Questions about one season … and the next!

Sometimes, it just never stops!

In the past month, I’ve been to Benton, Louisiana, Lafayette, Baton Rouge and Alexandria to cover local teams — a long, but fun stretch that’s covered several sports and just about all of our local teams.

This week, we add Lake Charles to the list.

The Thibodaux High School boys’ basketball team is the toast of the town after making it to the Top 28.

A lot of the questions asked this week center on their successes, so I condensed a bunch of them down to fit our space.

Others are curious about baseball, spring football, and all of the other awesome things going on in the local sports world.

Q: What makes the Thibodaux boys’ basketball team so good? (Asked by many people locally)

A: Great question. I could have written an entire column just on this topic alone. What makes Thibodaux a great team is the fact that they’re a new-school team that still plays with the old-school basketball principles for success. What do I mean by that? Look, reality is reality. The game is changing. Teams that win shoot 3-pointers and make shots in the paint. Thibodaux does those things. But what they don’t do is play crappy AAU, selfish — me, me, me basketball. The Tigers’ 5 starters could all be the star player for other teams locally. But there’s no internal friction or competition. They play their roles and accept that their strength is their depth and unity. They do little things well. They rebound. They defend. They’re selfless with the ball. They have a fire about them that’s rare in a sport that’s become so commercialized by slam dunks, crossover dribbles and other trash. The meat and potatoes are the fundamentals and Thibodaux is super good at the meat and potatoes of the game. That’s why they excel.

Q: What do you know about Bonnabel — Thibodaux’s Top 28 foe (Asked by many people locally)

A: I know they’re going to be athletic — as most city teams are. And I know that they have a post player, who has Thibodaux’s attention. The teams played earlier this season. Thibodaux beat them by 8 points in a non-district game. I don’t think that matters much going into this game. It was such a long time ago — both teams have evolved and have gotten better since then. This will not be easy. The Bruins are well-coached and will have a chip on their shoulders trying to take down the No. 1 team in the state in Class 5A. But Thibodaux is pretty darned good, too, obviously. I think this will be an exciting matchup. It’s just a shame the game will be played at 3 p.m. on a weekday. That’s lousy.

Q: How will Kyle Lasseigne do at E.D. White? (Asked by Kevin, Thibodaux)

A: I think he’s going to do great. He’s familiar with the area, the school and the program. Heck, he’s been the head coach there before and had great success. The job will likely be tough early-on, because he inherits a roster that’s losing quite a bit of high-end talent. But I also watched their JV and freshman teams play this fall and they had a good group of younger players. I think Coach Lasseigne will do a great job — like he’s done in the past. I’m very happy to see him on the sidelines. I think local high school football is better when great people are involved. And he is, for sure, a good man.

Q: What’s to make of the Bryce Harper contract? (Asked by Richard, Houma)

A: I think the total money is about what I expected it might be. Look, I think paying a guy that much money to hit .250 with 35 home runs is insane, but the market is the market and if he had a 10-year, $300-million offer from the Nationals last season, he was going to get more on the open market — undoubtedly. To me, the strangest part of this deal are the number of years involved. Thirteen years is a long time to trust that someone will be able to hit a curveball — especially when I can argue that he struggles to hit one right now in his prime. Harper has been so hit or miss and injury prone that it’s hard to imagine the type of talent he might be in the year 2032 when this contract expires. That part, to me, at least, is what’s insane about that contract.

Q: You stay busy. Do you have any special projects coming up? (Asked by Walt, Mobile)

A: Man, we’re always working on special projects. That’s just part of the life of a journalist. But without giving away too many secrets, I think we have a lot of things going on at Rushing Media that will keep readers entertained, informed and happy. It’s going to be a great year. It’s already started.

Q: What is going on with LSU baseball? (Asked by Tim, Houma)

A: They don’t have enough pitching. It’s the same story as last year. It’s the same story as the past half-decade. I could write a column about how I think Paul Mainieri is the problem (he is), but I’ve been there and done that already.

Bryce Harper


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