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Return to the 2006-07 Top 144 Preview

November 2nd, 2006

By Joel Welser

jwelser@collegehoops.net

Broadcast Basketball

 

LSU Tigers

 

Overall Rank: #9

Conference Rank: #2 SEC

 

2005-06: 27-9, 14-2, 1st SEC West

2005-06 postseason: NCAA

 

LSU has lost two fan favorites from its Final Four team, but all the pieces are in Baton Rogue for another deep run in March.  It was the Tigers, not Florida, which had the best record in the SEC at 14-2.  Coach John Brady returns a dynamic and experienced team, but one that has two major holes to fill. 

 

Who’s Out: Tyrus Thomas left early for the NBA after averaging 12.3 points and 9.2 rebounds.  The freakishly athletic forward played a big part in getting the Tigers to the Final Four, but there are decent options ready to take over his production.  Darrel Mitchell averaged 16.8 points and a team high 4.4 assits as a senior. 

 

Who’s In: If it wasn’t for the return of Tack Minor, the loss of Mitchell would be crippling to LSU.  Minor was suspended for the fall semester last year and after three games of working his way back into the system, the point guard was injured and out for the year.  As a sophomore in 2004-2005, Minor started all 30 games averaging 10.8 points and 4.6 assists.  Terry Martin started eight games for Texas Tech as a freshman last year before opting to transfer to LSU.  The 6-6 wing is a decent outside shooter and will provide some more depth once he is eligible at the semester break.  Fellow transfer Dameon Mason is eligible to play immediately and will battle for those minutes on the wing.  The 6-5 Marquette transfer averaged 11.9 points and 5.6 rebounds as a sophomore for the Golden Eagles and is talented enough to earn a starting gig for the Tigers.  Redshirt freshman Alex Farrer will bolster the depth on the wing even more.

 

Who to Watch: Glen ‘Big Baby’ Davis is the most recognizable player at LSU since Shaq.  After averaging 18.6 points and 9.7 rebounds, the comparisons don’t end there either.  Davis decided to return for another year of fun in Baton Rogue and hopes to lead the team back to a Final Four.  Even with the absence of Thomas, the frontcourt is a dynamic group.  Tasmin Mitchell started all 36 games as a freshman and looked as poised as a senior.  Darnell Lazare is a senior and he really stepped up his game last year.  With another year of improvement, Lazare could be a sleeper.  However, with Mitchell and Davis joining him in the frontcourt, Lazare still won’t get the credit he deserves.  And Magnum Rolle can steal some of that thunder too.  Rolle gave the Tigers valuable minutes off the bench en route to the Final Four and the 6-10 shot blocker should play a bigger role this year.

 

Final Projection: Garrett Temple started 35 games as the two guard, but averaged 5.1 point per contest.  His strength is in his defense and his versatility to play the point.  Coach Brady didn’t need Temple to score last year, and won’t need him to score this year.  Ben Voogd saw limited minutes as a freshman, but will get the chance to earn more minutes this season.  The backcourt depth, and probably the starters, will come from the newcomers.  Martin and Mason are experienced, proven options and even Farrer has a year in the system.  This is an experienced team that has one senior on the roster and no scholarship true freshman.  The big question is whether or not Minor can step back into the floor leader role, but he has done it before.

 

Projected Post-season Tournament: NCAA

 

Projected Starting Five:

Tack Minor, Junior, Guard, DNP last season

Dameon Mason, Junior, Guard, 11.9 points per game (Marquette)

Tasmin Mitchell, Sophomore, Forward, 11.4 points per game

Darnell Lazare, Senior, Forward, 6.7 points per game

Glen Davis, Junior, Forward, 18.6 points per game

 

Also: Complete SEC Preview & Ranking

10 Boston College » Complete List » 8 Arizona

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