No. 5 LSU Set To Host Auburn and Unveil Seimone Augustus Statue
BATON ROUGE – No. 5 LSU (17-0, 5-0 SEC) is off to its best in program history and on Sunday the Tigers will honor a member from the team who held the previous best start as Seimone Augustus is set to become the first female student-athlete from LSU with her own statue before LSU’s game against Auburn (10-6, 0-4 SEC).
“So many people here in Baton Rouge have followed my career since biddy-ball days so this is a celebration for everyone, not just myself,” Augustus explained. “So many people were involved in this journey. I’m just grateful that it’s happening.”
Augustus’ statue will be unveiled in the plaza North of the PMAC and next to the LSU Gymnastics facility at 12:45 p.m. CT with the tipoff against Auburn scheduled at 2 p.m. The unveiling is open to the public.
The game will be available to watch on the SEC Network + with Lyn Rollins and Victor Howell. Augustus will join them on the streamed broadcast at halftime. Patrick Wright and Shaeeta Williams will call the game on the LSU Sports Radio Network, 107.3 FM in Baton Rouge.
Sunday will also serve as Family Day with family members from the current team in attendance. It is also LSU’s Alumni Day with nearly 100 former LSU Women’s Basketball scheduled to be in attendance.
“I expect it to be a very good crowd,” Coach Kim Mulkey said. “We have a team that is 17-0, Seimone Augustus’ statue unveiling, family night, alumni night. I don’t know what else we could put out there for the fans to want to want to see.”
A Baton Rouge native who attended Capitol High School where she won back-to-back state championships as a junior and senior, Augustus was the national high school player of the year with a college decision to make. She decided to stay home and play for her hometown Tigers with a team that already featured a good bit of talent, coming off a second-round appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
“To go against the grain and to bet on yourself and do it your own way, stay at home and kind of grind it out with players that I grew up playing against and with Temeka Johnson and Roneeka Hodges, I just felt like the things they were doing (at LSU) resonated most with me,” Augustus said. “Being at home, it gave my family, my friends, my supporters another four years to really let me become who I needed to become to then go out into the world and accomplish things that were even greater than what I was able to do here.”
Augustus was a freshman in 2002-03 when the Tigers started 15-0 which was the previous best start in program history. The Baton Rouge native Augustus won National Freshman of the Year and then went on to be named National Player of the Year twice, also leading LSU to three straight final fours.
A generational player who made a transformational impact on LSU Women’s Basketball, Augustus took the program to new heights. The Tigers never went to a Final Four before Augustus, but she brought them to their first which started a run of five straight Final Four appearances for LSU.
“It is really hard to sum up what she means not just to our women’s basketball program, not just to our school, but the entire community,” said current LSU Associate Head Coach Bob Starkey who was also on Sue Gunter’s staff to recruit and coach Augustus. “I think Skip Bertman summed it up best when he said she was the most influential recruit in the history of Louisiana State University athletics. That’s a powerful statement, but I think it’s true.
“She changed the culture of our program by being a great competitor every single day in practice.
Augustus was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2006 WNBA draft and quickly won WNBA Rookie of the Year. She won three WNBA Championships and was the 2011 WNBA Finals MVP. On the world stage, Augustus won three Olympic Gold Medals with team USA.
This year’s LSU team is doing things that have not been done since the Seimone Augustus era. In Coach Mulkey’s second season in Baton Rouge, she has led LSU to its best start in program history as the Tigers have the highest-scoring offense in the country and have an identity featured around defense and rebounding.
The Tigers have one of the best players in the country in Angel Reese who has recorded 17 straight double doubles, an SEC record to begin a season. Sylvia Fowles holds the LSU record for most consecutive double-doubles, regardless of when they happened, with 19 in a row throughout the middle part of the 2006-07 season, but Reese is closing in quickly.
In Thursday’s win at Missouri, both Reese and LaDazhia Williams got in foul trouble early as the Tigers were left without their two starting posts for much of the second quarter. Alexis Morris was 5-5 from beyond the arc and the LSU guards made 10 three-pointers, the first time that had been done since the 2014 season.
“I expect to see man-to-man, pressure defense,” Coach Mulkey said about Auburn. “It’s not going to be easy to make that first pass to get into your offense. It’s a team that is very hungry for a win.”
Two of Auburn’s top players in in Aicha Coulibaly and Honesty Scott-Grayson have recently been battling injuries. Both of them rank inside the Top-10 in the SEC in scoring and it is unknown whether or not they will play.