win this year. Just for reference, note that LSU has won 10 or more league games only three times in the last ten years with the most in that span being 13 in 2009, when LSU made the NCAA Tournament. LSU’s lowest SEC win total in that span was two in Coach Johnny Jones’ rock bottom last season as the Tigers’ coach. Man has this program come a long way since then. So without further ado, click the link below and let me know your prediction:
POLL: HOW MANY REGULAR SEASON SEC GAMES WILL LSU MEN’S BASKETBALL WIN THIS YEAR?
In football recruiting news, LSU will be hosting at least one official visitor this weekend, and he’s a big one. DT Nathan Pickering (6-3, 286) of Seminary, Miss., who is currently committed to Mississippi State, tweeted that he’ll be making his second visit to LSU this Saturday and Sunday. I know that at one time LSU felt very confident about landing Pickering before he committed to Mississippi State, and after he didn’t sign with the Bulldogs in the early period, there is renewed confidence that LSU is very much in the hunt for this talented DL. Another talented DL from Mississippi who LSU is still heavily pursuing is Bryan Young (6-3, 290) of Laurel, Miss. He’s currently committed to Alabama but is expected to visit LSU in one of the next three weekends before signing day. If LSU can flip either one of these two prospects, that would be a huge coup for this class.
One more recruiting brief: Class of 2020 WR/S Jaquavion Fraziars (6-4, 185) of Dunnellon, FL reports an LSU offer. He holds offers from several SEC programs including Florida, Georgia, Auburn, and others.
In baseball news, Coach Paul Mainieri spoke on 104.5’s Hanging with Hester program earlier this week and had interesting things to say about two Tigers who are likely to be impact players this year. Granted, these are the only two players he was specifically asked about, but I thought his comments were worth sharing.
Asked about last year’s starting second baseman, Brandt Broussard, Mainieri said he believes he’s ready for a breakout season. He was solid defensively last year and swung the bat very well early on before injuring his thumb and never really getting back in the swing of things. It sounds like Mainieri is expecting big things of Broussard this year, which is interesting in light of D1Baseball projecting newcomer Drew Bianco to start at 2nd base. If I were projecting a starting lineup, I’d pencil in Broussard there after hearing Mainieri’s comments.
Mainieri was also asked about incoming freshman first baseman Cade Beloso, a former LB/DE on the John Curtis football team. Mainieri said he brings the same toughness he brought to the football field to the baseball diamond and that he really has some pop in his bat. He’s expected to compete with fellow freshmen CJ Willis, Bianco, and Gavin Dugas to start at first base.
• Having LSU football withdrawals? Here are two videos – one that makes me appreciative of a senior who’s moving on and another on one of the best defensive backs in the country who will be returning to LSU for his junior season: RB Nick Brosette’s Senior Highlights and Safety Grant Delpit’s Video Highlights
• While on the topic of football, here’s a letter from a classy Tiger that’s well worth reading if you’ve got a few minutes to spare: LSU: A Letter from Devin White
• The LSU women’s basketball team kicks off the 2019 SEC celebration of We Back Pat Week tonight at 6:30 p.m. against No. 16/15 Kentucky at the PMAC. The SEC has chosen one week each season to honor legendary Tennessee head coach Pat Summitt and all that she gave to grow the game of women’s basketball. It is also an opportunity for fans to be reminded of the battle she and others have faced with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Tonight’s game will be televised on the SEC Network.
• The 2019 SEC Softball Preseason Coaches’ Poll was released Wednesday morning, and LSU was picked to finish sixth in the conference. The Tigers, coming off a 45-17 overall mark and 13-10 SEC record in 2018, return 13 letterwinners from last year’s squad and add ten newcomers. LSU opens the 2019 regular season at Tiger Park on February 7 against Tulsa.
• That’s it for today, but don’t forget to vote in our poll asking “How Many Regular Season SEC Games Will LSU Men’s Basketball Win This Year?”
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