Thursday, March 11, 2010

Spring Practice #7; Baseball Notes; Basketball Season Ends


LSU went through another practice on Thursday without any major news to report.  Senior receiver Terrance Toliver was out there with a cast on his hand, running through drills with everyone else.  It's interesting to watch him try to catch the ball with one hand during every drill. 

Toliver was wearing a green no-contact jersey along with tight-end Deangelo Peterson, running back Richard Murphy, and safeties Craig Loston and Brandon Taylor.   Safety Karnell Hatcher and defensive tackle Josh Downs are still not at practice due to injuries. 

Good reports continue to surface regarding second year players Mike Ford and Reuben Randle. 

Numerous sites had good things to say about quarterback Jordan Jefferson's performance at practice Thursday. 


With ace pitcher Anthony Ranaudo already out with an elbow injury, LSU is now looking at an injury to another key player.  Starting centerfielder Leon Landry has a slight injury to his hamstring and may not start on Friday night.  Johnny Dishon would likely take his place in the outfield if Landry can't go.  Landry's injury isn't considered serious. 

Speaking of Ranaudo, he originally planned to return to the rotation this weekend against Kansas, but his return has been pushed back again.  The weekend rotation will consist of Joey Bourgeois, Jordan Rittiner, and Austin Ross.  Lefty Chris Matulis will be ready to go in relief.  While it's frustrating for Ranaudo's return to keep getting pushed back, it's important to remember that the focus is on having him healthy for the bulk of SEC play and the post-season. 


I haven't written much about basketball this year, and for good reason. The Tigers' season ended with a first round loss to Tennessee in the SEC Tournament on Thursday.  Head coach Trent Johnson is facing some challenges with the roster and is trying to build LSU's program with four year players rather than institute a "quick fix" with junior college players.  It's no surprise that LSU was not competitive this year; however, it was surprising that LSU was bad as they were.  Somewhere along the way, I think Johnson lost this team. 

Most discouraging was the regression of guard Bo Spencer.  Johnson received a great deal of credit a year ago for turning Spencer, a little used reserve as a freshman, into a very good point guard.  Heading into this season, most expected him to continue his progression.  However despite averaging 14.5 points per game this year, Spencer was often a loose cannon and a turnover machine.  Spencer went from shooting 40% from the three point line last year to an abysmal 28% this year.  He also turned the ball over 100 times this year compared to just 63 last year.  He'll need to turn that around in his senior season in order for LSU to have success next year. 

We did see some good things this year.  First was the progress of sophomore Storm Warren who went from a little used reserve a year ago to a very good SEC basketball player.  Warren averaged 11 points and seven rebounds per game this year. 

Tiger fans were also treated to another season of Tasmin Mitchell.  Mitchell played good basketball this season and gave the fans something to be proud of.  He was recently named to the All-SEC first team by the coaches, and he'll go down as one of the best ever at LSU. 


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