Johnny Jones

Bubble Banter: Oh, LSU

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There are 38 days left until Selection Sunday. Every morning from now until the bracket comes out, we’ll help you get caught up on the happenings with impact on the bubble from the night before. 

Oh LSU (RPI: 54, KenPom: 59), why must you be so difficult?

For the first time all season, the Tigers actually looked like they were a two with veteran guards and a trio of future NBA players on their front line when they smacked around Kentucky and Arkansas in Baton Rouge last week.

Had they finally turned their season around? Four wins in five games, two of which came against top 50 RPI teams and a third against a top 100 RPI. They had finally figured it out!

Or … they had finally played four home games in a five game stretch.

The Tigers lost on Thursday night. At Georgia. By 13. It’s their third loss to a team outside the RPI top 100 in the last month.

For what it’s worth, LSU has lost their last three road games. Five of their last nine games are on the road. That win over Kentucky is only going to get them so far.


  • Oregon (RPI: 44, KenPom: 34) had a chance to pick off No. 2 Arizona and give themselves their marquee win. Instead, you’re looking at a team that has lost seven of nine and whose only top 50 win is against BYU.
  • Arizona State (RPI: 47, KenPom: 31) picked up a win over Oregon State that probably keeps them on the right side of the bubble for now. The game against Arizona next Friday looms large, however. They need that marquee win.
  • BYU (RPI: 41, KenPom: 49) the Cougars beat up on Santa Clara on Thursday night, which is less a good win than avoiding a bad loss. BYU has already lost four games to teams that have RPIs higher than 100.
  • Saint Mary’s (RPI: 62, KenPom: 68) beat Loyola Marymount, but they have a lot of work to do before they lock up a bid and not many chances to do it.
  • SMU (RPI: 42, KenPom: 26) avoided what would have been a bad loss to Temple at home. They only have three top 100 wins, but they have four games left against to 50 opponents.
  • Belmont (RPI: 68, KenPom: 127) outlasted Murray State, keeping their slim hopes of an at-large bid alive.

Utah lands top-75 center Jayce Johnson

Larry Krystkowiak
AP Photo
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Utah picked up its center of the future on Monday as four-star center Jayce Johnson pledged to the Runnin’ Utes, a source confirmed to The 7-foot Johnson recently cut his list to Cal, Colorado and Utah with the possibility of reclassifying to the Class of 2015.

Regarded as the No. 67 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, Johnson will look to attend Utah in December as a walk-on who will redshirt. While Johnson likely won’t play this season, he does give head coach Larry Krystkowiak another big man to use in practice to go against sophomore center Jakob Poeltl. A solid long-term prospect, Johnson has a good frame to add weight and he’s also skilled finishing with both hands. Utah now has its replacement for Poeltl if he opts to leave for the NBA after the season and he gets an extra semester to work with the program.

Johnson is coming off of his official visit to Utah this weekend as he joins junior college guard Jojo Zamora in the Class of 2016.


PHOTO: South Carolina gets new uniforms

Frank Martin
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South Carolina debuted some new uniforms early this week as the school is going with a fresh look and three color ways.

They’re also going to with the “Carolina” branding this season, but I think these new uniforms look pretty cool.