LSU is saying 6-8 weeks, but ESPN is reporting Tasmin Mitchell is out for the year. Guess who I think is more reliable source? So, a season in which the Tigers were going to struggle to stay out of the SEC cellar has just gotten worse given the loss of LSU’s best player.
This leaves LSU with fundamentally a seven-man rotation, and a deeply flawed one at that. If the Maui invitational is to be any indication of the sort of team we have, it is this: a hard-working bunch who will fall just short. Anthony Randolph gives LSU a legit presence inside, even though he’s just a freshman. It will be interesting to see how the season progresses if he can hold up under all of the minutes he’s going to play. Speaking of miunutes, Marcus Thornton is going to play a lot of them. He also is going to score a lot points as the whole offense seems to go through him. Brady’s never been a great offensive mind, so expect a lot of Thornton jacking up shots with Randolph trying to get easy put-backs.
Damean Mason is the only senior in the rotation, and Nichols State was only his second game of the season. He’s a decent role player, but this is a very young team that is not going to rely on its senior for anything other than leadership. Randolph is already our best inside player and bo Spencer is already installed as the starting point guard. Our third freshman, Garett Green, is already threatening to getin the rotation and should slowly eat away at Alex Farrer’s minutes.
So where are we? The same place we always are. The freshmen look pretty good so far, but the team does not look like it can play with the top teams in the SEC on anything other than raw athleticism. The one good season in every four of John Brady’s tenure seems to hold, and by the time these guys are juniors, LSU could be really good. Heck, LSU might even be good next year with healthy Mitchell, Thornton, Temple, and Martin all in their senior years. But that’s next year.
This year is going to be ugly. The SEC may be a little down overall, so LSU has a shot at putting things together and making a run at an NCAA bid, but that’s where things look like they tap out. This is an NIT-caliber team. Which is par for the course under John Brady. He’s a year away from needing a tourney run to save his job, which he inevitably gets. When a coach does just enough to keep his job, it’s probably a sign he shouldn’t be the coach anymore, especially not the coach with the second-longest tenure in the conference. This is Brady Ball.