LSU has a top-four football team according to ESPN, and a top 4 basketball team according to Value Add Basketball, and two of the four top returning scorers in the country play up the road at Northwestern State.
We ran the Value Add Sports calculations on all returning Louisiana athletes and emailed 83 sports writers and other experts in the state to help rank the 20 state players to watch on a list we will update here.
If you do not have one of the 102,321 seats at Tiger Stadium for the showdown with Auburn September 19, there are plenty of other great athletes in action in a number of sports and on a number of campuses.
The big news in the offseason was LSU landing the top basketball recruit in Ben Simmons, which made them a projected Final Four team at Value Add. Still, he may not be the top player in the state.
Last year Fox Sports reported on our surprise selection of Jalan West of Northwestern State as a Top 10 player, and not only did he put up 19.6 points per game (4th of any returning player), he also led the nation in assists to help make teammate Zeek Woodley (22.6 ppg) the top returning scorer. West’s two buzzer beaters in one game—one over a double team 75 feet from the basket, was shown here by NBC Sports.
You can see plenty of great action not only at LSU and Northwestern State, but also at Grambling, LA-Lafayette, Louisiana Monroe, Louisiana Tech, Southern, and Tulane. The top 25 athletes to watch are:
- Jalan West, Northwestern St., Basket, PG
- Ben Simmons, LSU, Basket, PF
- Leonard Fournette, LSU, Football, RB
- Lloyd Benjamin, Southern, Track/Field, 400m DashMen
- Alex Lange, LouisianaState, Baseball,
- Bianka Bell, LSU, Softball,
- Lexie Elkins., Louisiana-Lafayette, Softball
- Por’sha Thomas, Northwestern St., Track/Field, TripleJumpWomen
- Lilla McMillan, Tulane, Track/Field, 200m DashMen
- Zikiteran Woodley, Northwestern St., Basket, SF
- Jorian Baucom, LSU, Soccer, Forward
- Chauncey Wells, Grambling, Track/Field, Triple JumpMen
- Tim Quarterman, Louisiana St., Basket, SF
- Breann Denson, Northwestern St., Track/Field, Triple JumpWomen
- Shawn Long, Louisiana Lafayette, Basket, C
- Alexis Urch, LSU, Soccer, Defender
- Morgan Cormier, UL-Lafayette, Track/Field, 400m Intermediate HuMen
- Jalen Mills, LSU Tigers, Foot, DBack
- Alex Hamilton, Louisiana Tech, Basket, SG
- Ricky Theyard, UL-Lafayette, Track/Field, Triple JumpMen
- Jared Sam, Southern, Basket, C
- Alexander Young, SE Louisiana, Track/Field, Discus ThrowMen
- Mia Adams, Louisiana Tech, Track/Field, 100m DashMen
- Erik McCree, Louisiana Tech, Basket, PF
- Collin Rowland, SE Louisiana, Track/Field, JavelinMen
(tied for 25th) Majok Deng, Louisiana Monroe, Basket, C