LSU basketball coach Will Wade addressed the media Monday afternoon about expectations for his team as the season rapidly approaches. He also highlighted the increase in season ticket sales, which is among the highest it has been in nearly two decades.
Attacking The Rim
LSU’s two tallest players last year, forwards Naz Reid and Kavell Bigby-Williams, are both in the NBA. While the Tigers may not have as much of a paint presence this season, Wade emphasized the court spacing the team will have, which can leave the lane wide open for driving to the basket.
“We were fourth in the country in percentage of shots at the rim last year,” Wade said. “We’ve got to be able to drive it in there and finish and hopefully continue to draw fouls.”
Wade feels any of LSU’s starters can lead the team in scoring on any given night. LSU will rely on sophomore Javonte Smart and senior Skylar Mays to lead the backcourt. Having sophomore Darius Days on the wing and big men who can play away from the basket should give Smart and Mays plenty of space to operate on both the perimeter and in the paint.
Trendon Watford’s Versatility
Freshman forward Trendon Watford shined during the team’s trip to Spain. He led the Tigers in scoring, averaging almost 16 points per game. Wade had nothing but praise for Watford, who could become a pivotal part of LSU’s offense this season.
“I think Trendon’s somebody that’s very versatile,” Wade said. “He can lead us in a lot of different categories just because he’s such a versatile player for us.”
At 6 feet, 9 inches, Watford is the tallest player on the team along with sophomore forward Courtese Cooper and junior center Deshawn Thomas. However, Wade said Watford could fill in for Smart at point guard if needed.
“He can really play anywhere on the court,” Wade said. “We could bring him in and he’d bring the ball up the court and get us started. It’s like having a Swiss Army knife.”
Season Ticket Sales
Following its Sweet 16 run in the NCAA Tournament last season, the LSU basketball team has put the nation, as well as its fans, on notice. The team was ranked No. 22 in the AP preseason poll.
“We’re just under 7,300 season tickets sold right now, which would be the most since Shaq was here,” Wade said. “We’re very appreciative of all the fans who purchase season tickets. We’re very excited about the interest level in the program and the excitement of our fans thus far.”