When he arrived at LSU four seasons ago, Eddie Ludwig had just finished a career at Metairie Park Country Day that included three straight trips to the Class 1A championship game, a run the Cajuns capped with a state title Ludwig’s senior year.
He has experienced far fewer wins in college, part of three LSU teams that have gone 40-56 overall with a 12-36 mark in Southeastern Conference play.
LSU went 18-15 last year, losing at Oregon in the first round of the NIT tournament.
“We’ve gotten, progressively, a little better each year,” Ludwig said. “I really just want us to take that next step.”
With the waves first-year coach Johnny Jones has made on the recruiting trail, there’s a sense LSU basketball could be back among the ranks of the contenders in future seasons.
But as the only fourth-year player on the LSU roster, Ludwig hopes the future comes sooner rather than later.
He believes it can.
“People may be taking us lightly going into the year because we lost some key guys from last year,” Ludwig said. “I definitely see a chance for us to surprise some people.”
A heady player renowned for his work ethic and attention to detail, Ludwig has bounced between the post to the wing the past three years, but the 6-foot-9 forward has never averaged more than 3.8 points or 2.8 rebounds per game.
His name could appear more often toward the top of the box score this year.
Ludwig is one of only two seniors on the roster along with Andrew Del Piero, a 7-foot-3 senior who joined the Tigers as a walk-on three years ago. He is one of only four LSU players expected to see extensive time in the post.
“I don’t rule him out in terms of being a starter, and I think that speaks well of what he’s been able to do in this short time,” Jones said. “If he can continue playing the way that he’s played, he can be a great contributor to the basketball team this season.”
The fact his senior year is here has pushed Ludwig to spend even more time in the gym and more time working on his game.
He said it’s important for him not only to finish his career in style, but also to help LSU set the table for better days ahead.
“This year is really the foundation year for coach Jones,” Ludwig said. “We all know that, and we want to be a part of that, and just set a solid foundation for a bunch of good things to come.”