Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Three-Feat Puts LSU Back in Race

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Three-Feat Puts LSU Back in Race

Article excerpt

Byline: Michael DiRocco, Times-Union sports writer

John Brady knows it can't last, but he's certainly going to get as much from LSU's amazing streak of outside shooting while it does.

The Tigers have roared back into the SEC West race by shattering school records for 3-pointers in back-to-back games, and that's put them in the best position of any of the SEC's bubble teams for the NCAA Tournament. After a 1-6 league start, the Tigers have won five of their past seven games entering last night's game at Ole Miss -- and the last two of those have been courtesy of some record shooting.

In a 94-63 rout of visiting Auburn, LSU hit a school-record 16 3-pointers. Three days later, the Tigers extended that record by one in an 88-67 rout at Tennessee. In those two games, LSU shot 63 percent from 3-point range (33-of-52).

"I've coached some good shooting teams, but I've never had a team shoot back-to-back games like this," Brady said. "I've never coached a team that shot like that or even seen it."

Earlier in the season he coached a team that couldn't make a long-range shot. Against Ole Miss on Jan. 18, the Tigers were 1 for 13 from 3-point range. Against Arkansas, they were 3 for 16, and they were only 5 for 27 against Florida and 4 for 17 against Auburn.

In those four games the Tigers were only 13 for 73 (17.8 percent).

"There's no middle ground with us," Brady said. "We either shoot 20 percent or 60 percent."

The shooting has been better because the passing has been better. LSU had 53 assists against Auburn and Tennessee out of a possible 62 field goals.

"Usually you get about half of the assists we had," Brady said.

Eventually it could lead to a spot in the NCAA Tournament. The best the Tigers can finish in the SEC is 8-8, and that would give them 19 victories heading into the SEC Tournament next week. …

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