NASHVILLE – The baffling mystery that is LSU basketball’s season hit a new low on Saturday.
The Tigers, a team with the likely No. 1 overall pick in this year’s NBA draft, scored just 13 points in the first half of its SEC semifinal against Texas A&M.
Yes, 13 points. And at halftime of what might be star Ben Simmons’ final game, LSU trailed 35-13.
LSU head coach Johnny Jones has been criticized often this season for not getting enough out of a team led by Simmons, perhaps the best player in the country. He tried to answer those critics on Friday afternoon.
And then … this.
The gory stats: LSU committed 11 turnovers, shot 21 percent from the field, including 1-for-11 from beyond the arc, and had — wait, this deserves it’s own paragraph:
LSU actually didn’t start that badly, leading 8-3 a few minutes into the game. But it took until the 7:31 mark to get to 10 points, and it finished the half by going 1-for-16 from the field.
Jones finally called timeout at the 4:02 mark, as his team had missed 12 straight field goals. He also put back in Simmons, who had sat three-plus minutes after picking up his second foul.
It didn’t work. LSU’s next few possessions included a bad pass, a 3-pointer that didn’t hit the rim, and a carry. And, by the way, Simmons picked up his third foul.
The scoreless drought, which lasted more than six minutes, finally ended on a 3. No more points came in the half, however.
This is potentially also Simmons’ final game at LSU, as the Tigers (19-13 heading into Saturday) might not receive an NIT bid. Barring a very improbable second-half comeback, this will not be the way to go out.