LSU basketball breaks into ESPN’s top 16 power rankings

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LSU and Will Wade stand alone as the only undefeated team in the SEC at 11-0. A big test looms a week from Wednesday when the Tigers open conference play against Auburn. That game could go a long way with telling LSU just how good their team is. Against Louisiana Tech, the Bulldogs gave the Bayou Bengals a fight. As they have done time and time again, the second half was owned by them.

Efton Reid has proven to be a force inside and with his size and length. Darius Days provides some outside shooting and rebounding on the interior. However, the Tigers’ best player might be Cincinnati transfer, Tari Eason. He is averaging 16.3 points and 7.5 rebounds each night. In the last four games, Eason has 18+ points with three times cracking the 20-point mark. Only twice this campaign has he failed to score double digits.

It might be time to consider Eason for a starting role for Will Wade, he is their most consistent scorer. This week in ESPN’s power rankings, they were able to crack the top 16 after being listed in the “waiting room” in last week’s edition.

(AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

What ESPN Says…

LSU officially finds itself in the top 16 this week after wins over Northwestern State and Louisiana Tech. The Tigers are now 11-0 with only one more game until SEC play begins. The biggest thing to know about Will Wade’s team this season is defense. The Tigers rank No. 1 nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency at KenPom, No. 1 in effective field goal percentage defense, No. 1 in steal percentage and in the top 20 in turnover percentage, 3-point defense, 2-point defense and block percentage. Only one team all season has scored above 0.90 points per possession against them, and not a single team has scored more than 63 points in a game against them either. Those numbers will change as the schedule stiffens, but this team is guarding better than anyone in America right now.

LSU’s first SEC opponent, Auburn, comes in at No. 14.