Avenging South Carolina's win earlier in the season in Baton Rouge, the LSU Tigers rode a dominant second half to a comfortable win this evening in Colonial Life Arena. LSU forward Johnny O'Bryant scored 30 and had 10 rebounds, registering one of the more impressive SEC performances I've seen this season. On the other side, the Gamecocks again struggled offensively, going 18-64 from the floor for a sub .300 shooting percentage.
The game was another case study in how hard it is to win consistently at this level with an undersized lineup. LSU has a 7'3 center and frequently had three players in the game at 6'8 or taller. Unsurprisingly, the Tigers won the battle on the boards, were very successful at altering our shots, and completely dominated offensively around the basket.
Of course, a scrappier version of the Gamecocks managed to beat this same LSU team in Baton Rouge earlier in the season. What's changed is that the Gamecocks have lost a handful of games in the interim and have more or less given up on the season. Frank Martin's damning post-game press conference conceded what we've been fearing for the past few games. There are probably going to be a handful of players who are going to be forced out at the end of the season to make room for new recruits. Those guys know it, and they're playing like it.
Which is another way of saying that it's probably time to say, wait 'til next year! Hope for the best this season, but expect the worst.