Dig Baton Rouge

Q&A: I’m just here so I don’t get fined

Well, it looks like I struck a nerve.

After my last troll where I called out the motives of the LSU fan base, I took a beating on social media – so much so that I think I will be coaching basketball this weekend in a walking boot to soften the blow.

But for all the jabs, zings and internet brutality I’ve endured in the past few days, it’s time to take some questions.

As-always, you guys wanted to know about LSU football, LSU baseball and the upcoming spring game.

I’m just kidding about the Internet brutality, by the way.

I love some debate. It raises my spirits.

Q: Does LSU baseball still have a shot at a national seed? (Asked by David, Houma)
A: Relax, my friend. There are still 18 games left in the regular season, then the SEC Tournament left before it’s time to discuss seeding. Literally everything is still on the table for LSU – both good and bad. If they go 15-3 or 14-4 coming home, then play well in the SEC Tournament, then absolutely, yes, they can be a national seed. On the other foot, if LSU goes 4-14 or 5-13 coming home, they may miss the NCAA Tournament altogether. Of course, the truth is always usually somewhere in between, so it’s most likely that LSU finishes something like 12-6 or 11-7, which probably makes them a Regional host, but not a national seed, which is where they’re probably positioned at present. There’s way, way too much baseball to be played for anyone to know for sure.

Q: What stat line does Danny Etling have to have on Saturday night for us to be at ease? (Asked by Coach J, North Vermilion)
A: Interesting question, Coach, but I have no idea how to answer it, because I don’t know the format of the spring game, nor who Etling will be paired up with on the night. If Coach O decides to go with a lineup that loosely resembles the One’s versus the Two’s, then I’ll want to see Etling have a big day. But if the rosters are mixed, then all bets are off. The main thing I want to see is an ability to protect the football and then some offensive fluidity. If Etling and the Tigers show me those two things, I will sit in my chair and clap as loud as I can for as long as I can before everyone’s looking at me weird. Even then, I’ll probably clap some more.

Q: Are you worried about Arden Key this coming fall with his absence this spring? (Asked by Mouton, Lake Charles)
A: The Arden Key situation devastated me. It’s like that feeling you get when your favorite basketball team gets what you believe is an And-1, but then suddenly you hear about 13 whistles, and see a referee fly out of nowhere to feverishly waive off the points to call traveling instead. It was deflating for me, and I’m sure it was deflating for the team to be without such a dominant defensive playmaker. But am I all that worried long-term? Nah, not really. By all accounts, Key will indeed be back in the fall, and those who’ve seen him say that he’s still in great shape. He didn’t need to show me anything this spring. I already know what he can do – just so long as he actually does get back, all is well.

Q: Why in the heck did Antonio Blakeney opt for the NBA Draft? (Asked by Nicky, Grand Isle)
A: Honestly, because it’s better to play basketball for money than it is to play for free. Blakeney has holes in his game, yes. He could have probably helped himself out by staying in school for another year, yes. But with a new coach and a new system, he could have also potentially hurt himself, too, so I get why he is looking to get out while the iron is somewhat hot. I don’t think Blakeney will get drafted, nor do I think he has a future at the NBA level. But that doesn’t mean that the kid can’t make a tremendous living playing the game. There are 6 and 7-figure deals to be had all over Europe, Asia and now even into Australia. Go and make some money, young fella. Best of luck to you!

Q: I’ll put you on the spot. Give me the guy we will be talking about on Monday after the spring game. (Asked by Rock, Gonzales)
A: Donte’ Jackson is my pick. He’s too damned fast to not have a breakout season. He will be a good one.

You guys know the routine. This isn’t our first rodeo. I’m going to take some non-LSU questions now. If only here for the purple and gold, then adios – back to throwing wood in the fire for you.

For everyone else ….
Q: Are you still confident that the Cavs won’t win the Eastern Conference? (Asked by Keagan, Boutte)
A: My opinion hasn’t changed. I said in this column that I thought the Cavs would lose before the Finals, but I never said the Celtics would be the team who beats them, so really nothing has changed for me. I think the Wizards are the team that’s going to give them fits, so I do stand by my opinion – at least for now.

Q: Do you believe that the Browns are actually wavering about picking Myles Garrett No. 1 overall? (Asked by Jeff B., New Iberia)
A: No, I don’t think so. I think that they should absolutely consider other players, though. I don’t think Myles Garrett is all that good, Jeff. He disappears a lot in big games against good competition, and if I’m the Browns and I don’t have many other assets on defense, I’d be worried that Garrett would just get double-teamed and smothered far too often for my liking.

Q: What do the Pelicans need to do this offseason to be a title contender next summer? (Asked by Jeremy, Metairie)
A: Well, they can start by kidnapping Kevin Durant, hypnotizing him and mind controlling him into opting out of his deal with the Warriors and signing with the Pelicans. You catch my drift? There is no way for the Pelicans to become title contenders in just one offseason, and the reason for that is because they don’t have enough flexibility to change their roster as much as they need to in order to get to that level. If the Pelicans re-sign Jrue Holiday to the $100-million contract he’s reportedly seeking, then guess what? They have no cap room. Is a core of AD, Boogie Cousins and Jrue enough to make the playoffs? Sure, probably so. But is it enough to win it all? Indeed not! If Jrue walks, then there is a little money to spend, but who will the team get that’s better? This is New Orleans basketball. The biggest free agent the team has gotten since moving here is Tyreke Evans. They won’t get anyone on a high enough level to change the franchise’s future.

Q: Who will beat Brock Lesnar and take his title? (Asked by Wayne, Cut Off)
A: I would say Braun Strowman, but Roman Reigns will go over him at the next pay per view. I would say Roman Reigns, but saying that would make me want to throw up on the floor, and I’d rather not throw up on the floor. So for a lack of better options, I’ll say Finn Balor, though it’d look awfully unrealistic for a guy who weighs 170 pounds soaked and wet to conquer the Beast!

Photo: DIG file.


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