Monday, May 31, 2010

LSU going to Los Angeles



The LSU Baseball team is the #2 seed in UCLA's regional.   UCLA is the #6 national seed.   To start off, LSU will face the #3 team in the regional, UC Irvine.  You will remember that LSU defeated UC Irvine in the Super Regional in 2008.  The #4 seed in the regional is Kent State.

I just said last night that the NCAA likes to keep things regional and that LSU wouldn't likely end up at a place like UCLA.   Shows what I know. 

Looking ahead, LSU's regional is paired with Cal State Fullerton's regional.  That bracket consists of Cal State Fullerton (1), Stanford (2), New Mexico (3), and Minnesota (4).  If LSU wins their regional and anyone other than Cal State Fullerton wins their regional, then LSU will host the Super Regional at Alex Box stadium. 

The full bracket can be found here

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Baseball Wins 3rd Straight SEC Tournament; Recruiting Notes



LSU's baseball team has returned to their winning ways after a really horrific stretch of baseball that saw them lose 13 of 15 games, capped off by an embarrassing 9-1 loss to Tulane.  Since then, the Tigers have won six of their last seven, including the last four in a row to win their third straight SEC Tournament. 

LSU's pitchers have performed well over the last two weeks, and the batters are hitting in the clutch.  Those things were not happening during LSU's skid.  Additionally, Anthony Ranaudo finally looks like he could be re-gaining the dominance that made him one of the top prospects for the Major League Baseball draft.  Most importantly, the entire team is playing with confidence again.  Could the team be hitting their stride at the most important part of the season?   It certainly appears so. 

The 16 host Regional sites were announced on Sunday, and Baton Rouge was not included.  Therefore, LSU will have to go on the road in the post-season.   The 16 host schools are:

Arizona State
Cal State Fullerton
Coastal Carolina
Georgia Tech
South Carolina

LSU will almost certainly be a #2 seed at one of those regional sites.  Some sites are preferable to others.  The NCAA likes to keep things relatively regionally, so it'd doubtful that LSU will go to a place like UCONN or UCLA.  It would be in LSU's best interest to end up at a place like TCU or Louisville as opposed to Texas or Virginia.  The entire tournament will be announced tomorrow at 11:30, and I'll update the site and the Twitter account once the announcement is made. 

The Slant will preview LSU's regional heading into next weekend and also preview the Major League Baseball draft, which begins June 7th. 


LSU hosted a "Family Day" on Saturday for current commitments and other in-state prospects.  The goal of the weekend was for the recruits to bring their families to campus and for everyone to get to know each other.  It looks like the weekend was a success as most of LSU's commitments were able to make it. 

Some uncommitted prospects also attended, including St. Paul's HS DT Mickey Johnson, St. Helena Central ATH Ryan Byrd, and Pineville RB Derek Milton, who now plays for Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia. 

South Plaquemines HS WR Bradley Sylve also attended, despite being a verbal commitment to Alabama. 

It seems that the weekend had the desired effect. 

It wasn't all good news however. 

Thibodaux HS OL Greg Robinson, arguably the top uncommitted prospect in the state, chose to attend Auburn's "Big Cat Weekend" rather than LSU's Family Day.  Robinson's former high school teammate, Trovon Reed, signed with Auburn in February over LSU.  Most consider Robinson a lean to LSU, but his actions are starting to indicate otherwise.  At this point last year, most considered Trovon Reed a lean to LSU as well. 

Newman ATH Odell Beckham Jr. and Evangel DE Jermauria Rasco were unable to attend which is a little disappointing. 

Benton high school safety T.K. Fleming was apparently arrested recently.  He was also recently offered by LSU.  It's unclear how his arrest will affect his offer, but I have to believe it will. 

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Recruiting Recap; Summer Camp Circuit Approaching



The summer camp circut is about to get cranked up, and I thought it would be a good time to take a look at LSU's recruiting class and what prospects may earn offers soon.  In recent years, LSU's coaches have issued offers to little known prospects who have performed well at camp.  Guys like J.D. Lott, Josh Williford, Sam Gibson, and Dexter Blackmon came out of nowhere to end up as LSU commitments.

It's still a bit early to know who is going to attend camp at LSU, but this recap should paint a clear picture of guys that could potentially earn offers if they show up and perform well. 

While LSU continues to chase some high profile national recruits such as C.J. Uzomah, Jacoby Brissett, Marquise Williams, and Justin Worley, they'll have to make a decision on in-state quarterbacks that are likely to camp at LSU. 

Catholic High's Zack Oliver looks like the most likely to earn an LSU offer at camp.  The 6'4" 215 pound prospect completed 62% of his passes as a junior with 32 touchdowns and just five interceptions.  He also rushed for around 400 yards.   My bet is that Oliver leaves camp with an offer. 

Clinton's Stevie Douglas is another in-state signal caller that will be competing for an offer.  Douglas has a good frame at 6'4" and 190 pounds.   Douglas plays in a small classification so a strong camp performance is very important for him.  Thus far, Douglas has an offer from Memphis. 

Hahnville's Brian Ensminger has not attracted a ton of interest thus far, but I wouldn't be surprised if he performs well at a few camps and earns a lot more attention.  Thus far, Ensminger only has a Tulane offer.  It's unclear whether he is attending LSU's camp. 

LSU has three running backs committed, and they aren't looking for any others.  Kenny Hilliard and Terrance Magree are both solid in their commitments to LSU.  Jeremy Hill is not as solid and is considering taking visits to other schools. 

The Tigers do have a couple of offers out there for fullbacks.  Illinois prospect Nick Lifka may attend LSU's camp, but he already holds an offer. 

I don't anticipate the camps having a big impact at the wide receiver position either.  LSU currently has two commitments at receiver, and they have their sights set on Odell Beckham Jr. and Joseph Morrow, who both hold offers, for the third spot.  LSU will continue to recruit Bradley Sylve who recently gave a verbal commitment to Alabama.  Would the Tigers take all five guys?  Would Beckham be willing to play cornerback?  If Sylve sticks with the Tide, will a new name will emerge?  Perhaps that new name will come up at camp. 

LSU was a finalist for Max Stevenson who ultimately chose Oklahoma.  Otherwise, it does not appear that the Tigers are recruiting the tight-end position too hard this year.   A pair of in-state guys could make an impact at camp and raise some eyebrows however. 

Rayville's Quinton Griffin and Christian Life's Johnny Banks are both athletic receiving tight-ends.  I'm not sure if they intend on attending LSU's camp but if so, it will certainly be worth keeping an eye on their performance. 

LSU has three offensive line commitments thus far, and it's very clear that Thibodaux's Greg Robinson is the biggest remaining target.  In fact, he may be the most important in-state prospect left on LSU's board at any position.   If LSU lands Robinson, would they consider taking a fifth offensive lineman? 

If so, one in-state guy to watch would be Destrehan's Ethan Hutson.  Hutson was the MVP of the Baton Rouge Nike camp at the offensive line position, but LSU's coaches were not allowed to attend that event.  If he can duplicate that performance in front of the coaching staff, then he could potentially earn an offer.  Hutson projects as a center in college, a position of need for LSU. 

Mississippi's James Maiden is another possibility as a fifth offensive lineman.  Maiden already received an offer from LSU, but is that offer still valid?

With one defensive tackle committed, LSU has their sights set on St. Paul's High School's Mickey Johnson.  Johnson already holds an offer from LSU.  If Johnson decides to go elsewhere or if LSU looks for a third defensive tackle in this class, then a trio of in-state guys could be fighting for that spot. 

West Monroe's Chuck Hunter is the most familiar name.  Hunter holds offers from Ole Miss, Mississippi State, and TCU.  His height is apparently a concern for LSU's coaches. 

Rayville's Gerrand Johnson reports offers from Arkansas, Tennessee, Nebraska, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, and Alabama.  It's unclear whether Johnson is going to camp at LSU, but I'm hopeful that he does.  He looks like a very good prospect. 

Neville's Demarcus Hodge is another guy to watch.  Arkansas, Tennessee, and TCU have already offered the 6'1" 295 pound standout. 

If either of the three tackles mentioned above have an interest in earning an offer from the Tigers, then camping at LSU is in their best interest. 

At defensive end, LSU has Quentin Thomas on board and is looking for at least one more guy.  Evangel's Jermauria Rasco is the clear #1 target for the staff.   But are they interested in another defensive end after Rasco? 

The state of Louisiana doesn't appear to offer any additional prospects, and the Tigers will have to look out of state for another defensive end. 

With just one commitment at linebacker, the Tigers will be looking to add at least one more. 

South Plaquemine's Beau Fitte could be a guy that earns a strong look from LSU with a good camp.  Currently, he holds an offer from Louisiana Tech. 

Otherwise, LSU will look out of state for linebackers. 

It will be very interesting to see how the cornerback position shakes out for this recruiting class.

Vandebilt Catholic's Darren Kitchen may have the most to gain from camping at LSU.  He drew rave reviews from his performance at the Baton Rouge Nike camp, but he still does not hold an LSU offer at this point.  He does have offers from Nebraska and Stanford. 

Bastrop's Jevante Watson is another SEC caliber defensive back in the state.  Watson looks the part of a corner with good size at 6'0" 180 pounds.  He recently reported offered by Ole Miss and Alabama. 

A guy like West Monroe's Paul Turner (pictured) looks great on film as an offensive player, but he probably projects as a defensive back in college.  Could a good camp on defense put him in the discussion for LSU?  I think so.   Turner holds offers from TCU and Louisiana Tech.

South Carolina's Ronnie Martin recently earned an offer from LSU, but he may camp at LSU anyway.  Martin is very high on LSU, and it's possible that he leaves campus as a commitment.  Martin is 5'11" 185 pounds and has serious speed. 

East St. John's Floyd Raven and Houston, TX athlete Nick Shepard (Russell Shepard's brother) are in the conversation as well. 

LSU recently offered Benton High's T.K. Fleming, who has to be considered an LSU lean at this point. 

A prospect I'm very interested in is St. Helena Central's Ryan Byrd.  Byrd is likely a Top 20 player in the state of Louisiana, but his position at the next level is a bit uncertain.  Some like Byrd as a wide receiver and some like him as a safety.  As a receiver, Byrd is down the list for LSU.  But as a safety, I can easily see Byrd earning an offer.  I'm hopeful that Byrd works out at safety at camp so the coaches can evaluate him.  He's the kind of player that you want to find a spot for because you'd hate to see him go somewhere else.  He holds offers from Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Memphis, Kansas, Kansas State, and Minnesota. 

Deridder's Deshazor Everett has offers from Ole Miss, Arkansas, and Memphis.  He'll need a strong camp to get onto the radar of the LSU staff. 

Leesville's Levander Liggins is a great looking prospect who probably projects as an offensive player in college.  Thus far, he only has offers from Miami of Ohio and Louisiana Tech.   In my opinion, Liggins' best chance at earning an SEC offer would be at defensive back, but I have not seen him on that side of that ball. 

Looking out of state, South Carolina's Pat Martin is a guy that has the attention of the LSU coaching staff.  He holds offers from LSU, Arkansas, Maryland, Ole Miss, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.  Martin is high on LSU and a visit to campus this summer could certainly help LSU's position. 

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A Rare Summer Look At LSU Basketball


Football is not producing much news right now and if you’re like me, you don’t even want to think about LSU Baseball. Frankly, since the baseball team is, in my opinion, not investing much effort on the field, I’m not investing much effort in writing about them. So instead, I’m doing a rare summer breakdown of LSU basketball.

After a really disappointing 2009-2010 season, Trent Johnson’s guys hope to improve upon their 11-20 record which saw them win just two conference games. However, that may be a task that is easier said than done.

LSU will likely be without their two leading scorers from a season ago. Tasmin Mitchell graduated and will try to catch on with an NBA team. He was often LSU’s lone bright spot last year. Senior guard Bo Spencer is currently suspended from the team for academic reasons, and his future is very uncertain. It’s a strong possibility that Spencer will not return to the team next year. Therefore, LSU will rely heavily on the improvement of their returning players as well as contributions from the new guys.

To start, here is a breakdown of the returning players.

Returning Players:

F Storm Warren Jr - Warren (pictured) improved tremendously from his freshman season when he was a little used reserve. He turned into a very dependable SEC forward, averaging 11.8 points 7.2 rebounds and shooting an impressive .536 from the field. He’ll be counted on to be LSU’s veteran presence in the front court.

F/C Dennis Harris So – The skinny 6’11” post player did fairly well in his first season on the court.  He averaged 4.6 points and 3.1 rebounds per game while shooting .505 from the field. He showed good athleticism and the ability to find the ball both as a rebounder and shot blocker. Due to his frail build, he lacks a physical presence in the paint and was often a defensive liability. If he can make an improvement from Year #1 to Year #2 similar to what Storm Warren did, then LSU will have a solid contributor with Harris.

G Chris Bass Jr – In his first season at LSU, Bass played more and more as the season progressed. He looked the part of a true point guard, dishing out a team-leading 3.1 assists per game. He’s not much of a scorer though, averaging only 2.3 PPG. With a pair of incoming point guards, Bass will be fighting for playing time again in 2010-2011.

G Aaron Dotson So – Dotson was a bit of a disappointment as a true freshman, averaging just 3.2 points and 1 assist per game, despite starting for most of the year. Shooting guards are expected to be scorers, and Dotson had an alarmingly bad .152 3-point shooting percentage. Dotson would have likely been better served with a redshirt season.

F Eddie Ludwig So – Ludwig did not produce much with only 2.3 points and 2.5 rebounds per game as a true freshman. However, he did show some flashes of possessing some good skills. He has a decent shot, and he also led the team in free throw percentage at .867. With a year under his belt, the hope is that he steps up as a sophomore and produces a bit more.

F/C Garrett Green Jr – Green is a big body who can provide an inside presence for LSU. However, he has been battling a lower back injury for a couple of years and it’s unclear just how much he’ll be able to contribute. His minutes were very limited towards the end of last season.

As you can tell, LSU will rely heavily on their new players. The good news is that this recruiting class, along with one transfer, is poised to make a huge impact on the court. Help is coming at the right positions.

Incoming Players:

F Malcolm White Jr – White averaged 7.2 points and 5.7 rebounds per game for Ole Miss in 2008-2009 season before transferring and sitting out last year. At Ole Miss, White showed flashes of big-time ability.  He had one game with 20 points and 9 rebounds and had another game with 18 rebounds.

F Jalen Courtney Fr – Courtney comes from Jackson, MS and has good size at 6’8” 210 pounds. He chose LSU over offers from Arkansas, Auburn, Ole Miss, and Missouri. Courtney averaged 15 points and 8 rebounds as a senior.

F Matt Derenbecker Fr – Derenbecker is a versatile wing player who many considered the top prospect in the state of Louisiana. He is 6’7” 185 pounds and was the Gatorade Player of the Year in the state as a senior. He averaged 20.3 PPG, 11.3 RPG, 6 assists and 3 steals per game. Derenbecker also held offers from Ole Miss and Oklahoma State.

G Ralston Turner Fr – Turner is a wing player that knows how to put the ball in the basket. He’s listed at 6’5” 200 pounds. He averaged 21 points and 9 rebounds per game as a senior. He could play either shooting guard or small forward at the next level. He also averaged 4.3 blocks and 4 steals per game. Turner chose LSU over offers from Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, and Notre Dame. 

G Andre Stringer Fr – Stringer is an undersized point guard at just 5’9” 170 pounds, but he has all the skills you could want. He was voted Mr. Basketball for the state of Mississippi as a senior. Stringer is very quick and is a very good shooter with great range. Stringer averaged 25 points, 7 assists, and 3 steals per game as a senior.  Here is a little video of Stringer:

G K.C. Ross-Miller – Miller is another small point guard at 6’0” 175 pounds and hails from the Dallas, TX area. Miller was once a commitment to Kentucky, but re-opened his recruitment when former coach Billy Gillespie was fired. He ultimately chose LSU over Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Baylor, and Florida. He averaged 26 points and 11 assists as a senior. He also showed a great shooting touch, making 60% of his shot attempts, and 56% from three-point land. LSU badly needs outside shooting and Ross-Miller could provide that right away.  Here are some highlights of Miller: 

C Justin Hamilton – Hamilton is a 6’11” 230 pound transfer from Iowa State. Hamilton averaged 6.4 points and 5.4 rebounds per game as a sophomore for Iowa State last season. He also led the Big-12 in offensive rebounds. As a transfer, he will have to sit out the 2010-2011 season for LSU after which he will have two seasons of eligibility remaining.  Here is one highlight of Hamilton from Iowa Sate.

All in all, I think LSU will be much improved but I'd be surprised if they compete for an SEC championship.  Trent Johnson is building this program his way, with four-year program players who are high character team guys.  That recipe has led to plenty of success at programs like Duke, Vanderbilt, and even Stanford where Johnson last coached.  A lot of freshmen will get valuable experience in their first year in the program and that will pay dividends in years to come. 

Sunday, May 16, 2010

LSU Baseball On Life Support; LSU adds St. Aug OL



Kentucky swept LSU this weekend, putting LSU's post-season hopes on life support.  LSU has now lost 11 of their last 12 SEC games, with the only win coming in extra innings.  The wheels have totally come off this season, and it doesn't look like the Tigers are going to rebound.  It's impossible to explain what happened to this team.  It's easy to see that some injuries have affected them, but the team's mental focus and toughness is gone.  Completely gone.  When the team gets a lead, the mindset is one of trying to hold on and survive rather than to go for the kill. 

LSU's SEC record is now 12-15, and the Tigers are in serious trouble of not even making the SEC Tournament.  Luckily for the Tigers, they play cellar dweller Mississippi State next weekend who is currently in last place in the SEC West.  The Tigers will need to win two of three in order to have a chance at making it to Hoover. 


In case you missed the Twitter update on Friday, St. Augustine offensive lineman Trai Turner committed to LSU.  Turner is a big-time prospect who plays tackle for St. Aug but will likely play guard in college.   Turner is 6'5" 340 pounds and moves extremely well.  He also plays defensive tackle for St. Aug and looks like a legitimate prospect on that side of the ball. 

Turner chose LSU over offers from Nebraska, Florida State, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Stanford, Tennessee, and others. 

Thursday, May 13, 2010

LSU Completes Spring Conditioning



LSU completed their spring conditioning program, and they put up some impressive numbers according to LSU.   That article is definitely worth a read.  Some highlights:

Running back Mike Ford stood out with the team's highest vertical leap (42") and second highest bench press (425 pounds). 

Defensive tackle Drake Nevis (pictured) led the team in bench press (475 pounds), Jerk (396 pounds), and Clean (374 pounds), which was a school record that he tied with P.J. Lonergan.  He was tied for second on the team in squat (535 pounds). 

Cornerback Patrick Peterson stands out, leading the team with a hand-timed 4.20 in the 40 yard dash and surprisingly ranking second on the team in the squat at 535 pounds.  He was also third on the team in the vertical leap at 39" 

Other notables are listed in the article. 

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Bradley Sylve Commits To Alabama; Fleming Gets LSU Offer



South Plaquemines wide receiver Bradley Sylve committed to Alabama on Wednesday.  I have Sylve ranked as the seventh prospect in the state of Louisiana.  Sylve has serious speed in the category of Devery Henderson or Skyler Green and looks like a future impact player as a slot receiver and kick returner. 

For much of the last year, Sylve has thought to be a heavy lean to LSU.  But Alabama recruited him hard and convinced him that he could play earlier at Alabama than he could at LSU.  His commitment Wednesday came as a big surprise.  

While many LSU fans will rationalize this and say that maybe LSU did not want Sylve or that losing him is not a big deal, I can assure you that LSU did want him and that losing him is a serious kick in the man-parts.

LSU lost Trovon Reed out of Thibodaux last year and has, for now, lost a top player from South Plaquemines.  Both are traditionally LSU strong holds and while I hate to say that a trend is is.  Reason to be concerned?  You bet. 

The good news is that Sylve won't sign anywhere until February, and you can bet that Frank Wilson and LSU's staff will continue to recruit him hard.  He'll likely receive quite a bit of local pressure to stay home and play for the Tigers.

In other news, Benton high school safety T.K. Fleming received an offer from LSU.  Fleming has good size at 6'3" 200 pounds and just won the state championship in both long jump and triple jump.  Obviously, Fleming is an outstanding overall athlete.  He also holds offers from Nebraska, Tennessee, UCLA, Mississippi State, Oklahoma State, and Louisville among others.  I think LSU moves to the top of his list now that they have offered. 

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Southern Pigskin: LSU Wide Receiver Tradition In Good Hands


I've got a new piece up on Southern Pigskin about the wide receiver tradition at LSU. 

Check it out here

A Look Into The Future For LSU Baseball



While I made it clear in my last post that I'm not giving up on the 2010 LSU Baseball team, I thought we'd take a quick look ahead to 2011.  Who is leaving?  Who is staying?  What new players can make a difference? 

Obviously, the seniors have to leave so we'll have to say goodbye to Blake Dean, Matt Gaudet, and Paul Bertuccini. 

If a player enrolls in college, they must play three years of college baseball before being eligible for the Major League draft.  Therefore we know that LSU will return the following players: 

Mikie Mahtook (So)
Austin Nola (So)
Tyler Hanover (So)
Trey Watkins (So)
Grant Dozar (So)
Johnny Dishon (So)
Matty Ott (So)
Chris Matulis (So)
Joey Bourgeois (So)
Shane Riedie (So)
Alex Edward (Fr)
Mason Katz (Fr)
Wet Delatte (Fr)
Beau Didier (Fr)
Matt Fury (Fr)
Jordan Rittiner (Fr)
Zach Lasuzzo (Fr)
Forrest Garrett (Fr)
Chris Cotton (Fr)
Michael Reed (Fr)

Some of LSU's juniors are highly regarded by Major League Scouts and may be leaving LSU's team as well.  Heading into the season, Anthony Ranaudo was a candidate to be the #1 overall pick in this summer's draft.  Even though Ranaudo has not had the season we have all hoped for, he'll still be a high first round pick. 

Micah Gibbs and Leon Landry (pictured) are also considered high round draft picks and will most likely not return to LSU's team next year.  If either of them do return, it will be a most pleasant surprise.

Pitcher Austin Ross is another guy that the scouts have their eye on.  Despite the fact that Ross hasn't enjoyed any consistent success at the college level, he's got great "stuff" and can top 90 MPH with his fastball.  For that reason, some team will likely take a chance on him in hopes they can coach up his raw skills.  This site projects Ross as a sixth round draft pick, which is a bit of a surprise to me.  If Ross goes anywhere in the Top 10 rounds, he'll probably leave. 

Other juniors on the team will likely return.  They are:

Daniel Bradshaw (Jr)
Kyle Koeneman (Jr)
Mitch Mormann (Jr)
Ben Alsup (Jr)

LSU has a number of high profile incoming freshmen that will get drafted at some point.  It's obviously in LSU's best interest for them to go as late as possible in order to increase their chances of showing up at LSU.  Here are some to watch in the early rounds:

P Kevin Gausman (CO) - Likely 1st or 2nd Round Pick
Chances to come to LSU:  Doubtful

P Cameron Bedrosian (GA) - Likely Top 5 Round Pick
Chances to come to LSU:  Doubtful

INF Delino Deshields Jr. (GA) - Likely Top 5 Round Pick
Chances to come to LSU:  Doubtful

P Zach Lee (TX) - Likely Top 10 Round Pick - Football could scare teams away
Chances to come to LSU:  Average

OF Austin Southall (University High) - Likely Top 10 Round Pick
Chances to come to LSU:  Average

INF Jacoby Jones (MS) - Likely Top 2 Round Pick
Chances to come to LSU:  Doubtful

INF Garin Cecchini (Barbe HS) - Likely Top 10 Round Pick
Chances to come to LSU:  Average

If any of those guys make it to LSU, they'll likely be in the mix next season.  Here is a list of the remainder of new incoming players:

P Kurt McCune (Destrehan HS)
P Nick Rumbelow (TX)
INF Joe Broussard (Holy Cross HS)
P Josh Burris (Scotlandville HS)
P Mitch Hopkins (LSU Eunice)
INF Ryan Eades (Northshore HS)
INF Kevin Koziol (IL)
OF Marcus Davis (OH)
OF Lucas Leblanc (Delgado)
C Jackson Slaid (Lakeside HS)
C Tyler Ross (FL)

Another guy to consider is incoming freshman running back Spencer Ware, who is an outstanding baseball prospect as well.  Back in July, I wrote a little bit about Ware and his baseball ability. 

Here is one good article about LSU's signing class. 

As the draft approaches, I'll do my best to keep tabs on the draft stock of everyone of interest to LSU.  This post should give us a good starting point.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Slant Gets A New Look; Not Giving Up On Baseball


I'm sure you have noticed that the site has a new look today.  In efforts to continually improve, I've given the old girl a few upgrades.  The new look is a lot cleaner and makes for an overall better impression.  The biggest functional change is that all of the links to the recruiting pages are now along the top of the site rather than on the side. 

You'll also notice some links at the top for "Roster Breakdown By Class" which is a feature I hope to have up and running soon.  I'll of course let you know it's ready. 

In the meantime, feel free to let me know what you think about the new look.  Anyone is always welcome to hit the "Comments" feature on each post and leave some feedback.  Also feel free to let me know if you've got any ideas for any features or articles that the site currently lacks.  You're always welcome to shoot me an e-mail at


LSU lost two of three to Vanderbilt last weekend and has now lost three consecutive series.  As a result, their league record is now a pedestrian 12-12.  The pitching staff is inconsistent.  Staff ace Anthony Ranaudo can't get going.  The hitters leave too many runners on base.  Lastly, the lineup, regardless of who is playing on a particular day, has holes. 

Having said all that, I'm not ready to give up on this LSU Baseball team. Why do I continue to hold out hope?

Left-fielder and leadoff hitter Trey Watkins may return to the lineup this weekend.  His presence will allow Mikie Mahtook to slide back down the batting order.  Mahtook is one of LSU's best players, but he has a big swing and strikes out a bit too much for a leadoff hitter.  Having him back at the 5 or 6 hole again will benefit LSU a great deal, especially if Watkins can pick up where he left off before his injury. 

Over the last two weeks, left fielder Alex Edward has been hitting the ball well and when Watkins returns, he'll reportedly move to third base to try and fill a hole there. 

I still have a feeling that Ranaudo is going to find his groove at this point.  However, he needs to find it soon since only two weekends remain in the regular season. 

Both Jordan Rittiner and Austin Ross had good starts for LSU last weekend. 

Could the dominos start to fall in LSU's favor?  It's a lot of "ifs" but I'm not ruling out the possibility that LSU get hot down the stretch.  16 teams are going to host Regionals and at this point, it doesn't look like LSU will be one of them. But I can promise you that none of the 16 regional hosts want to see LSU in their bracket.


Some rumors are circulating that St. Augustine High School teammates Trai Turner and Renaldo Thomas are planning to commit to LSU soon.  It's not breaking news that LSU leads for both guys, but it would be nice to get them on board.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Baseball Hosts Vandy



LSU faces Vanderbilt this weekend in the most pivotal series of the weekend.  The Dores have a solid 10-9 SEC record.  As usual, Vanderbilt has an outstanding pitching staff, and they lead the SEC with a 3.31 ERA.  That compares to 5.40 for LSU.  

Vandy is no slouch at the plate either with a team batting average of .317, good for fourth in the league.  They also lead the league in on base percentage. However, Vanderbilt doesn't hit a lot of home runs.  In fact, they rank last in the SEC in with only 36 round trippers on the season.  So while a lot of people get on base, they stay away from the big inning.  That should prevent Vanderbilt from jumping out to a big lead. 

While LSU and Vanderbilt match up well on paper, I get the sense that this series has everything to do with LSU and how they respond after losing six straight games.  With their backs against the wall and their season on the line, it's gut-check time.  Will LSU fold if they face some adversity?  Or will they respond and come out swinging?  My bet is on the latter. 


As high schools across the country begin their spring practices, college coaches are hitting the road and attending as many as possible to evaluate prospects.  A number of schools will be issuing new offers right now.  Otherwise, recruiting will likely be pretty slow until the summer camp circuit heats up. 

Monday, May 3, 2010

LSU Offers OL Trai Turner



LSU offered St. Augustine high school offensive lineman Trai Turner on Monday, becoming the 26th school to do so.  Turner also holds offers from Arkansas, Nebraska, Michigan, Kentucky, Mississippi State, Stanford, and Tennessee among others.   I've got Turner ranked #15 on my state rankings, a couple of spots ahead of current LSU commitment Corey White.  I'm very glad that LSU has offered Turner.  In any other year, he'd be a lock to be a Top-10 player in state. 

Turner plays right tackle for St. Aug, but he could certainly move inside and play guard at the next level and that's where most project him. Turner has huge size at 6'5" 335 pounds but he carries his weight well and is quick on his feet. 

It will be interesting to see how LSU finishes up their OL class.  LSU has two commitments already on board, and it's tough to imagine them taking more than two more.  There is no question that LSU badly wants Thibodaux's Greg Robinson.  LSU has also been heavily recruiting Mississippi's James Maiden, and it seems that Maiden is even favoring the Tigers.  But now with an offer in hand, Turner has to be considered a lean to LSU as well.  It's a good problem to have.  Here is some film of Turner: 

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Baseball Loses Seventh Straight; Football and Recruiting Notes



Florida swept LSU this weekend, and the Tigers have now lost seven games in a row.  The team is not pitching well.  They are not hitting well.  And they are not running the bases well.  They are in a funk, and I suspect they are going to snap out of it pretty soon.  Paul Maineri's teams typically bounce back from adversity like this.   Unfortunately, this particluar slump has killed any chance LSU had of earning a Top 8 national seed.  If the season ended today, LSU would probably not even host a Regional. 

Coach Maineri tried to shake things up by starting Matty Ott on Sunday, but Ott got roughed up pretty bad.  I suspect Ott will return to the bullpen next weekend. 

So what is wrong with the team?  LSU was very successful in close games earlier in the season.  Lately, the Tigers have been on the wrong end of most of those games.  What has changed? 

Since Trey Watkins went out with an injury, the lineup has been unsettled and just hasn't felt right.  Also, Anthony Ranaudo's injury earlier in the season has set him back and he hasn't been fully comfortable yet.  Those two things stand out as the biggest contributing factors to LSU losing three of their last four SEC series.  The good news is that Watkins should return to the lineup before the end of the season and perhaps his return will spark the offense heading into the post season.  I'm also quite confident that Anthony Ranaudo will soon regain the form of one of the nation's top pitchers. 

LSU now sits at fourth place in the SEC West; however, they are only three games out of first place.  LSU has three SEC series remaining on the schedule.  They play Vanderbilt at home, then travel to Lexington to play Kentucky before returning home to face Mississippi State.  All three teams are behind LSU in the SEC standings.  LSU faces Southeastern at the Box on Tuesday. 


Jackass Season has reared its ugly head.  Backup center T-Bob Hebert was arrested Saturday morning for DWI.  Coach Miles has not made any statements about Hebert's arrest, and it's unclear what his future will be on the team. 

Several sites have reported that incoming freshman Tyrann Mathieu is now fully academically qualfied.  A few other incoming freshmen still have some work to do.  I'm not certain, but I believe that Brandon Worle, Alfred Blue, and Jahkari Gore are still working to be eligible. 


Klein Oak (TX) High school teammates Nathan Hughes and Max Stevenson both announced verbal commitments to Oklahoma over the weekend.  LSU was recruiting both players and had offered both guys. 

According to, LSU has offered West Palm Beach quarterback Jacoby Brissett.  Brissett has great size at 6'5" 235 pounds and is on's 250 Watch List.


Saturday Night Slant - LSU Sports & Recruiting