I saw a potent offensive team. I thought they had improved defensively. They had beaten three NCAA D-I teams. Free throw shooting was my main concern.
Now, I am reconsidering those lofty thoughts. Oh, the free throw shooting is still a concern.
But it's the defense that has gone back to looking like the defense that was always the Pilots' downfall in the NAIA tournament.
They allowed 100 points on Saturday in a 100-80 loss. They never could get a stop when they needed to against Spring Hill.
You could say it's just one game. But just two days before, they won a game when they allowed 97 points. The game before that they allowed 86. All of this comes after their best defensive effort of the season on Feb. 14 when they allowed 55.
Look, I understand the Pilots play a fast-paced style that leads to lots of points. But if you are going to win a championship, particularly on the national level, there will be times when you have to have stops. And on Saturday, LSUS couldn't do it.
There's still time to shore up the defense before the national tournament. And I'll be glad to change my opinion. But as this team is playing defense on Feb. 23, I don't see a long run in the national tournament.