College Basketball: LSU Has Talent, Potential to Win SEC West

Joshua BergeronContributor IIINovember 13, 2011

ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 10:  Head coach Trent Johnson of the LSU Tigers reacts during their game against the Vanderbilt Commodores in the first round of the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament at the Georgia Dome on March 10, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Most fans of college basketball will cringe at the thought of LSU being relevant again. The last time LSU had a decent team was in the days of Marcus Thornton. Since then, LSU has been a joke in the college basketball world.

LSU brings four highly-touted freshmen onto a team that underwhelmed tremendously last year with an 11-20 record. They were beat by over 40 points by a Kentucky team which is relevant in the college basketball world, showing exactly how far LSU has to climb.

If sophomore guard Ralston Turner can stay healthy, and if highly-praised, 5-star recruit Johnny O'Bryant III can be a solid contributor in the post, LSU will make the NCAA tournament.

Hold on to your seats, ladies and gentleman. LSU is going to take the SEC world by storm this year. With a player named Storm Warren, how could you not.

I concede that it will be many centuries before LSU can compete on the same level as Kentucky. This year expect LSU to make some noise and possibly score an upset against a constantly rebuilding Kentucky team and a Tennessee team that always seems to under-achieve.

In their first outing of the season against Nicholls State—a school which admittedly is awful at basketball in comparison to the schools LSU will compete against down the road—LSU manhandled the colonels and had several players score in double digits. To be exact, seven players scored more than ten points.

If Trent Johnson, LSU's basketball coach, can unify the team and use the talent he has built in the several young players which occupy his roster, I see a team that won't see it's first loss until mid-January against Alabama. Although it is way to far in advance to predict a record for the men's basketball team, I predict it will be strong year for basketball with Nikki Caldwell taking the helm at head coach for the women's team and the men's team finally putting their young talent to use.