LSU made its way to Birmingham on Wednesday for Tipoff20, aka SEC Media Days, the unofficial start of the 2019-20 season.
Javonte Smart. Skylar Mays. Will Wade. Kent Freaking Lowe. All the stars were on display, and there is plenty to talk about after LSU made its tour of the Grand Bohemian Hotel.
Today, we hear from Smart, Mays, and Wade (no Lowe, unfortunately) as they made all the stops, and we break down some storylines going into the season just 22 days before it tips off at home against Bowling Green.
Topics covered include:
- Replacing Tremont Waters, Naz Reid, and Kavell Bigby-Williams
- Javonte's return to full-time point guard duties
- What makes Will Wade cry
- Trendon Watford's role
- Charles Manning Jr.'s stock rising
- The definition of amalgamation
Topics not covered include
- Javonte's fear of cats
- Skylar's career as a trumpeter in the marching band
- Kent Lowe's bowling handicap
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A special summer episode of Boot Up, as LSU wraps up its August practice sessions before heading to Spain for its once-every-four-years international summer trip.
First, we break down the new roster, including the newcomers for the Tigers, as well as the growth of the veterans. Will Wade talks playing smaller and faster, developing a motion offense, and building a team identity before and during the Spain trip.
After that, we sit down with LSU guards Javonte Smart and Skylar Mays, the Tigers' Bayou Backcourt. Skylar and Javonte give an overview of the new and returning faces on the roster, talk about growing in Baton Rouge and representing LSU, and preview the trip to Spain.
The nation's capital is swept up in the #BootUp movement. We start today's show with a quick sitdown with the most famous person to ever appear on the podcast.
After that very serious conversation, we dive deep into Michigan State. We talk personnel, offensive and defensive tendencies, and maybe some areas LSU can try to take advantage of, as they prepare to face perhaps the best team they've faced all season.
Ever been inside a locker room during March Madness? Here’s your chance. Hear from Tremont Waters on his game-winning shot, Skylar Mays on his clutch 3, and Darius Days on his big day off the bench. Plus, sounds from the celebration. And listeners in the Anchor app get a bonus song at the end of the episode.
LSU tops Yale 79-74 for the program's first NCAA Tournament win in a decade, and we storm the locker room after to talk about all the relevant topics as the Tigers prepare to take their shot at the Sweet 16.
- Skylar Mays on keeping the team connected
- Tremont Waters on the emotions of his NCAA Tournament debut
- Assistant coach Greg Heiar on game planning against the Bulldogs
- Marlon Taylor on shutting down a future pro and the Ivy League Player of the Year
- Heiar on flipping the page to the next opponent on just two days turnaround
Lots of audio from postgame, and plenty of breakdown on how the Tigers started fast and finished not so fast to beat Yale. I also throw out a theory as to why the Tigers' shooting fell off from a torrid first half to a tepid second half.
The NCAA Tournament is here, and LSU is set to take on Yale in the first batch of Thursday games.
On today's show, we break down Yale's roster and how it matches up with LSU. We also talk to Kavell Bigby-Williams and Skylar Mays about their NCAA Tournament memories and what the Tigers need to fix after losing to Florida in the SEC Tournament.
I'm in Jacksonville covering the team, so stay tuned for more updates from the tournament.
Just the audio of my chat with Corey Vinson, William Harrell, and Mitchell Fillinger, three of the managers for the LSU Basketball team. We talk about the high demands of their jobs, the networking opportunities and lessons they've learned, and, of course, the all-important Manager Games, where they take on the managers from other schools throughout the season.
Follow them on Twitter @LSUMBBManagers so you can vote to help them advance in the Manager Games, which begin this month.
On today's episode, we recap LSU's 80-59 win over Vanderbilt and hear from Skylar Mays, Marshall Graves, and Tremont Waters on what it was like to cut down the nets and celebrate the Tigers' 11th ever SEC title. Graves, a former walk-on, hit four threes to help LSU clinch the title, while Mays and Waters assumed critical leadership roles during a roller coaster week of a roller coaster season.
After that, I sit down with Corey Vinson, William Harrell, and Mitchell Fillinger, three of the managers for the LSU Basketball team. We talk about the high demands of their jobs, the networking opportunities and lessons they've learned, and, of course, the all-important Manager Games, where they take on the managers from other schools throughout the season.
Follow them on Twitter @LSUMBBManagers so you can vote to help them advance in the Manager Games, which begin this month.
Go back in time with me.
It's May 2018. LSU has just finished, by all accounts, a successful season, a season of marked improvement.
But Will Wade wasn't satisfied, because he's a competitor, and he hated losing seven straight SEC road games.
So he hit the road, to learn and adapt and correct those road woes.
Fast forward to present day, and LSU has made history, winning all nine SEC road games and setting the stage for an SEC title on Saturday vs. Vanderbilt.
On today's show, we recap that road resurgence, hear from Tremont Waters, Skylar Mays, and Emmitt Williams on the Florida win and the task at hand vs. Vanderbilt, and finish with a scouting report of the Commodores.
Here's a link to the story I reference in today's long introduction.
Lots to talk about today. We recap LSU's 74-69 win over Alabama, talk about the return of Tremont Waters and the growth of Javonte Smart, and touch on Skylar Mays and Naz Reid's consistency and just how damn good this team has been in the final five minutes of games.
We then preview Florida, the type of "gritty, grimy" team that Will Wade said earlier this season would end the Tigers' season. A win, and LSU plays for an SEC title on Saturday.
Finally, we get to your mailbag questions, where we talk NCAA Tournament seeding, Achilles heels, Emmitt Williams, and more.
Here's a link to the Eye on College Basketball podcast, which we excerpt from to discuss seeding.
Naz Reid is a new man.
The freshman forward arrived in Baton Rouge this summer 272 pounds and with a reputation for not having an elite motor.
Months later, he's leading the team in rebounding, charges taken, and is the best second half player in the SEC.
So much for not having a motor.
We sat down with Naz for this week's episode (12:00) to talk about growing up in New Jersey, playing in Rucker Park, and how he transformed himself into a second half machine.
Before that, we preview the road trip to Alabama with Will Wade and talk about how this team has become one of the best road teams in the country.
That's the prevailing memory I'll take away from LSU's 82-80 overtime win over Tennessee on Saturday.
It wasn't the win, which set the Tigers back atop the SEC and put them back in control of their conference championship destiny.
It was the atmosphere, the emotion, the awe of two great teams at their best, competitors engaged at the highest levels of performance despite seemingly insurmountable odds.
We talk a little bit about that on today's show, before breaking down the nuances of the win: Javonte Smart's clutch showing, Skylar Mays' shotmaking, Darius Days' versatility, Kavell Bigby-Williams' quiet, consistent excellence, Marshall Graves' moment of magic, and Wayde Sims' ever-present spirit in what Will Wade called a total team win.
We also talk about Wade's comments on his team's need to find consistency heading into Tuesday's crucial tilt with Texas A&M, and we finish with some words from Skylar Mays that you don't want to miss.
The Voice of the Tigers, Chris Blair, joins today's episode of Boot Up. We talk big picture -- how LSU has improved throughout the season, where the turning points have been, and what's been key to their success -- as well as what Chris does to get ready for games and how he manages calling baseball and basketball this time of year.
We also look back at the loss to Florida and Will Wade's prediction on how LSU's season will end, unless they make some fixes fast.
Be sure to check out the video released on Twitter @LSUBasketball today to get fired up for Saturday's 11 a.m. tipoff.
On today's show, we recap LSU's 83-79 win over Georgia over the weekend, which, coupled with Kentucky's win over Tennessee, saw the Tigers move into a tie for first place in the SEC. We break down Naz Reid's penchant for strong second halves, why Will Wade loved Javonte Smart's technical foul, and the success of the Tigers' three-guard lineup.
We also preview the first game of a three-game homestand for LSU, as Florida comes to town on Wednesday, before answering a few listener questions.
Finally, we sit down with freshman forward Emmitt Williams, who remains one of the most delightful people you'll ever meet. He opened up about his fear of spiders, the memories of fallen friends that inspire him to play his heart out every night, and, yes, his short shorts.
2:30 - Breaking down the Georgia win
3:20 - Naz Reid's huge second halves
4:20 - Javonte Smart's shooting on the road
4:45 - T'd Up
5:50 - Will Wade LOVES Javonte Smart and his technical foul
7:15 - "He's as real as they come"
8:15 - Three guards are better than one
10:20 - Florida preview
12:57 - The turning point of the season
14:55 - What if LSU goes 2-0 this week?
16:10 - Zooming in vs. zooming out
18:20 - NCAA Tournament seeding
19:47 - What a week!
22:20 - Emmitt Williams joins the show
22:40 - Talkin' baseball
23:35 - Being recruited by Will Wade
24:45 - Going viral at a young age
26:00 - First in the family to go to college
27:15 - Antonio Blakeney
28:20 - Every day is not promised
29:00 - Riding the Hog
29:35 - Spiders!
31:35 - Trust
33:30 - Short shorts
Change of plans: no players available this week for interviews due to scheduling conflicts, so today's episode is a mailbag addition. You submitted your questions on Twitter (@CodyWorsham) and Instagram (@CodyMWorsham) and I did my best to answer them.
- Why isn't LSU in the top 10?
- Who has been the most surprising player on the team?
- What's up with Georgia?
- Will LSU attack the rim more on offense?
Plus, I dig up an old Will Wade rant to show you just why LSU's RPI (No. 6 as of recording time) is so high.
P.S - We're No. 3! Boot Up hit No. 3 on the College Sports podcast charts on Wednesday. Keep us moving up by rating us, reviewing us, or going to the Apple Store and subscribing to the podcast on all the display phones. (Just kidding. Sort of.)
Buzzer beater alert! Buzzer beater alert!
Kavell Bigby-Williams' last-second tip-in pushed LSU past No. 5 Kentucky in Rupp Arena on Tuesday night.
We cobbled together a quick reaction podcast with audio from Will Wade's postgame press conference.
Some topics touched on:
- LSU's second half adjustments defensively
- What the Tigers didn't change after halftime
- Emmitt Williams rising to the occasion
- Skylar Mays setting the tone
- Wayde Sims watching from above #Forever44
- Lots more
Stay tuned for another episode later this week.
On today's episode of Boot Up, we break down LSU's 83-78 win over Auburn and preview a huge road trip to Lexington. We talk about the Tigers using their brains to beat a sharpshooting Auburn squad, how Naz Reid works his tail off in practice and Skylar Mays works his tail off in the classroom, and why Will Wade thinks John Calipari is so underrated as a coach.
Fresh off another heart-stopping road win for LSU -- this time a 92-88 overtime victory at Mississippi State -- we break down the Tigers' second half comeback, fueled by Naz Reid and Tremont Waters' offensive outbursts and a glorious set play in overtime. We also preview LSU's home contest with Auburn at 1 p.m. Saturday.
But first, we sit down with LSU's strength and conditioning coordinator -- or, as he refers to himself, Extender of Human Potential -- Greg Goldin. Greg has been by Will Wade's side since their days at VCU, and he's been Wade's strength coach for every game he's been a head coach.
He's also one of the most engaging and interesting people you'll ever meet, a man of incredible strength and energy who LSU's players rave over and who Wade thinks is -- and I quote -- "some sort of wizard."
We dive deep into that wizardry on the show. We talk protocols and routines. We talk philosophies and relationship-building. We talk weight lifting and conditioning. We also hear some fantastic stories, because Greg's story is fantastic, from sleeping on the floor covered in crickets to following a screaming Wade to Chattanooga, VCU, and, eventually, LSU.
0:00 - Goldin's screaming Will Wade impression
4:45 - Extender of potential
6:00 - How he got into S&C
9:50 - Corner sheets of paper
11:10 - Two shirts, please
11:50 - Life on the floor
12:45 - Grasshoppers and Greg
14:20 - Mornings with Will Wade
15:15 - Why Wade called screaming one day
15:50 - Where's Chattanooga?
16:50 - The Lost Art of Simple
17:45 - The five basic movement patterns Goldin uses daily
19:45 - Giants and Genetic Freaks
21:50 - Weight lifting school
24:00 - Technology and high performance models
25:00 - The Titanic
27:30 - Managing stress vs. applying stress
28:45 - Working with Will Wade
35:00 - Mississippi State breakdown/Auburn preview
On today's episode of Boot Up, we look back at LSU's first SEC loss, a 90-89 nailbiter vs. Arkansas. We analyze how two bad stretches of play cost the Tigers, how LSU played the percentages correctly but the percentages decided not to comply, and what went into the Tigers' late game execution.
We also break down how crazy the crowd was in the PMAC on Saturday and the role Javonte Smart played in getting them rowdy. We talk about Smart's fearlessness and swagger with Javonte and Tremont Waters.
Finally, we preview a tough six-game stretch for LSU, starting with a road trip to Mississippi State on Wednesday. The next six games will decide whether the Tigers remain in the hunt for the SEC title or not.
0:00 – Deaf Dome
2:00 – Sauna workouts
3:55 – Percentages
8:20 – Comfortable and confident vs. Uncomfortable and contested
9:45 – Will Wade takes some blame
11:25 – Large sample size sport
12:15 – The Runs
13:25 – Percentages, Again
16:15 – Alley Oops
19:00 – Javonte Smart’s Swagger
19:30 – Boot Up
23:45 – Tremont on Javonte Smart: “He’s not afraid of the moment.”
24:30 – Javonte on being fearless: “I don’t ever think we’re going to lose.”
26:10 – Naz Reid goes beast mode
27:30 – Mississippi State preview
30:15 – Teaser for the next episode’s mystery guest
On today's episode of Boot Up, we break down LSU's 72-57 win over Texas A&M, Will Wade predicts the future, Tremont Waters makes a bunch of shots, including one imaginary one, and we gush about Skylar Mays.
1:50 - A&M breakdown
2:45 - How Tremont Waters' game has transformed this year
4:05 - SEC Player of the Year race
5:40 - Will Wade is a wizard
6:45 - Darius Days breaks out
8:00 - A train
9:00 - Shooting poorly ≠ playing poorly
12:30 - I gush about Skylar Mays
14:25 - Will Wade gushes about Skylar Mays
16:20 - What Skylar has learned under Will Wade
18:30 - How this team has changed Skylar
20:15 - Tremont Waters' imaginary free throw
21:45 - My wife cares about basketball momentarily
23:25 - The manifestation of connectedness
24:20 - Sell out!
27:15 - Arkansas scouting report
28:20 - #GoodQuestion
Holy. Freakin. Cow.
LSU comes from behind to erase a 14-point deficit with 2:14 left in an 86-80 overtime win at Missouri.
We were on site for the historic escape job, and we re-live the win, taking you inside Missouri Arena during the game, inside the LSU locker room after the game, and inside the thoughts of Skylar Mays, Will Wade, and the rest of the Tigers after an unforgettable win.
Topics touched on:
- The diamond press and 1-3-1 defense
- The importance of getting it to 5
- Ja'vonte Smart's unbelievable competitiveness
- The moments before Emmitt Williams' game-tying free throw
- Naz Reid's clutch day at the line
- Will Wade's statistic that is almost as incredible as the comeback itself
- And much, much more
Fresh off a 26 point outing from Tremont Waters in a 92-82 win over Georgia, we break down Waters' stellar play of late (1:38), with a little help from the coaches who have tried, unsuccessfully, to stop him (10:56). We also lay out the stats that show what Waters is doing that no LSU point guard has ever done before (9:21).
We also look at LSU's win over Georgia (3:15), why Will Wade was embarrassed afterward (7:55), and what the Tigers need to improve before heading to Missouri this weekend.
Finally, we sit down with sophomore guard Will Reese (20:00), who breaks down why he made the switch from LSU baseball to LSU basketball, how difficult the conditioning adjustment was, and which Tiger baseball players can hoop. We also hear from Wade on why Reese is "the perfect walk-on." (17:12)
And then there were two.
LSU's 89-67 win over South Carolina on Saturday leaves the Tigers with Tennessee as the only unbeatens left in the SEC. It also put LSU back in the AP Top 25, as well as inside the top 10 in RPI and the top 15 in the NET rankings.
What's fueling this winning streak, Will Wade says, is the team's connectedness. He talks about what a connected team means, praises his scout team, and explains why he's been dancing after all these wins.
We also down that win over South Carolina, including Tremont Waters' stellar streak, big boy basketball, and, as usual, some nerdy numbers on LSU's new-look starting lineup and a revamped bench.
Later, we go 1-on-1 with Marlon Taylor, asking him the question everyone wants to know: exactly how high is his vertical leap?
Two road games. Two road wins. One matchup of unbeatens.
LSU hit the road last week and came home with its first two road wins in a calendar year. Now, the Tigers are up to No. 16 in the NET Rankings and one of three undefeated teams in SEC play.
On this week's show, we break down the Arkansas and Ole Miss wins (4:00), how a new road routine is fueling LSU's success away from home (5:07), the electric partnership of Marlon Taylor and Tremont Waters (6:40), and Naz Reid and Kavell Bigby-Williams' horses-for-courses approach (8:50).
Finally, Dane Bradshaw -- former Tennessee Volunteer standout and currently a color analyst for the SEC Network -- joins us to break down LSU's hot streak. He's called each of the Tigers' last two wins and will be back on the call Saturday vs. South Carolina at 5 p.m.
Things were a little tense on Thursday around the LSU Basketball program. That's exactly how Will Wade wanted it.
Plus, Ja'vonte Smart joins at the 8:45 mark to talk about coming off the bench for the first time since 5th grade and how he accidentally named this podcast.
LSU started off conference play with an 88-79 win over Alabama. We break it down, including how Kavell Bigby-Williams and Ja'vonte Smart accepted new roles and starred in them, how Tremont Waters continues to dazzle, and what went right and wrong on the night.
At the end, we take questions from the listeners, including how LSU can close games out better, how to attack zones, and if Kavell Bigby-Williams can be cloned.
The first episode of the new year is here, and so is SEC play. The Tigers get started Tuesday at home against Alabama. We preview that game, take a big picture look at the SEC, look back at LSU's 81-69 win over UL-Monroe, break down the improvement of Naz Reid and Tremont Waters, and go 1 on 1 with Skylar Mays.
Oh, and we talk to Emmitt Williams about his shorts.
LSU sophomore guard Tremont Waters (11:15) is the guest on this week's episode of Boot Up: The LSU Basketball Podcast. Waters talks coming off the bench (11:50), improving as a defender (12:50), playing with more talent than ever before (13:50), changing his body (15:40), drinking more water (16:45), his tattoos (22:00), the four NBA players he'd pick to form a superteam with him (23:50), and being compared to the all-time great point guards at LSU (25:00).
We also recap the 75-57 win over previously undefeated and top-25 Furman.
Remember to subscribe, rate, and review the podcast. Also, download the Anchor app and you can submit questions via voice message. We'll play the best ones back on future episodes.
Happy to be joined this week by LSU head coach Will Wade, who comes on for 15 minutes to recap a West Coast swing and preview a Friday home matchup with undefeated Furman.
Topics covered include: the 2018 recruiting class (13:45), what he's learned about his team through 11 games (14:55), patience (16:20), skilled sailors (17:20), Houston and toughness (19:15), finishing (21:30), Tremont Waters' breakout vs. Saint Mary's (23:10), Skylar Mays' superb play (24:30), and why Furman is so good.
It's a big week for LSU hoops. The Tigers hit the road for a matchup with undefeated Houston, who just cracked the top 25 and are one of just eight unbeaten teams in the country, before heading to Vegas Saturday to play St. Mary's.
To preview the game, Cody brings on LSU assistant coach Greg Heiar. Heiar talks player development, the stellar play of Skylar Mays, the promising performances of Ja'Vonte Smart, and how Tremont Waters is working hard to get back to his best form.
On today's show, Cody sits down with Kavell Bigby-Williams to talk about lessons learned in Orlando, getting started playing basketball at 15, growing up in London, and more.
Cody also recaps LSU's 78-57 win over Grambling, with a focus on the play of freshman Darius Days and Bigby-Williams' 9 blocks.
LSU is back from a 1-2 trip to the Advocare Invitational, and Will Wade has his sights set on solutions to the Tigers' problems after two defeats.
On this episode, we break down why Marlon Taylor and Darius Days are in for more minutes, the changes to look for in LSU's offense, and the stellar start to the season by Skylar Mays.
Later, we take a couple of your questions and hear from Assistant Athletics Director of Business and Finance Matt LaBorde on the new food in the PMAC.
Yes, you can get Chick-Fil-A, Fuzzy's Taco's, and Burgersmith and watch basketball at the same time.
Matt is also one of the administrative overseers for Men's Basketball and was in Orlando with the team, so he gives an on-the-ground picture of the weekend.
On today's show, Cody looks back at LSU's 74-67 win over Louisiana Tech, with insight from Will Wade, Ja'vonte Smart, and Daryl Edwards.
We also look ahead to the Advocare Invitational and some things the Tigers will be working on fixing before Thursday's 6 p.m. tipoff against Charleston.
At the end, we hear from Will Wade on his two 2019 signees so far: James Bishop and Charles Manning, Jr.
0:00 - What Ranking?
1:30 - La. Tech Recap
2:45 - Seniors Step Up
3:50 - Daryl's Best
5:22 - Fancy Footwork
6:19 - The Masked Man
7:55 - Stocks Up
8:25 - Blocked Shot Stats Bomb
9:03 - Wade's a Bigby-Williams Fan
10:30 - Elite Defensive Numbers
11:50 - Smart Finisher
12:56 - That's Just My Swag
14:32 - Sixth Man
17:55 - Going to Disney World
18:30 - Naz's Ankle
19:30 - On the Road Again
21:15 - 3 and D
22:24 - I Read Will Wade's Mind
23:35 - Charleston's Studs
24:45 - NBA Rotations at PG
29:00 - 2019 Signees
On today's episode, Cody breaks down two home wins for LSU over UNC-Greensboro and Memphis. He talks what's working for LSU, what needs work, and what trends to keep an eye on -- with a deep dive into the numbers.
At the 29:00 mark, a feature on Naz Reid and how the 6-foot-11 freshman has grown -- both literally in terms of height, and on the court as LSU's best three-point shooter early in the season.
At the very end, Will Wade gives a two-minute scouting report on Louisiana Tech, who the Tigers take on at 7 p.m. Friday.
On today's episode, we take a look back at LSU's 94-63 win over Southeastern. Cody gets Emmitt Williams' perspective on his first start, Skylar Mays talks about Marlon Taylor's athleticism and Naz Reid's jelly, and Will Wade talks about Steady Eddie and preview a tough matchup with UNC-Greensboro on Friday night at 7 p.m. in the PMAC.
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Will Wade sits down for a 30-minute conversation on the season ahead. He breaks down every player on the roster and discusses some of the changes to keep an eye out for this year.
Then, junior guard Skylar Mays sits down for a quick conversation on his pre-med classes, which teammates he'd most like to dunk on, which teammate has the most irrational confidence, and his goals for the season.
At the end, Coach Wade comes back for a 60-second preview of the season opener against Southeastern on Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m.