LSU basketball hasn’t received proper respect so far this season.
The Tigers are currently ranked No. 12 in the AP Top 25.
And they only managed to get that high after beating two ranked teams (Kentucky and Tennessee) in the same week.
But that No. 12 ranking isn’t high enough. This is a team that has the potential to make a deep NCAA Tournament run. And the Tigers showed that on Wednesday night in their grind-it-out 64-58 win against the Florida Gators in Gainesville.
LSU basketball made a statement with their win against Florida
LSU didn’t play that great against Florida on Wednesday night.
The Tigers had five fewer offensive rebounds than Florida and two more turnovers than the Gators.
LSU also committed 21 fouls compared to Florida’s 10 fouls.
All of that while playing without starting point guard Xavier Pinson, who missed the game due to a knee injury (that he suffered in the Tigers’ win against Kentucky).
This was one of those mid-January trap games that programs often lose. Everything was working against LSU.
The Tigers, however, found a way to win. They fought hard and managed to leave Gainesville with the W.
“We had lineups out there we had never practiced with and our guys just found a way,” said head coach Will Wade after the game (via 247Sports). “We were just relentless tracking the rim…That’s a really great win, especially basically playing without Pinson, Eason, and Efton tonight.”
This is the type of win that shows the true character of a team. These Tigers aren’t going down easy in any game. They’re not going to “take a night off” when hit with adversity. That’s a sign of a team with Final Four potential. And I definitely believe LSU has Final Four potential, despite what the AP voters think.
Winning a game like this in January is going to prepare the Tigers for the inevitably tough games in March.
By the way, a cool moment from this game — LSU forward Darius Days, who is from Raleigh, FL (just 30 minutes from Gainesville), led the Tigers in scoring with 20 points in front of his hometown crowd.