No. 18 LSU’s outlook seems brighter after consecutive double-digit wins

No. 18 LSU’s outlook seems brighter after consecutive double-digit wins
LSU guard Marlon Taylor (No. 14) and forward Emmitt Williams (No. 5) (Source: Josh Auzenne/WAFB-TV)

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - One week after a tirade by LSU head coach Will Wade over his team’s blown leads, the outlook is now more promising and the Tigers have climbed in the rankings.

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Wade was extremely frustrated and animated with the Tigers’ propensity to jump out to huge leads, only to hang on by their fingernails. LSU built an 11-point lead against Florida and held on for a 84-82 win. Against Texas, LSU led by as many as 16 before pulling out the 67-67 win.

Since then, there have been a pair of double-digit victories over Alabama and Ole Miss at the PMAC. but still, there are things to clean up. For instance, the Tigers led the Rebels by 20 at halftime and went up by 24 at one point. LSU claimed a 73-63 win.

“We’ve made improvement,” said Wade. “Have we made as much improvement as I would like? No. Not if we’re going to be a special team. Not if we’re going to be a dominant team. We need to take another step in February, another step in March. One of our players said it best. We’re trending in the right direction but we’re not peaking. We need that spike. We need to start going up, instead of an incline.”

The team is improving but could be better. The sentiment not only sums up the LSU Tigers but also very talented and apparently somewhat stubborn senior guard Marlon Taylor.

“Marlon’s playing better because he’s finally gotten into the right routine - my routine. Sometimes it’s a battle every day with him. But he’s learning to focus better. Now, he’s playing better, so he wants the routine to change. No, no, no. You have to double and triple down on what you’re doing. I love Marlon and our relationship is improving but he doesn’t always, I hate to say ‘buy in,’ but he doesn’t always adhere to what the routine calls for,” Waded explained.

Next up for LSU (17-4, 8-0 SEC) is a Wednesday night game in Nashville against Vanderbilt 8-13, 0-8 SEC). It’s a worst versus first matchup. However, Wade said the Commodores will win but it’s just a matter of when.

Guard Charles Manning Jr. will stay in Baton Rouge to rehab but could be back for the game Tuesday, Feb. 8 against Auburn.

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