LSU Basketball: Could the SEC West be easier for Tigers next season?

LSU Basketball
LSU Basketball /

The Indiana Hoosiers fired head coach Archie Miller on Monday and it could end up benefitting LSU basketball.

Miller is out at Indiana after going 12-15 this season.

In Miller’s four seasons as the Hoosiers’ head coach, the program never reached the NCAA Tournament.

At a program as prestigious as Indiana, that’s a quick way to get fired.

The Hoosiers will obviously be looking for a new head coach with an impressive resume.

And this is where LSU could benefit from Indiana’s decision to fire Miller.

Could Indiana swipe the head coach of one of LSU basketball’s rivals?

The Tigers came within two points of winning the SEC Tournament this past weekend.

LSU lost 80-79 to Alabama in the championship game on Sunday. It was the Crimson Tide’s third win against the Tigers this season.

Those three losses against Alabama likely kept LSU from being a four or five seed in the NCAA Tournament (the Tigers are an eight seed in the East Region).

And unfortunately for LSU, it could be more of the same in the coming years.

Alabama looks like it’s set up to be a force in the SEC for the foreseeable future under head coach Nate Oats.

Oats took over as the Alabama head coach before the 2019-20 season. In Oats’ first season at the helm, the Tide showed improvement and finished the season with a 16-15 record.

This past season, Alabama finished 24-6 and won the SEC Tournament.

That doesn’t happen by accident. Oats is the real deal. And Alabama is going to be a problem as long as he’s in Tuscaloosa.

But let’s be honest — Alabama isn’t a destination job. Someone like Oats probably isn’t going to retire from Bama.

And that’s where Indiana comes into play.

Indiana is a dream job for a lot of basketball coaches. Oats doesn’t have any obvious Indiana connections, but he’s from the midwest (Wisconsin) and he’s spent time in Michigan as a high school coach. I don’t think there’s any doubt that Indiana is a more attractive job for Oats than Alabama.

Indiana, of course, has to want Oats. I’m sure there will be no shortage of interest in the job.

Will Oats be at the top of their list?

It’s hard to imagine that he won’t be after what he’s accomplished at Alabama.

Next. LSU should be a lock to land 2023 ATH. dark

LSU’s plenty capable of competing against an Oats-led Alabama team, but it would sure be a lot easier if he wasn’t in the SEC anymore.

Maybe Indiana will make that happen.