BATON ROUGE, La. — The LSU basketball team plays its last SEC road game for more than two weeks tonight when it heads to Fayetteville to face the Arkansas Razorbacks.
LSU (9-8, 1-5 SEC) has lost four games in a row and six of its last seven after starting off the season 8-2. Over those first 10 games of the season, LSU’s opponents averaged 70.3 points per game, but since then LSU’s defense has devolved, allowing 89.9 points per game and more than 75 points in every contest.
And while the offense isn’t quite there either (the team is shooting 43 percent from the field over its last seven games), LSU basketball coach Johnny Jones isn’t particularly frustrated with his team’s performance. This is because he hasn’t seen any quit in his players.
“It doesn’t happen overnight; it’s a process that you have to go through,” Jones said. “We felt like from earlier games when guys got down to questioning themselves and wasn’t as confident and sure of themselves, you saw that same group fight back last night. They played with more of an edge and gave us a chance.”
What Jones is referring to is LSU’s comeback attempt in the Tigers’ 78-74 loss Wednesday to Auburn. LSU trailed Auburn by as many as 15 points in the second half, but clawed back to cut the lead to two points with less than a minute remaining. Still, Auburn ultimately prevailed.
LSU is getting closer, but it’s not quite there yet. But that doesn’t mean that Jones is feeling the pressure, even though the heat under his seat is certainly rising.
“I don’t really think about that, I think about our next game with preparation for our players,” Jones said. “Years that we’ve had success right off the bat like last year beating Vanderbilt and Kentucky, I didn’t come back after starting 2-0 thinking we had hung the moon and that we had arrived or anything of that nature. I don’t think it does myself, the team, the staff, or anybody any good to worry about anything farther than that.”
LSU basketball tonight
Projected starting 5
LSU at Arkansas
When: 8:30 p.m. ET
Where: Bud Walton Arena, Fayetteville, Ark.
Watch: SEC Network
Listen: LSU Sports Radio Network and 98.1 FM Baton Rouge