After losing 11 seniors last year, it was no secret to anybody that the LSU Lady Tigers were going to be young. Turns out, they're the youngest team, by average age, to be playing in this years tournament (They tied West Virginia for the title of "Youngest Team in Women's College Hoops" this season.. WVU didn't make the big dance).
After the selection show, Coach Chancellor told us he's nervous about his teams inexperience - sure, they've grown tenfold from the start of the season, but there's no time for a tournament learning curve - you win, you play. you lose, you go home. Even though there are several girls who were along the ride during the runs to the Final Four in the past few years, in Chancellors eyes, that doesn't count. He told us that riding the bus, and sitting on the "pine" (his words!) does not count as tournament experience. That said - Allison Hightower's got some experience, (she clocked minutes in every game last year.. scored 12 against UConn in the tourney the year before), and Kristen Morris, very little (in 9 tournament games, she has 5 points).
Coach's favorite reward for a job well done is a stop at Dairy Queen. I remember last year in Nashville during the SEC Tournament, after a win, somebody asked what the team does to celebrate, and his response, point blank, was get milkshakes. How this came about, and how long this has been the tradition is unknown, at least to me. If you think it seem's far out, and struggle to believe that this is the case, hear it from the coach himself.. I've attached some video to this blog from Sunday night. He was talking about the road trip back from this years 55-65 loss against Mississippi State. Generally - it's something done after a win, but he thought his team needed the reward, and boost, to get things back on track.
The 6th seeded team tips off against Wisconsin-Green Bay Sunday night at 6.. The Phoenix (that's their mascot!) come in having won 21 straight... but as we all know - when the PMAC is full of yelling fans dressed in purple and gold, streaks might as well be tossed out the window. The game will be televised on ESPN2.