LSU Gold

Lowe: August Learning Time For LSU Basketball; With a Little Fun As Well

by Kent Lowe
Lowe: August Learning Time For LSU Basketball; With a Little Fun As Well

PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas — Hi everyone from the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas. Geaux Lowe has transferred to men’s basketball for a quick trip for some exhibition games at the home of the Battle 4 Atlantis each November.

By the way, shouldn’t I have some snorkel equipment on my face for the Geaux Lowe graphic. The underwater look is interesting to say the least. Give our creative group a chance to play and they do it.

It is interesting the number of teams here and at another resort in the Bahamas. It is proving you don’t have to go halfway across the world to play an exhibition tour. Every coach has different thoughts on planning and what they want to get out of the trip and every location is different but so far in two games, this one has had its interesting highlights and expected outcomes.

Monday LSU had to rally from seven down after three quarters and six in the final five minutes to defeat a Puerto Rico team, 86-82. LSU outscored PR, 12-2, down the stretch after being down 80-74. Even with a third quarter that LSU Coach Matt McMahon called “arguably the worst quarter in the history of Bahamas basketball,” the Tigers found a way to win and that was important in the long run.

The game reminded me very much of the opening game of the 2019 LSU tour to Spain when a very good Dominican Republic team defeated LSU in a very entertaining game, 92-88.

Both games featured the same thing – older opponents who were very basketball savvy, had a structured system and had the experience to force younger players to make mistakes. Both then and now it toughened the Tigers for what was ahead.

While Tuesday’s 120-59 win over the Bahamas club team Raw Talent Elite was much easier, you still have to make shots and execute passes on fast breaks and things like that so that was a good thing. We’ll talk players in a minute but the Tigers are playing a lot of combinations of players, more than they will play in the regular season, so it is interesting to see which combinations succeed the best in these three games.

It Is A Ballroom
A couple of people have been asking about playing the games in a ballroom of a resort and yes, it is a very large, spacious ballroom. It is the same ballroom that the Battle 4 Atlantis is played in each November on ESPN and the same one LSU played basketball in 2016 in the Battle.

The big grandstands are not all around the court as they are in November so it looks a lot more spacious. The ceiling is just as low but you can certainly lift a long shot if you need to at the buzzer.

These games seem to move so fast playing the FIBA 10-minute quarters and there is no stoppage for radio or television since there isn’t any here, so that speeds it along. A team gets two timeouts each half and like women’s basketball on the fifth foul its two free throws.

Tight Rims
The first thing that was so noticeable when we got here was when someone took the first shot in the shootaround it was a loud sound as ball hit rim and bounced a long way out. I think that is an adjustment LSU has made pretty good as the guards have posted some good rebound numbers in the first two games.

Carlos Stewart had nine boards in the opener against Puerto Rico to lead LSU, while Trae Hannibal had 10 against Raw Talent Elite.

I really am convinced these are the tightest rims I have seen LSU play with in a good while, certainly something not seen in the SEC very often.

The Players
It’s really fun to finally see these guys in game-like conditions and see what their strengths are and all have had a chance to show it in the first two games. Certainly, Tyrell Ward has played strong in both games with 37 points in the two games, while Will Baker, Hunter Dean and Daimion Collins have also had some good moments.

While we won’t get to see Derek Fountain or Jalen Cook on this trip because of injuries, it was great to see Jalen Reed get lots of time on the court on Tuesday. He was chomping at the bit to get started and he responded well in 19 minutes, hitting 4-of-8 shots to score nine points with 12 rebounds and six assists.

It has also been great to see a healthy Mwani Wilkinson out there after his shoulder surgery of a season ago. Speaking of eager to go, he knows this is a big opportunity as a healthy player that he can take advantage of.

This team is older and their basketball IQ is certainly exciting to see be developed by this coaching staff.

He’s Got A Camera!!!!
Walk-on Trace Young has a camera and if you’ve been paying attention to the LSU Basketball X/Twitter and social media sites, you’ve seen a couple episodes of his video blog.

Young got in yesterday for some three minutes of action as well.

Garrison Floyd, the crack videographer from South Stadium Productions is also along for the ride, showing his magical video touch as well (he told me to write it that way).

I, for what it is worth, am trying to keep you in tune to how the game is going despite my confusion at times with no working live stats. How did we use to do this before the live stats age came along? I’ve been here so long I’ve completely forgotten.

It’s a wonderful trip so far. The team is bonding and enjoying time exploring the resort, the beach and other areas, but they have locked in well when the time comes to play. There is a final game on Thursday at 1 p.m. CT (2 p.m. here in the Bahamas) against the Obras Sanitarias team from the area of Nunez, Argentina. Originally founded over 100 years ago as a rugby club, the team is primarily known now for its basketball team which plays in the top division of Argentina basketball system. Again, a team with guys in late 20s-mid 30s with lots of experience. Should be a good test. I’ll keep you update on our site.

Thanks for joining me for a Bahamas Geaux Lowe stopover.