Louisville Cardinals LSU Postseason Games - 1982
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LSU Post-Season Games
LSU Post Season Games - 1983
Even though they won one fewer conference game than their 1981-82 counterparts, the '82-83 Tigers were much improved overall.
  • They finished 19-12 in the regular season compared to 14-13 the year before.
  • This happened despite losing sophomore PG Derrick Taylor, who was declared academically ineligible. Taylor had won the 1982 SEC Freshman of the Year award, beating out Charles Barkley of Auburn.
    Taylor later revealed that he spent too much time playing video games instead of doing his school work.
  • Coach Dale Brown lined up a tough schedule, especially at the beginning of the season. They met North Carolina in New Jersey December 4 and lost 47-43. Sixteen days later, they fell to UCLA in Los Angeles 82-68.
  • The Tigers won their last five SEC games to finish 10-8 in the conference.
  • Any hope of an NCAA Tournament invitation fell by the wayside when they lost to Tennessee 74-71 in the opening round of the SEC Tournament.
  • So they settled for an NIT spot for the second year in a row and again hosted a team from New Orleans - the Privateers of UNO.
  • As he always did, Brown put a positive spin on the selection. "We have an opportunity to win a national championship. Few people in life have a chance to win a national championship. We've had that opportunity five years in a row. We've been close to the Holy Grail, but we haven't been able to touch it."

Dale had to scurry three nights before the NIT game to find information on the Privateers.

  • He learned that Don Smith's fourth UNO squad was a senior-laden team that finished 22-6 to tie USL for the best record among the nation's independents.
  • UNO's top wins came at the hands of #14 Wichita State in the season opener 96-82. They split two games with NCAA-bound USL and edged Tulane 75-71 in overtime.
  • The Privateers lost to Tennessee, three-time conquerers of LSU, 74-70 after leading most of the game.
  • 6'8" senior Mark Petteway was rated among the top four forwards in the country. He averaged a team-high 17.6 points and 7.6 rebounds per game. The other forward, Oscar Taylor, led the team with 7.7 rebounds per games and was second in points at 17.5.
  • The Privateers ranked second in the nation with a 55.2 field goal percentage, with all five starters hitting at least 54.4% from the field.
  • Both teams finished strong, LSU winning eight of its last 11 and UNO taking 14 of 17, including the last five.

The Tigers starting five lined up like this:

  • F Howard Carter (Baton Rouge): 6'5" senior, 17.5ppg
  • F Leonard Mitchell (St. Martinville): 6'7" junior, 14.8ppg
  • F Jerry Reynolds (Brooklyn NY): 6'8" freshman, 10.5ppg
  • G John Tudor (Pineville): 6'6" junior, 6.4ppg
  • G Johnny Jones (DeRidder): 6'2" senior, 6.5ppg

The N.I.T. experimented with a 30-second clock that was turned off with four minutes left in the game. Games would also use the red, white, and blue basketball that the American Basketball Association had popularized.

A crowd of 9,497 saw the Tigers jump ahead quickly and maintain the advantage throughout the first half.

  • LSU hit seven of their first eight shots against the jittery Privateers, and LSU's aggressive defense forced 24 first-half turnovers to build a 51-38 lead at the break.
  • Leading scorer Howard Carter picked up two quick fouls and spent much of the ragged half on the bench.
  • LSU's guards, Tudor and Jones, scored 18 points in the half while holding UNO's pair, Claude Butler and Wade Blundell, scoreless.
    Coach Smith told his team in the locker room that "the thing that was killing us was turnovers. You can't have 24. That's more than we've ever had in one game. We had given them 23 points off our turnovers. I said all we had to do was stop turning the ball over and become a little patient on offense."

The second half was an entirely different story.

  • In the words of John Tudor, the Tigers "came out with no intensity and said, 'We've got this thing wrapped up.'" As a result, UNO got higher percentage shots, offensive rebounds, and fast break points.
  • On offense, LSU seemed to play as if the shot clock was set to 15 seconds rather than 30. They contributed 20 turnovers to only 14 for the Privateers.
  • The Tigers quickly got into foul trouble. Top rebounder Leonard Mitchell missed more than eight minutes of the second half with four fouls. Brown was forced to use the diamond defense most of the half.
  • The Privateers hit 10 of their first 14 shots to tie the score at 63 with 11:30 to go. But the visitors were never able to take the lead.
  • With LSU leading by one (86-85), UNO PG Butler missed a 20' jump shot with seven seconds left. But 6'4" Lester Beans went high to snare the long rebound. Carter cut underneath Beans, who made one of two free throws with 0:04 on the clock to send the game into the Tigers' third overtime period in their last five games.
    Carter: "I just tried to block him out, but he jumped over me and got the rebound. They called a foul on me. It could have gone either way."


  • Acie Sanders' tip-in five seconds into the extra period put UNO ahead for the first time in the game. He would score seven of his 11 points in the extra session.
  • Mitchell fouled out with 3:17 left in the overtime. He finished with only 12 points and, more importantly, only four rebounds.
    Mitchell: "We just got outplayed. They didn't do anything different in the second half. We just weren't aggressive on defense. The time I was in there, I didn't contribute, and I couldn't be of any help on the bench."
  • A layup by Steffond Johnson narrowed the gap to 93-92 with 53 seconds left. But with the Tigers overplaying on the perimeter, Sanders drifted free under the goal and laid in a cross-court pass to boost the lead back to 95-92 with 39 seconds remaining.
  • Having a career-high night, Tudor sank a pair of free throws with 35 seconds to make it 95-94. When reserve guard Terrance Breaux made only the front end of a one-and-one, LSU had 31 seconds to tie the game.
  • With 17 seconds left, Carter dribbled to within 4' of the basket on the left baseline and shot a jumper over two defenders. But the ball hit the front of the rim. Acie Sanders pulled down the rebound for UNO and was fouled. He hit both free throws.
    Carter on his crucial miss on the last shot of his four-year career: "I thought it was a layup, man. I just missed it. It was the easiest shot I could have gotten. I never recall having a shot that easy at the end of the game."
  • Another LSU miss forced them to foul again, and Oscar Taylor sealed the 99-94 victory with two more freebies.
    Coach Smith: "I put Acie in the game for defense. When our guys come off the bench, we don't lose much."


  • Coach Brown minced no words. "We didn't deserve to win. We didn't play defense in the second half. That's what coaches call matador defense. You just wave the cape and let them by." Although UNO won the rebound battle just 29-28, Dale added, "I thought they wiped us out on the boards at key times."
  • Coach Smith felt the trijmph was the biggest in the history of UNO basketball. "Not only did we beat LSU, but it gives us one more step in the NIT. Anytime you advance in a national tournament, it has to be a great win. ... Our kids, they hung in there. They kept battling. You have to give them credit. We had kids coming off the bench, kids who started for me as freshmen and sophomore but they're seventh and eighth men now. They waited their chances and did the job."
    UNO lost to Oregon State in the next round, 88-71.

Don Smith

Mark Petteway

Oscar Taylor

Howard Carter

John Tudor

Leonard Mitchell

Johnny Jones

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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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