SEC BASKETBALL PREVIEW: The Louisiana State Tigers

Ronald Dupree dunks. (AP/Dave Martin)

This is the next in our continuing preview of the 2002-03 SEC Men's basketball season. Today, hoops expert VeeMan gives us a preview of the LSU Tigers.

Returning Players

                    MIN  PPG  %FG  %3P  %FT  REB AST

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Ronald Dupree Sr    1203 16.2 45.2 28.7 55.9 290  73

Torris Bright Sr    1162 13.4 43.4 39.4 70.9 129 129

Antonio Hudson So    957 10.3 43.1 38.7 65.9 113  53

Brad Bridgewater Sr  781  6.7 54.7 ---  47.5 133  12

Collis Temple Sr     592 13.4 43.0 37.5 81.7 126  47

Charlie Thompson Jr  345  1.5 36.0 41.2 91.7  18  38

Thomas Davis Sr      285  4.1 54.7 ---  63.2  60   6

Xavier Whipple So    104  0.8 33.3 16.7 60.0  11  12 

 

Players Lost

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Jermaine Williams    995  5.9 48.5 27.3 88.5 155  87

Jason Wilson         301  1.7 42.9 ---  45.2  61   4

Juemichael Young      76  1.8 38.1 28.6 37.5   7   3 

New Players and Rank in PrepStars

Jaime Lloreda 6'8" Junior (#5 in junior college)

Tim Bush 6'6" Freshman (#240)

Darrel Mitchell 5'11" Freshman (unranked)

Tony Gipson 6'2" Sophomore (top 100 in junior college)

Milton Ambres 6'6" Freshman (unranked)

Shawnson Johnson 6'9" Junior (ineligible in 2001-2002)

Courtney Trask 6'3" Junior (transfer from Memphis) 

Strengths

(1) All five starters (Brad Bridgewater, 6'8"; Ronald Dupree, 6'6"; Torris Bright, 6'4"; Collis Temple, 6'7"; Antonio Hudson, 6'4") and two key reserves (Charlie Thompson, 6'1"; Thomas Davis, 6'8") return, providing good experience.

(2) Dupree is one of the best players in the SEC and is strong in all phases of the game except free-throw shooting.

(3) Bright, Hudson, Temple, and Mitchell will provide good outside shooting.

(4) Lloreda, a native of Panama, should step right into the starting lineup, and is likely to be one of the best newcomers in the SEC.

(5) PrepStars rated the crop of LSU newcomers as #36 (not including Shawnson Johnson who had to sit out last season, and transfer Trask), probably on the premise that Lloreda will have an immediate impact. 

Weaknesses

(1) The 2002-2002 team was very poor in free-throw shooting and the best shooter (Jermaine Williams) is gone.

(2) Point guard Torris Bright turns the ball over a lot and his assists to turnover ratio was barely better than 1:1 last season. Transfer Courtney Trask might press Bright for playing time, but he left Memphis under a cloud and might prove to be more of a problem than an asset.

(3) Wing player Collis Temple is injury prone and missed 13 games last season. His bad knee may not hold up well. 

Keys

(1) Temple's knee is obviously one of the keys as he is both a good shooter and rebounder. (2) The team had some really poor rebounding games last year. There is better size now including: Johnson, Bush and Lloreda (both 240 lbs), Dupree, and Davis, but rebounding is still a questionmark. (3) The free-throw shooters must do better. (4) Someone will have to step up and replace best defender Jermaine Williams. 

Near Certainties

(1) Head Coach John Brady will get the most out of his players. (2) Hudson will develop into one of the best players in the conference before he finishes his eligibility. 

Prospects for 2002-2003

LSU had a credible 19-15 record last year, went to the NIT and beat Iowa before losing to Ball State. The Tigers should finish fourth in the SEC West and make the NIT field again, where they might make a run for the championship (as South Carolina did last year). 

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