Louisville Cardinals LSU Postseason Games - 1982
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LSU Post-Season Games
LSU Post Season Games - 1982
1981-82 was expected to be a rebuilding year for the Tigers.
  • Rudy Macklin, Ethan Martin, Greg Cook, and Willie Sims were all departed from the Final Four team.
  • However, G Howard Carter and F Leonard Mitchell returned.
  • In addition, highly-ranked Derrick Taylor from Baton Rouge stepped right into Martin's PG shoes and ran the team so well that he was selected SEC Freshman of the Year. One of the other freshmen he beat out was Auburn sensation Charles Barkley.

LSU was ranked #17 in the AP preseason poll but didn't stay there long. The Tigers struggled to stay above the .500 mark all season long.

  • They lost their first two games, both on the road, to UNLV and Texas A&M.
  • After home victories over St. Peter's and UTEP, the Tigers met #15 UCLA in the Superdome before a crowd of 28,880, the fifth largest in NCAA history. The Bruins of Larry Farmer, in his first season after replacing Larry Brown, won 83-76 despite the heroics of Taylor, who scored 23 points.

The Tigers returned to the Superdome a few days later for the Sugar Bowl Tournament.

  • They beat Wake Forest 70-64 the first night.
  • Despite sitting out much of the game with a back problem, 7' C Akeem Olajuwon led #18 Houston to a tight 73-69 win over the Tigers in the title game. He scored 13 of the Cougars' final 23 points and blocked Carter's shot that would have tied the score with seven seconds left.
LSU began conference play with three straight wins.
  • Florida at home 61-60, @Vanderbilt 80-73, and Mississippi State at home 78-56.
  • The first SEC loss came at Alabama 109-86. Victories over Georgia and Auburn were followed by road losses to Tennessee and Kentucky.
The Tigers then ripped off five in a row.
  • The last one was a 73-68 upset of #18 Alabama in the Assembly Center.
  • But the up and down play continued with five straight losses down the stretch, including a non-conference home loss to Wichita State.
  • You wouldn't think Kentucky would be the foe that LSU beat to end the streak. But that's what happened - a 94-78 home romp to finish SEC play at 11-7.
  • Any chance the 14-12 Tigers had of making the NCAA Tournament went up in smoke when Ole Miss sent them home from the SEC Tournament with a 59-52 first round whipping.

The Tigers' consolation prize was a bid to the National Invitation Tournament - their first since 1971, Pete Maravich's senior year when the entire tournament was played at Madison Square Garden.

  • Their first round foe would be Tulane in the Assembly Center.
  • Ned Fowler was named the Metro Conference Coach of the Year after leading the Green Wave to a 17-8 record in his first year as head coach.
  • Fowler admitted, "I would imagine Coach Brown and I are very different in coaching philosophies. He is a great motivator, very positive. That's all well and good, but I can't seem to do that. I remember telling assistants one time I was going to say everything positive in practice. It lasted for about 30 minutes."
  • Brown said about his team, "They're aware that we're playing what has to be considered the greatest team in Tulane history because of the fact no other Tulane team has gone to a national tournament. That's how we approach it."

14,236 saw Tulane jump to a big lead, then hold on against a late Tiger rush.

  • A "well conceived zone defense that gave the Tigers a bad case of itchy trigger finger" gave LSU trouble all evening long. One Tulane player guarded Carter while the other four played a zone.
  • The Greenies shot ahead 10-2 only to have LSU tie the score at 16.
  • But the visitors outscored the Tigers 19-10 the rest of the half to lead 35-26 at the break. "There was a lot of sleepwalking in the first half," said Brown after the game.

The Green Wave started strong again in the second half.

  • They scored the first five points to extend the lead to 14.
  • Brown tried Mitchell, Australian Ray Borner, and Tyrone Black at center to no avail as John "Hot Rod" Williams scored 18. Paul Thompson added a game-high 19 points and equalled Mitchell's 10 rebounds for tops in that department.
  • With Carter sinking only five of 14 FG attempts, the Tigers shot a miserable 39% (31 of 80) while Tulane, working the ball inside much more, hit a sizzling 68% (26-38).
  • The Tigers' frustration was illustrated by a sequence in which they missed four times under the basket. Borner threw a pass away, Brown was called for a technical foul, and Carter, Mitchell, and Taylor all fouled out.
  • A late-game foul-court press cut Tulane's lead to eight on two occasions but could not close the gap any further.
  • The final score was Tulane 83 LSU 72.
  • G Johnny Jones led the Tigers with 20 points

LSU finished 14-14 for their first non-winning season in six years.

Howard Carter

Leonard Mitchell

LSU-Houston in Superdome

Ned Fowler

John "Hot Rod" Williams shoots over Mitchell.

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Tiger Den Basketball Archives – I
Tiger Firsts: Basketball Team | LSU National Champs | Joe Adcock | Pistol vs UCLA | Eddie Palubinskas | Dazzling Debut: Chris Jackson | Tiger Firsts: Final Four | Dale Brown Takes Over

Tiger Den Basketball Archives – II
BR Sports Academy | Four Little Points | Harry Rabenhorst | Shaq's 30-point SEC Game | Maravich's Freshman Circus | First AP Poll Ranking | The Dark Knight Strikes | Ricky Blanton | Tigers Are Back!

Tiger Den Basketball Archives – III
"Most Bizarre Set of Circumstances I Ever Saw" | Joe Dean | The Cow Palace | Still Playing at 41 | Pioneer | "It's the socks, Pete!" | Largest Deficit Overcome | Maravich Is for Real

Tiger Den Basketball Archives – IV
"Little Giant" | Shaquille O'Neal | Pete Breaks His Own Mark | What a Difference a Day Makes | When Lexington Went Wild over Beating the Tigers | Superdome Sizzlers

Tiger Den Basketball Archives – V
Pistol Pete Invades the Big Apple
Memorable Games: Kentucky 1978
Profile: Bobby Lowder
1938 SEC Tournament

Tiger Den Basketball Archives – VI
First Visit to the Big Apple
Don't Look Ahead
Profile: Bob Pettit I, II, III, IV
Pete's Farewell

Tiger Den Basketball Archives – VII
Season in Time: 2005-06

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