BATON ROUGE, La. — After an offseason where improving on defense was the first, last and only objective, the first half of LSU’s 91-69 win over Wofford was discouraging. But in the second half, that focus showed through.
Jones’s Tigers held Wofford to a 21.2 percent shooting performance from the field in the second half, regaining the lead after trailing for most of the first half and turning what looked like it was going to be a close game into a blowout.
Here’s what Jones had to say about how his team performed after the game:
- We knew coming into this afternoon’s game that we would have a very tough challenge in front of us. They’re one of the most deliberate and patient teams out there. First half I thought that was on display the way they executed offensively. I thought they did a great job of making plays in the first half.
- I’m really proud of how the guys hung in there offensively. We had to make some big plays there which Aaron Epps did making some 3-pointers. We got off to a great start in the second half not looking back. This is a new chapter. It’s a journey. I thought they did a good job of getting off to a good start this afternoon.
- We talked about it at halftime, but it was really staying connected and realizing that those guys are going to make shots. I thought our guys did a much better job of working extremely hard. As the game played out, I think we wore them down and they weren’t as quick to get off their screens. Our guys did a good job of staying after them defensively.
- They only made one 3-pointer in the second half. That was huge for us. I think to limit their looks and put the type of pressure on them to get to the screens, I think we did a much better job of rebounding. Only holding them to 20-something percent shooting in the second half was huge for us. Any time you allow them to control the tempo, they’re comfortable.
- It’s huge for us. I think those guys, they’ve continued to grow and I’m glad our guys had an opportunity to see them. Mays having six assists and no turnovers, that was huge for us. He did a great job of coming off screens and handling it well and being able to score. I thought Duop played well and I thought Sims did a good job of staying steady for us. I was really pleased with the new guys.
- Skylar is a smart player. Really nice basketball IQ. We can really execute our offense when he has the ball. He’s only a freshman but he doesn’t play like it.
- I thought [Jalyn] did a great job in the first half and second half. He really turned the tempo of the game. I thought he did a good job of creating a lot more tempo for us early in the second half.
- The shot just didn’t go down for Blakeney. I told him he’ll have these nights. But if we can put up 90-something points against an opponent like that, that’s a good sign for us. He and Sampson didn’t shoot the ball well, but I’m impressed with the defensive effort.
- I think the balance across the board if you see Duop and Sims and Epps, when you can make plays like that, it’s huge for us. I think it makes it difficult for our opponents. People are going to try to take Tone away. If he’s a willing passer and we can score like that the opponents are going to have to adjust their defense.
- Craig is certainly going to give us another dimension when he comes back. He’s a good passer from the elbow in. But I think it allows us to play even faster [without him] because we have a number of guys who can do that. I think Sims being able to step out and hit the big 3s like he did tonight, when Craig comes back that’ll be good for us.
- I like our rotation [of points guards] and love what both of those guys will bring.