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Know Your Enemy: Louisiana State University Tigers Basketball

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UNCLE HENRY: She got quite a bump on the head — we kinda
thought there for a minute she was going to
leave us.

DOROTHY: But I did leave you, Uncle Henry — that’s
just the trouble. And I tried to get back
for days and days.

AUNT EM: There, there, lie quiet now. You just had
a bad dream.

DOROTHY: No…But it wasn’t a dream — it was a place.
And you — and you — and you — and you were
there.

(others laugh)

DOROTHY: But you couldn’t have been, could you?

AUNT EM: Oh, we dream lots of silly things when we —

DOROTHY: No, Aunt Em — this was a real, truly live
place. And I remember that some of it
wasn’t very nice….

Thus spake young Dorothy Gale upon emerging from a Vanderbilt-induced coma on Wednesday morning. No, Dorothy, unfortunately it wasn’t a bad dream; that Memorial Coliseum was not a very nice place for any Wildcat fan this week. And, yes, we were all there in the sense that we were watching intently and holding out hope even when Kentucky was down 18 with 12 minutes to go. If you were like me, Dorothy, you were probably thinking, “If they can just cut it to 8 by halftime, they’ll be all right–Shan Foster and Ross Neltner can’t possibly make every shot they take.” The next thing we knew, however, it was halftime, Vandy was up by 70 points, Ross Neltner was looking like Kevin Garnett, and Kentucky had been less offensive than an edited PG-13 movie on TBS.

But that’s all over now and we are safe at home, all snug in our collective bed of “LSU is who we play next!” and ready to just forget the Nashville debacle. Problem is, this isn’t your ordinary LSU team. No, this LSU team now has a coach who quite possibly has a trait that all other LSU coaches before him have lacked. Could it be that this Butch Pierre has this quality that LSU fans have sought after like the city of El Dorado? This quality known as “competence”? We can only hope that LSU is riding the “our coach just got fired mid-season, so we are immediately going to start playing better” pattern that seems to occur with every mid-season firing in every sport. Usually this phenomenom occurs but for a brief period before the team settles back down to irrelevance. Surely that it the case here, right? Well, we’d better not take any chances, so here’s Know Your Enemy just in time for the LSU game.

I was chastised (rightly so) by the unwashed masses for my lack of a KYE before the Vanderbilt game and this loss has been lain at my feet by quite a few of the UK faithful. John Clay even mentioned in his last column that he thought the team looked out of sorts and suggested that this was a direct result of there being no Know Your Enemy prior to the Vandy game. I have received this feedback and will act as any brave, honorable, and handsome man would by doing the same thing I always do: Give you a KYE for the weekend game, but not for the weekday game. Folks, except for that brief period when I had to cover for Aquaman (how did he get Swimmer’s Ear?), I am only one man…and a lazy man at that. KYE takes time and weeks of research, so I will do my mediocre-est (I don’t really have a “best”) and give you your weekly KYE. If time permits in the future, I will try to do a KYE for the weekday game just so that our beloved Cats will have a chance at winning. However, as we have seen this past week, if I fail to do this, there is no chance that they will win another weekday game. I present “Know Your Enemy”–now 30% more smart aleck-y!

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“Excuse me, sir, but what are you doing in the window, there?” “Oh, I often come by and just look at Dorothy while she’s sleeping.”

Location

Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College (no, really) is located in the state capital of Louisiana, Baton Rouge. The name “Baton Rouge” is derived from an old English term meaning, “to use gasoline as an accelerant”. Baton Rouge is the state’s second biggest city and for a short time (74 days), was the largest city in the short-lived republic of West Florida. Baton Rouge has at various times been under the French, British, Spanish, American, and Conferate flags and blames this unstable home life for its inability to hold down a job.

Notable Alumni

Now the easy target here would be David Duke (’74), and to a lesser extent we could have fun at Pokey Chatman’s (’91) expense. However, the crack team of researchers here at Know Your Enemy (29 strong including 1 botanist) likes to go the extra kilometer ( I will be using the metric system until Les Miles leaves the SEC). As a result, we present LSU alum, James Carville. Carville is best known as the political mastermind/strategist/blacksmith for Bill Clinton’s improbable run at the White House in 1992. He now carries the title of “pundit”, although I can’t think of a worse word I would want used to describe my profession. Carville’s thick Louisiana accent and humorous presentation is fun to watch as long as you don’t look directly at his face. I’m no Rex Harrison, but I really hope I’m better looking than the “Ragin’ Cajun”. To add to the mystery that is James Carville is the fact that this well-known proponent of all things Democrat happens to be married to Mary Matalin, a staunch Republican political strategicst that worked for the Bush 43 White House. After watching them interact on “Meet the Press” I have continually wondered if their marriage was originally just an attempt to sell a sitcom pilot to CBS.

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Carville as a boy

Cheerleader Scouting Report

Now, some will take a look at the picture below and say, “but Mosley, that’s the Dance Team, not the Cheerleading Squad”, or “but Mosley, that’s the 2006-2007 edition and they’re not even on a football field”. My response would be, “Don’t focus on the wrong part of the story.” For you see, we can learn a lot about what to expect from LSU’s cheerleaders from observing the dance team, as I have found there is generally a correlation between the relative hotness of the cheer squad and the dance team (R > .75). And if the dance team is any indication, the cheerleaders will be all right. Athleticism appears to abound as all dancers sport tight abdomens, shapely arms, and long, flowing hair (all athletes have long, flowing hair). Also, is it just me, or does it look like the dancer on the far right forgot her uniform? In my opinion this will be Kentucky’s fiercest opponent so far and might very well be the class of the SEC.

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Basketball History

The LSU Unorginal Mascots can boast quite a few names that have made a profound impact on the game of basketball, not least of which would be Pete Maravich and Shaquille O’ Neal. Both of these gentlemen were the best players in college basketball for multiple years and will be remembered far into the future for their talent. However, neither advanced as far as the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA tournament. Shaq did win an SEC league championship in 90-91, but never matched this with any postseason success. Such is the history of the LSU program: Tons of talent over the years, a modicum of team success, but usually a disappointing performance compared to the talent on hand. LSU has had names like Shaq, the Pistol, Mahmoud Tourette’s-Rauf (Chris Jackson), Stromile Swift, Brandon Bass, Big Baby, and Ricky Blanton, (yes Ricky Blanton) but despite this fact, has never been able to consistently challenge for the SEC crown against mighty Kentucky. The argument can be made that LSU’s history of success is second only to Kentucky (albeit by a wide margin), but the disappointment comes not from what their history is, but from what it could have been. Also, John Brady is a poor basketball coach.

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“I didn’t know I was still alive, either”

Players
The most annoying aspect of the LSU team for me in the mid-2000’s was the fact that their warm-up shirts always had their first names on the back instead of their last names. It just didn’t seem very cool to watch Brandon Bass thunder a dunk in lay-up lines with “Brandon” blazoned across his back. This also reminds me that Pete Maravich’s son is also no longer, mercifully, on the team though it seemed that he sat the LSU bench for the better part of a decade. You could always count on “Josh” to come looking the part what with a head full of gel and matching socks, but his greatest contribution over his years in Baton Rouge were limited to water fetching. Fun Facts! Tasmin Mitchell’s middle name is “Olajuwon”, Garrett Temple’s middle name is “Bartholomew”, SENIOR Dameon Mason is still undecided on a major, Anthony Randolph was born in Germany, Garrett Green has the same first name as Garrett Temple, Bo Spencer survived the Hindenburg disaster, Quinton Thornton discovered electricity, and Greg Terrebonne lists “giving the stink-eye” as a hobby.

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They must have run the Pistol’s DNA through a filter before they gave it to you

Airtight Predictions

The Cats rebound both literally and figuratively and come away with a road win in Baton Rouge. I will then place a call to whoever does this whole RPI thing and use my influence, prestige, and considerable wealth to get Kentucky moved to number 1 in the RPI. That should make things easier for Bryan the Intern and should calm nerves around the Commonwealth. Jodie Meeks will play, have ten points, 3 rebounds, and will eat red beans and rice after the game. Patterson will shake off the effects of the mini-marathon he ran from the bench to the scorer’s table on Tuesday and play like a hoss against Los Tigres. Tony Delk will make an appearance by wearing a fake mustache and glasses and will tie his own three pointers record by hitting 9. Due to his lack of eligibility, “Richard Bachman” will appear in the UK record books for this feat. On the bench, Mike Williams decides to finally try out his Ed McMahon impression on Dusty Mills and Mills will laugh so hard the milk he is drinking will come out of his nose.

Summary

At the risk of playing the role of Captain Obvious, I will state that the Cats need this one badly. My expert analysis tells me that the Cats will definitley get into the tournament or they definitely will not. But it has to be one of those, so you gotta think my prediction will come true and this will lend me the credibility I need to open up that psychic hotline with my newfound Jamaican accent (G’day, mate!). Cats will win this game, the easily swayed part of the UK fanbase will be back on Billy’s side until the next loss, dogs will continue to sniff the anuses of other dogs, Celebrity Rehab will continue to be the best show on TV, and Amy Winehouse will turn the little phonograph on her Grammy into a crack pipe. Basically, everything will go as expected. Go Cats.

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Her last name is Winehouse and she sang about not wanting to go to rehab. She has to be a character in a bad play.

Article written by Mosley