LSU suffered possibly its biggest setback on the court for the 2020-21 season when the Tigers were simply overpowered by Alabama due to an SEC record 23 three pointers. It was a performance on the national stage that the program will hope to swiftly move on from.
Will Wade knows the preparation works. He knows the process LSU has undergone over the last four years preparing for each and every game works. Under his guidance, the Tigers have gone 41-20 in conference play but suffered arguably its worst loss of his LSU career with the 105-75 beat down on Tuesday night.
So for Wade and the Tigers, it'll be business as usual as the team prepares for its Saturday matchup with the Kentucky Wildcats, a program that has started an uncharicteristic 4-8 and dropped its last two conference games to Alabama and Auburn.
“We’ll have our normal leadership meeting on Thursday and go about our normal business. The reality of it is we have been very good in league play for the last three years," Wade said. "Our routine and what we do works. Sometimes when you get blown off your feet like this you want to go change everything. That’s not the answer. The answer is to stick to what we do. We have to do it a little bit better, actually a lot better.
"At the end of the day that’s the answer of what we need to do. We will stick to what we do in our normal routine. I believe in our guys, our players. We became unglued tonight, head coach included. We’ll get it back together. I like our team. I still like our group. I still think this is a fun group to coach. They’ve been great. Setbacks are part of the deal."
So with the gameplan not changing, there are many areas that will have to improve dramatically over the next few days. First and foremost the transition defense needs to get better as far too often, the Tigers were put into bad rotations on the break which led to open Alabama looks.
The offense, which hadn't been a problem all season, wasn't generating any penetration to the rim and ball movement was non-existent, leading to one of the more inefficient outings of the season.
"It was an all-systems breakdown, starting and ending with me. We’ve got to pick ourselves up off the mat and not let this game beat us twice and find a way to go to Lexington and certainly play better on Saturday night," Wade said.
For the first time all season, LSU looked over matched by an opponent, something that with this amount of talent on the roster, shouldn't be acceptable. From the coaching staff down to the players, the next few days are extremely crucial to getting the focus and execution back to the level that's come to be expected of this program.
"We have to focus on getting some good treatment, recovery tomorrow, having a good practice on Thursday and Friday," Wade said. "Just like we didn’t play our best tonight we are going to try and play our best game on Saturday. That’s all we can do at this point. Now is not the time to panic or have any drastic changes.”