6/28/16 5:45 am CST
Good morning, Tiger Fans,
Our first day in San Antonio was all we had hoped for. Beautiful city, great food, and most of all, quality family time. On the agenda for today: SeaWorld. Now for your daily dose of Tiger News…
Today, we’ll cover a couple of topics in baseball and basketball before moving on to Part 2 of our LSU football statistical trends and observations and our countdown to Game Day. Here we go…
In baseball news, yesterday, it was announced that LSU first baseman Greg Deichmann will participate in the 2016 TD Ameritrade College Home Run Derby. The event is in its seventh year and will be broadcast on ESPN2 on Sunday, July 3rd at 7:30 p.m. CT. Deichmann, who hit 11 home runs and totaled 57 RBI this past season, joins Matt Gaudet (2010) and Mason Katz (2012) as Tigers who have participated in the event.
Turning briefly to basketball, Head Coach Johnny Jones met yesterday with the media for an SEC coach’s teleconference. Not too many topics were covered, but Jones did praise guard Brandon Sampson, noting that he’s having a great offseason recognizing the opportunity he has with Keith Hornsby leaving due to graduation. Jones is also looking forward to having five juniors on this year’s team, which will make the Tigers one of the more experienced teams in the SEC for 2016-2017.
LSU Football Statistical Trends/Observations, Part 2: Penalties
After committing only 71 penalties in 2014, which was the Tigers’ fewest in at least the last seven years, LSU committed 97 in 2015 despite playing one less game. While penalties are obviously detrimental to a team’s chances of winning, the Tigers’ wins and losses were not much different when it came to penalties. In fact, LSU averaged 63 yards in penalties in its three losses but averaged even more penalty yards in its nine victories at 66.1 yards per contest. However, numbers don’t always tell the whole story. Looking back at the stats for LSU’s last two championship seasons, 2007 and 2003, reveals that LSU was heavily penalized in those two seasons (83 penalties in 2007 and a whopping 102 in 2003). Sometimes a high number of penalties goes hand-in-hand with aggressive defensive play, and those two teams were definitely aggressive. Of course, avoiding costly penalties in close contests is always important, and with a veteran squad returning (17 starters, 9 offense, 8 defense), I am optimistic that the Tigers will be improved in that regard.
With 67 days remaining until LSU’s season opener vs Wisconsin at Lambeau Field on September 3rd, let’s recognize an impressive fact about LSU football – the Tigers have produced 67 First-Team All-Americans. Of course, Leonard Fournette was LSU's 67th First-Team All-American last season when he set school records with 1,953 rushing yards and 22 rushing touchdowns. As long as he remains healthy, he is likely to become just the 11th Tiger to earn multiple First-Team All-American honors, the last being Glenn Dorsey in 2006 and 2007.
Tommy Casanova is the only Tiger to earn three First-Team All-American selections (1969-1971), playing cornerback on defense, wide receiver on offense and returning punts and kickoffs. Billy Cannon (1958, 1959), Jerry Stovall (1962), Charles Alexander (1978, 1979) and Jimmy Taylor (1957) are the other running backs to earn First-Team All-American honors. Kevin Faulk, a running back from 1995-1998, earned First-Team All-American honors as a return specialist in 1996. The entire list of First-Team All-Americans through the 2014 season can be seen on pages 62-63 of the 2015 Media Guide.
Those of you who have read this site for years have often heard me refer to 2000 to the present as the Golden Age of LSU football. Well, consider this: from 1935-1999, a span of 65 years, the Tigers had 40 First-Team All-Americans, but from 2000-2015 (16 seasons), LSU has had an astounding 27 First-Team All-Americans! In fact, in 2011, LSU set a school record with five First-Team All-Americans (Will Blackwell, Morris Claiborne, Tyrann Mathieu, Sam Montgomery and Brad Wing), which was also the school's first ever 13-0 regular season finish. Will Leonard Fournette earn another First-Team All-American honor in 2016? Will anyone else join him like Jamal Adams or Kendell Beckwith? Regardless, LSU has the talent to produce multiple First-Team All-Americans, and I expect to see LSU eclipse 70 very soon. This is just another reminder that it’s a great time to be a Tiger!
Speaking on the Paul Finebaum show yesterday, longtime sportscaster and Louisiana native Tim Brando revealed his College Football Playoff predictions, and among his four teams is LSU. While I realize predictions and preseason awards mean very little, it is great to see yet another analyst recognizing that LSU has great potential to win the SEC and reach their first CFP.
Before closing, I’d like to congratulate Alex Bregman for being promoted to the Astros Triple-A affiliate in Fresno, CA and Andrew Stevenson for being promoted to the Nationals Double-A affiliate in Harrisburg, PA. For LSU fans familiar with these former Tigers, this comes as no surprise, as both men are extremely hard workers dedicated to improving their game. Bregman has reportedly gained 20 pounds of muscle through offseason workouts and has hit 14 home runs for the AA Corpus Christi affiliate, which is five more than his best power season in the SEC. Given his work ethic and determination, it wouldn’t surprise me to see him in the big leagues very soon. Here’s wishing both Bregman and Stevenson the best of luck with their new teams.
Speaking of professional baseball, here’s a link to LSUsports.net detailing how former Tigers are doing in the minor leagues. It’s interesting to note that players from this year’s squad, Riley Smith and Parker Bugg, have already recorded innings for their minor league teams.
That’s it for today, folks! Stay tuned, as tomorrow we’ll continue our statistical trends/observations series as well as the countdown to LSU’s season opener vs. Wisconsin on September 3rd.