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LSU’s Johnson Thinks His Guys Know To Take UGA Seriously

With a three-game win streak, LSU’s basketball team has inserted itself into a few “bubble watch” conversations.  The last thing Trent Johnson’s squad needs now is to suffer a home upset at the hands of Georgia… a team that won at Mississippi State 11 days ago.  Johnson believes his team understands what’s at stake:

 

“(Georgia is) young. They’re talented. They’re skilled. Probably, more importantly, they’re playing extremely hard. We understand, I don’t think I have to talk to my guys about what’s in front of us…

(LSU forward) Storm (Warren) said it best: ‘We don’t want to slip up again.’ He’s been in some situations where he doesn’t want to go back. Last year and the year before there was some slipping.

The bottom line is you know what you need to do, what you’re capable of doing. Players make plays. Teams win games. Don’t let anything on the outside, selfishness within in us, don’t let anyone step out of character. Let’s continue to rely on and trust each other and let the chips fall where they may.”

 

LSU enters the game at 16-10 with a 6-6 league mark and an RPI of 65.  Those are NIT numbers for sure, but if the Tigers can win out against UGA, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Auburn — unlikely, but – they could play themselves into the NCAA at-large mix.  Step One: Beat Georgia.

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LSU Upsets #10 Marquette

Don’t look now, but the LSU Tigers might have bigger teeth than anyone imagined.

Last night, Trent Johnson’s team won its fifth-straight game, upsetting #10 Marquette 67-59 in Baton Rouge.  “Obviously, there is a level of excitement in that locker room,” the coach said afterward.  “We beat a pretty good basketball team… I don’t want to get into the last couple of years.  But will it give them confidence?  It should.  This team is growing.”

No wonder Johnson doesn’t want to talk about the last couple of years.  Those back-to-back seasons of 11-20 and 11-21 have landed the coach on a very hot seat in his fourth year on the Bayou.  This win was LSU first over a ranked foe since a win over Butler in the NCAA Tournament in 2009.  The Tigers hadn’t beaten a ranked team at home since John Brady’s tenure back in 2007.

Johnson and his players credited a rowdy crowd afterward.

“This game shows us that the work we’ve put in and our dedication and commitment that we have to each other and on our defense pays off,” forward Storm Warren said.

LSU has now won five games in a row to improve to 8-4 on the season.  But the Tigers are still a long way from becoming NCAA tourney contenders.  “I don’t want to take away from the guys’ excitement and enjoyment, but it’s one win,” Johnson said.

One win that Johnson desperately needed.

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LSU Hoops Headed To Italy

LSU basketball coach Trent Johnson is packing his team up and taking them on a roundball tour of Italy.  From the sound of it, the six-game, 11-day exhibition tour will have more to do with hoops than it does education and sightseeing.

“The NCAA rule says you can play six games, but we can practice as much as we want,” Johnson told The Baton Rouge Advocate.  “We don’t have to tour The Vatican.  We can get our cultural experience somewhere else if they don’t win that first game.”

Nice.

“(Justin Hamilton, Storm Warren and Malcolm White) are going to get maximum minutes.  I’m going to play them until they drop.”

Johnson hopes the international trip will help his team build on a pair of 11-20 seasons.  “There hasn’t been a team that has gone overseas that hasn’t come back and had a better year.  With this team specifically, it couldn’t come at a better time.”

LSU’s fourth-year coach needs wins next year or it could be arrivederci to him at next season’s end.

And if you thought I’d let the chance to play Dean Martin on this site pass… well, you don’t know me very well.



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SEC Headlines – 3/2/11 Part Three

1.  Auburn’s got to find some offense tonight against Ole Miss.

2.  Despite AU’s bad season, attendance at the new Auburn Arena has been pretty good on most nights.

3.  The Alabama basketball team needs to hope members of the tournament selection committee don’t get ESPNU.

4.  Tony Mitchell suffered a bruised elbow on a hard fall last night, but he’s expected to be back in action Saturday against Georgia.

5.  Arkansas has been getting some improved play from its seniors in recent games.

6.  John Pelphrey needs to show this week that his team is making progress.

7.  LSU will look to take carry over some momentum at Georgia tonight.

8.  UGA’s Mark Fox credits Trent Johnson for helping his career… and introducing him to his wife.

9.  Storm Warren is coming on strong with 38 points in his last two games for the Tigers.

10.  Ex-LSU cornerback/return man Patrick Peterson turned heads at the NFL combine.

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LSU’s Turner And Warren Exchange Boots

LSU has gotten some good news and some bad news on the injury front heading into this week’s SEC action.  Leading scorer Ralston Turner is out of his walking boot for the first time since suffering a stress fracture four games ago. 

Obviously, that’s the good news… even though he’s not expected to play until this weekend against Alabama.

“He’s out of the boot,” said Tiger coach Trent Johnson.  “And Storm’s back in.  We’ve got a lot of boots.”

Storm is Storm Warren.  Warren has been dealing with an Achilles injury and he “has taken a step back.”  He is listed as questionable for tomorrow night’s game at Tennessee.

Turner has averaged 13.7 points per game in 15 contests this season.  Warren has averaged 6.6 points in 13 games.

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Men’s Hoops Shoots Past Houston, 73-57

BATON ROUGE – Ralston Turner, Storm Warren and Andre Stringer each tallied double figures as the LSU men's basketball team connected for a 50 shooting clip to claim a 73-57 victory over Houston Tuesday at the Maravich Center.
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Men’s Hoops Shoots Past Houston, 73-57

BATON ROUGE – Ralston Turner, Storm Warren and Andre Springer each tallied double figures as the LSU men's basketball team connected for a 50 shooting clip to claim a 73-57 victory over Houston Tuesday at the Maravich Center.
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