The Tigers hot start has been nothing short of a defensive masterpiece, but the perfectionist in head coach Will Wade still sees tremendous room for improvement on both ends of the court. Whether it be limiting turnovers on offense or continuing to rotate better on defense, he feels this team is just scratching the surface.
Wade’s group entered a 10-day break after their victory over Ohio. It gives this squad the chance to observe the little things that need work before they kick off SEC play.
“We’ve had some slippage in some areas,” Wade said. “It hasn’t been noticeable because we’ve been winning and all that sort of stuff. I needed to get to this break to reset everything and we’re going to have a hell of a reset on Saturday.”
The way this squad plays on the defensive end has been different than the typical defense of LSU under Coach Wade. Limiting second-chance buckets, staying in their spots and getting into a rhythm with their full court press, the Tigers play the ball all 94-feet.
It’s been their best attribute through eight games. But Wade sees the offensive game of this team being a work in progress. Settling for threes and not crashing the boards for second chance opportunities has been a piece of the puzzle the Tigers need to improve on.
Following the Tigers victory over Ohio, Wade stressed the importance of second chance buckets after a lack of offensive boards.
“We’ve got to work on our offense. We’ve got to work on our ball movement,” Wade said. “Our ball sticks, we’re just so poor on offense. It’s my fault… We get four offensive rebounds because one we don’t give great effort, but two we don’t move the ball. If you don’t move the ball, you can’t get them behind the play. You can’t get on the offensive glass.”
Another point of emphasis for Wade has been the turnovers of this team. Trying to make the highlight-reel play or just being careless with the basketball, it’s resulted in an abundance of turnovers for this offense.
Xaveir Pinson and Eric Gaines have been spectacular to kick off the season, but with Wade continuing to be a perfectionist, he still eyes a flawless offensive scheme with them two running the show.
“We turn the ball over. We can’t execute a simple double away screen,” Wade said. “I thought they [Pinson and Gaines] did a decent job getting downhill at times… But we got nine assists, seven turnovers between the two point guards. Not good enough.”
Despite the Tigers 8-0 start and an incredible effort on the defensive end of the floor, this team is still looking to hit their full stride. It makes you wonder where this team will sit once their offensive game starts completely connecting.
With Wade hitting the reset button to get a more fluent offense, this team will be clicking on all cylinders once they return to action Dec. 11 against a fiery Georgia Tech squad.