The LSU Tigers women’s basketball team is set to make the March Madness tournament for the second straight year. If they want to win it all, here are the three things they must do.
The LSU Tigers are headed to March Madness with hopes of winning the first National Championship in program history. Head coach Kim Mulkey has three national titles under her belt and is looking to add her first in her home state of Louisiana. Many people will count LSU out due to their weak strength of schedule, but DVV believes they can cut down the nets in Dallas. Here’s how LSU can prove the doubters wrong.
1. Build Momentum in the First Two Rounds
The LSU Tigers are in a prime position to beat down a pair of lower-seeded teams to begin March Madness. LSU must start fast and build momentum during such rounds to make a run at the championship.
The Tigers are likely a 2-seed in their region of the tournament bracket. As a second seed, LSU will face off against the 15-seed in round one and the 7- or 10-seed in round two. If Angel Reese and the offense can start clicking, the Tigers should sail smoothly out of Baton Rouge and onto the Sweet 16.
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2. Get Alexis Morris Rolling Offensively
It’s no secret that Angel Reese has been one of the most dominant players in basketball this season. LSU’s opponents will focus their defense on denying her the ball in the paint. If Alexis Morris and others can get in a groove, it’ll cause teams to respect the Tigers’ shooters and open up the offense.
Alexis Morris is the key to opening up LSU’s offense
Alexis Morris is the key to opening up LSU’s offense. Morris started the season slowly, but since February, she has been averaging 18.8 PPG and 1.6 3PM. If she starts heating up from beyond the arc, it’ll force the defense to respect the outside shot, opening lanes inside for Angel Reese.
3. Dethrone the Defending Champions
South Carolina is far and away the favorite to win the women’s National Championship this year. However, if LSU wants to win the Championship, they will need a whole new game plan for their eventual matchup with the Gamecocks.
The Tigers got bullied in their first matchup against South Carolina, losing 88-64. So in a potential rematch, LSU must start from scratch on how they’ll attack South Carolina. The first step is to find ways to get Angel Reese the ball. Reese averaged 23.4 PPG and 15.6 RPG this year but was limited to 16 points in LSU’s first matchup. Moreover, nine of Reese’s points against South Carolina were in the fourth quarter while down double digits.
LSU ranks No. 2 in the nation in rebound margin, only behind South Carolina. It proved evident in game one when the Gamecocks won the rebound battle 45-23. Perhaps, more alarming was that South Carolina prevented Angel Reese from hauling in a single offensive board. The only other time this occurred was during her freshman season in a game against Towson, where she played three minutes.
Reese will have to be more physical in the paint and find her shooters when the defense collapses on her inside. If Alexis Morris and Flau’jae Johnson can knock down a few threes, the Tigers will have a legitimate chance of knocking off the Queens of college basketball.