Dig Baton Rouge

The Sports Troll: Askin’ all them questions

Goodness, there’s so much going on in the world of LSU sports. It’s hard to keep up – even for someone with no life, like me.

Why’s my head spinning?

Is it supposed to be this way in non-football season? Or did you guys put something in my tea after the last sports troll when I urged everyone to remain calm about LSU baseball?
Either way, we’re a little dizzy with LSU fever as we start this Q&A session – our first within the confines of this column.

Before we start, just know this: You guys are the best. The social media feedback we’ve gotten so far has raised my spirits 10-fold!

Q: What are the things you want to see from LSU football this spring? (Asked by Jack, River Ridge, La.)

A: There are a lot of things. Offensively, I want to see what Matt Canada can do. I want to see spread formations and variations in offensive play calling. I also want to see short, quick, high-percentage passes for the LSU quarterbacks – something that can make it easier to play the position. Defensively, I want to see the linebackers step up. By all accounts, Devin White will be in line to have an unbelievable season. I’ll believe it when I see it. I want to see him play. I also want to study the energy. The Tigers played with fire under Orgeron to close the season. But that energy has to stay now that he has the full-time gig. I think it will. I don’t think Orgeron knows any other way.

Q: What was the best LSU athletic event you’ve ever seen? Trying to settle a debate with friends. (Asked by Michael, Thibodaux, La.)

A: Are you old enough, Michael, to remember video game/movie rental places? Where I live, there was a place called Top Ten Rentals. I remember being on the phone with the clerk at the store, asking if the latest copy of NCAA Football was available during the Bluegrass Miracle play. I had long given up on LSU for the day, and I planned to drown my sorrows in Playstation for the rest of the weekend. The woman was checking for the game as the pass went in the air. When it was completed for a touchdown, I jumped up, dropped the phone and started to scream. About 45 seconds later, I realized that I was on hold, picked back up the phone, and the woman at the store was in a panic, asking me if everything was OK. Only LSU football, folks. I’ll remember that day for the rest of my life.

Q: How long do we reasonably have to wait for Will Wade to turn around LSU basketball? (Asked by Cory, New Orleans, La.)

A: Cory, that is a GREAT question. I think we can flush the 2017-18 season down the toilet already. The Tigers are too far away from competitiveness for any coach to come in and return the team to prominence in such short order. By 2018-19, I’d like to see the Tigers competitive – a bubble team for the NCAA Tournament and/or an NIT-level team. After that, in year three, I think it’ll be time for the Tigers to be that program that consistently competes every, single year.

Q: Will the 2017 season hamper Alex Lange’s draft stock? Could he possibly come back? (Asked by DiamondTiger, Gonzales, La.)

A: No chance. Scouts don’t worry about results nearly as much as they worry about ‘stuff’, and Lange’s stuff is still among the best in the country. Let’s take a trip back in history. In 2010, Anthony Ranaudo was awful in his junior season, enduring a 7.32 ERA in 11 starts. But he was still a first-round pick in that summer’s MLB Draft. Why? Because his velocity stayed good and his stuff was still incredible. Lange will be one of the first pitchers drafted – even if he doesn’t finish the year strong. There is less than a 2 percent chance he’s a Tiger next season. And that’s only if he were to be seriously injured.


I love LSU, but I am a troll for all sports. I did take a few non-LSU questions this week, too. If only interested in the Tigers, it’s OK to close your window now and visit back later in the week.
If nottttttt….

Q: Are you worried about the Cavs? They’ve been absolutely terrible since the All-Star Break? (Asked by Alan, Houston, Tx.)

A: Worried would imply that I root for the Cavs, which I most certainly do not, so no, I’m not worried. But do I think the Cavs are in trouble? Yes, I do. I’m sure they will play better in the playoffs, but their old path to glory relied heavily on a free pass to the Finals, then beating a tired Western Conference team in the Finals. That won’t work anymore. The Cavs will have to spend a lot of energy to get to the Finals this season. This time, they may be the worn out team.

Q: Who should the Saints pick with their first round picks? (Asked by WhoDatMatt, Metairie, La.)

A: The Saints have to get a pass rusher. Their need for that is so strong that I’d consider using BOTH first round picks on that if the situation presents itself. At No. 11, I think Tennessee defensive end Derek Barnett is in play – if he’s still available. I also can see them reaching for a guy like Temple outside linebacker/defensive end Haason Reddick. At No. 32, I think the Saints may look to the future. Call me crazy, but I think they may pick Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes. According to reports, the Saints LOVE that kid, and he won’t last much deeper than the No. 32 pick – if he’s not already taken by then.

Q: WrestleMania is Sunday. Excited much? Give me some winners. (Asked by Tommy, Larose, La.)

A: Does a Dalmatian have spots? Of course, I’m excited! WrestleMania is one of the best days of the year to be a dork. This year’s card isn’t incredible, but it is still pretty solid. For winners, give me Cena, Rollins, Owens, Wyatt, Charlotte and Lesnar. Anything I didn’t list are matches I don’t particularly care much about.


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