Will Wade wasn’t exactly full of holiday cheer Monday.
Almost 48 hours after his LSU basketball team’s 83-82 loss to Stephen F. Austin, Wade was still upset with the Tigers letting a winnable game slip away on offensive and defensive breakdowns at crucial times.
As a result, the stinging loss that snapped LSU’s three-game winning streak will bring changes to the lineup when it hosts Sam Houston State at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Wade said forward Duop Reath, who has come off the bench the past four games, will start in place of Wayde Sims, and guard Daryl Edwards, who's started just once this season, will likely get the nod at the three-spot for Randy Onwuasor.
Guards Tremont Waters and Skylar Mays will be in the lineup, as usual, along with forward Aaron Epps.
“We’re going to change our rotations. … I always say, ‘You produce, or we reduce your minutes,’ ” Wade said. “There are some guys we’ve been playing that are not producing. So, it’s not good.”
Wade said he had wanted to make changes, but the Tigers won three games in a row after returning from the Maui Invitational. But Saturday's unsettling loss changed things.
Before LSU basektball coach Will Wade arrived in Baton Rouge, many fans had never seen the energetic 35-year-old on the sidelines during a gam…
“I want to give some other guys who haven’t played as much a little bit more opportunity,” he said. “Some of these guys have been playing and maybe not doing what they need to do based on what (minutes) they’ve been getting. We’re going to trim that fat a little bit.”
That was only part of Wade’s unhappiness.
The lineup changes became easier in his eyes after LSU (6-3) let the SFA game slip away when Ivan Canete got free for a layup with 5.9 seconds left and Epps couldn’t get a layup to go down on the other end at the buzzer.
Wade said after the game that Epps’ miss didn’t lose the contest and the coach reiterated Monday his team lost it long before that.
“We did not lose the game because Aaron Epps missed the layup … you guys can all print that,” he said, his voice rising. “We didn’t lose the game because he missed the layup. We didn’t deserve to win the game.”
Wade proceeded to provide a laundry list of things that led to LSU’s undoing.
Chief among them were failure to adhere to the scouting report, the inability to come up with enough 50-50 balls, defensive lapses that allowed SFA to pile up 48 first-half points, and not playing with energy and toughness.
Twenty-five seconds into the game, Will Wade knew.
For starters, Wade said SFA scored 30 points because his team didn’t pay attention to detail on the scouting report.
Also, the Lumberjacks netted 20 points after coming up with a 50-50 ball on 12 of 16 occasions.
The last one was critical when Aaron Augustin spotted Canete after winning a battle with Waters for a loose ball, and got it to Canete for an easy lay-in.
Wade joked Canete should send the Tigers a Christmas card after his career-high 20-point night, which earned him CollegeInsider.com national player of the week honors.
“If we get half of those (50-50 balls), we win comfortably,” Wade said.
Defense has been a problem most of the season, and it was again Saturday.
It showed when the Tigers shot 63.0 percent from the field — 62.5 percent from 3-point range — in the first half and still trailed 49-48 at halftime.
As wild finishes go, the final 30 seconds of LSU’s basketball game with Stephen F. Austin on Saturday was as crazy as it gets.
“You have to be pretty bad defensively to shoot 63 percent from the field and 63 percent from 3, and be down at halftime,” Wade said, “and that’s what we did.”
Energy and toughness were other major issues.
While he said the Tigers didn’t respond well after an emotional 80-77 win over Houston three nights earlier, Wade took some of the blame for not holding a tougher practice the next day.
A lack of energy against SFA was similar to what happened in Maui. The Tigers were flat against Notre Dame and lost by 39 one night after upending Michigan.
“For whatever reason, we struggle after prosperity,” he said. “I can’t put my finger on it. If I could I would stop it from happening, but I could sense things were a little bit off (Saturday).”
Wade said it was unlikely that Sampson, who sprained his left ankle on Nov. 21, will be available for Tuesday’s game. ... Fans will be admitted to the game free with the donation of a new, unwrapped toy at the ticket window. … The first 2,000 fans through the doors will receive a snow globe.
WHAT: Sam Houston State at LSU
WHEN: 7 p.m. Tuesday
WHERE: Pete Maravich Assembly Center
ONLINE: SEC Network+
RADIO: WDGL-FM, 98.1; WWWL-AM, 1350; KLWB-FM, 103.7
UP NEXT: vs. North Florida, 7 p.m. Friday (Online: SEC Network+)
• LSU forward Aaron Epps recorded just three double-doubles in his first three seasons, but he has had two in a row in the past week.
• LSU has committed 17 turnovers in three of its last six games (Notre Dame, Marquette, Stephen F. Austin) and has lost all three contests.
• In shooting 52.2 percent from the floor this season, LSU has hit at least 60 percent of its field-goal attempts in six of 18 halves.
Sam Houston State (6-5)
Pos. Name Ht. Cl. Pts. Rebs.
G John Dewey 6-0 Jr. 9.5 5.5*
G Marcus Harris 6-0 Jr. 5.9 2.0
G Jamal Williams 6-5 Sr. 7.9 5.5
F Abrian Edwards 6-5 Jr. 3.2 2.5
F Christopher Galbreath 6-7 Sr. 16.1 8.2
G Josh Delaney 6-0 Jr. 5.3 2.6*
F Albert Almanza 6-6 Jr. 6.9 2.8
G Cameron Delaney 6-4 Jr. 5.2 4.0
Pos. Name Ht. Cl. Pts. Rebs.
G Tremont Waters 5-11 Fr. 18.2 6.4*
G Skylar Mays 6-4 So. 13.3 4.1
G Daryl Edwards 6-3 Jr. 5.9 1.3
F Aaron Epps 6-10 Sr. 10.1 6.0
F Duop Reath 6-11 Sr. 12.6 4.3
F Wayde Sims 6-6 So. 7.1 3.4
G Brandon Rachal 6-5 Fr. 6.3 4.0
G Randy Onwuasor 6-3 Sr. 4.3 1.6