LSU’s Allysha Chapman Will Have To Be At Her All-Action Best For LSU to Top Memphis on Saturday
(Friday’s review will be posted some time later today. Meanwhile, here’s a preview of a big match tonight.)
Memphis vs LSU (8:00 PM EST)
A funny thing happened roughly a year ago. An LSU team with experience, talent, and sky high expectations were set to face a Memphis team big on potential but generally though of as nothing more than an “opponent” for the Bayou Bengals in Baton Rouge. A home win was almost a given.
The Tigers won 2-0. The Memphis Tigers.
It was a result that furrowed a few brows and caused some to question if they had overrated LSU. As it turned out, both teams turned out just fine in the end. Memphis went from strength to strength, winning the Conference USA Tournament while beating Central Florida twice. LSU finished second in the SEC and reached the SEC Tournament final and the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Now, close to a calendar year later, the tables have been turned. Memphis have returned their 2009 side nearly intact and may be the best mid-major team east of the Mississippi. Brooks Monaghan’s team should be the favorites in Conference USA and could make a run past the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament. LSU lost much of their offense and rearguard to graduation but added a new wave of recruits who could eventually grow into a new Golden Generation.
In other words, it’ll be the young raiders of LSU coming into Memphis on Saturday night, hoping to upset the apple cart and steal a smash and grab win to help justify the claims that the future is now. They square off against a gritty, experienced Memphis team with high hopes and most likely a rabid crowd behind them, urging them on to a second successive win over their opponents. It all adds up to a fascinating non-conference clash on a hot Saturday night.