LSU looked like it was starting to build some momentum.
After splitting their first two games, the Tigers played much better on both ends of the court in lopsided victories against Southeastern Louisiana (96-43) and Louisiana Tech (86-55).
But that last game was on Dec. 6.
LSU had to cancel its scheduled game against South Florida in the Holiday Hoopsgiving event on Saturday in Atlanta because of COVID-19 contact tracing and quarantining.
Coach Will Wade said no players or coaches tested positive for COVID, and the team kept practicing while he lined up a makeup game at home against Sam Houston State on Monday morning.
“It’s obviously a little bit of a disruption,” said Wade, whose team had to reschedule its season opener after multiple teams withdrew from a tournament in Lincoln, Neb., last month.
“We did get thrown out of rhythm a little bit. We were in a very good rhythm. We want to continue to build on the momentum that we’ve had,” Wade said.
The latest schedule change has LSU playing four games in nine days, beginning with the Bearkats.
“It’ll be fast and furious,” Wade said. “It’s full steam ahead.”
Wade discovered that Sam Houston was in a similar predicament after its Dec. 9 game in Houston against the No. 7 Cougars was canceled for similar reasons.
It already has been a notable start to the season for the Bearkats, who play in the Southland Conference.
They have scored more than 100 points in three consecutive games, defeating Dallas Christian (117-42), Howard Payne (117-54) and LeTourneau (107-65), a Division II and two Division III programs respectively.
Sam Houston, picked to finish third in the Southland, will get a much stronger test against the Tigers, who are picked to finish third in the SEC.
“We’re just trying to keep our concentration,” Bearkats coach Jason Hooten said. “It’s a young team, so we’re just teaching them to grow and stay in every possession.”
Sam Houston (3-3) handed Hooten his 200th career victory in their last game Thursday night.
“We’re learning every day,” said Zach Nutall, who scored a team-high 23 points against LeTourneau. “It was a smaller team that we had the opportunity to play, but we wanted to be effective. They’ve played a lot of teams in the Southland … and we wanted to make sure we came out and executed our Xs and Os.”
–Field Level Media