#15 LSU Women's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview

LSU Tigers

Overall Rank: #15
Conference Rank: #4 SEC
#15 LSU Women's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview
LSU Team Page


A young, but very talented, squad returns to Baton Rouge for third year head coach Nikki Caldwell this season. The Tigers are looking to build off of last year’s run to the Sweet 16, their first trip to the Sweet 16 since 2008. The team fell short against eventual Final Four participant Cal in the Spokane Regional. In this third year under Coach Caldwell, you can see the foundation is clearly in place for a potential Final Four return sooner rather than later.

2012-13 Record:  22-12, 10-6
2012-13 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Nikki Caldwell, 3rd season at LSU, 6th season overall
Coach Record: 45-23 at LSU, 117-49 overall

LSU was one of the more efficient teams in the nation last year offensively as they averaged nearly 70 points per contest. The Tigers were very effective shooting the basketball, especially inside as they shot 43 percent from the floor overall in 2012-13. Senior Theresa Plaisance returns as one of the top inside players in the conference and in the nation. Plaisance averaged 17 points per contest. Danielle Ballard also returns in the backcourt to orchestrate things offensively, along with super freshman Rina Hill, who will most likely be the point guard this season.  Ballard should be dynamic offensively as she has put in extensive work on her shot, according to Coach Caldwell when she spoke at the SEC Media Day. Hill’s ability to come in and take control of running the point will be a huge boost offensively.

The defensive side of the court is going to be a very big point of emphasis in getting stronger across the board for LSU this season if they are going to make a run at the SEC Championship. The Tigers allowed almost 64 points per game last season. Two key factors contributing to this were the inability to dominate the boards, which allowed opponents more second chance shots and the team’s 38 percent field goal percentage defense. For the Tigers to make the next step in their progression they need to get a wider rebounding margin and get opponents to shoot closer to say 30-33 percent instead of 38 percent. Incoming freshman Raigyne Moncrief should be an early difference maker in addressing the rebounding needs and help make the offense more dynamic as well. The improvement in those numbers should safely help LSU contend all the way to the end for the conference championship. Offensively, the biggest point of emphasis is going to be shooting from three-point range as the Tigers only made just over three per game. The ability to address this will open things up down low for players such as Plaisance to wreak havoc on opposing defenses.

Final Projection:
The Tigers have a non-conference schedule that is highlighted by an appearance in the Preseason WNIT, which could lead to potential matchups with the likes of Gonzaga or Oklahoma in that tournament. In addition, a trip to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn to take on Rutgers and then Michigan or Texas Tech is also on the calendar, as is a trip to Raleigh to take on North Carolina State. This schedule should absolutely have LSU battle tested in time for the upcoming conference schedule, which has an early January showdown in Knoxville against Tennessee. Overall, if this young talented Tiger team can come together in team chemistry early on through the tough schedule, the talent is definitely in place for another Sweet 16 or deeper run in the NCAA Tournament in the 2013-14 season.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Danielle Ballard, Sophomore, Guard, 12.1 points per game
Rina Hill, Freshman, Guard, DNP last season
Raigyne Moncrief, Freshman, Guard, DNP last season
Theresa Plaisance, Senior, Forward, 17.0 points per game
Shanece McKinney, Senior, Forward, 4.1 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 69.0 (42, 5)
Scoring Defense: 63.8 (225, 10)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.0 (33, 4)
Field-Goal Defense:  38.8 (178, 10)
Three-Point Field Goals per Game: 3.3 (302, 12)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 28.9 (NR)
Free-Throw Percentage: 71.0 (110, 3)
Rebound Margin: 1.1 (137, 11)
Assists Per Game: 13.8 (86, 8)
Turnovers Per Game: 16.9 (169, 11)

Madness 2014 WNBA Draft Rankings:
#16 Theresa Plaisance

Madness 2013 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#11 Raigyne Moncrief
#142 Jasmine Rhodes


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