1. Dee-fense! Dee-fense!
In his postseason news conference, Johnny Jones noted the Tigers will have to find a way to play better defense next year. While LSU was second in the SEC in scoring (78.8 points) and field-goal shooting (46.0 percent), it struggled mightily on the other end. The Tigers were 13th in the league in allowing 77.1 points and dead last in field-goal defense at 45.3 percent — numbers that must come down to be in NCAA tournament contention at season’s end.
2. Get consistent
The good Tigers could roll SEC champion Kentucky by 18 points, come within a basket of upsetting Final Four-bound Oklahoma and capture big road wins against the likes of Vanderbilt and Alabama. The bad Tigers couldn’t hit the broad side of a basketball gym (see SEC tournament semifinals against Texas A&M) and lost at home to Wake Forest. In 2016-17, the Tigers must find the maturity to avoid the highs and lows of outrageous performances.
3. Avoid injuries
While they can’t control these things, the coaching staff will cross their fingers each time the Tigers take the floor — whether it’s for practice or in games — after guards Keith Hornsby and Jalyn Patterson combined to miss 18 games with injuries. Hornsby sat out the first seven games and final six with a sports hernia, while Patterson was hobbled by a knee problem for the last part of the nonconference schedule and the SEC slate.