4:45 Sportscast LRN February 25

The New Orleans Pelicans begin the stretch run of the season on the road tonight against the Phoenix Suns. With the Pels sitting 12th in the Western Conference standings, a game and a half behind 10th place Portland, the focus should be on the court. But the biggest topic of discussion lately has been Zion Williamson and his future with the team. Williamson has appeared in only 85 games since 2019 but will be eligible for a $190-million extension this offseason. NOLA-dot-com Pelicans beat writer Christian Clark expects Zion to re-sign but says he’ll have to show the front office he’s healthy and ready to commit to the franchise.

Cut 18 (15) “…take the max.”

Fresh off their big win over LSU, Louisiana Tech opens up a three-game series against Tulane at JC Love Field Friday night. Tech is 4-0 after sweeping Wichita State and beating the Tigers. Tulane is also 4-0 with a series win over UMASS-Lowell and a 7-5 victory over Nicholls on Wednesday.

Led by Khayla Pointer, number eight LSU narrowly defeated Alabama at the P-MAC on Thursday night. Pointer scored 23 points, grabbed nine rebounds, and handed out eight assists for the Tigers who assured themselves of a second-place finish in the SEC. After earning nine wins all of last season, the Tigers have 11 conference wins heading into Sunday’s regular-season finale at Tennessee. Kim Mulkey is impressed and says you should be too.

Cut 21 (12) “…still number 2.”

The men play will be looking to snap a two-game losing streak when they host Missouri Saturday night. This will be the first meeting between the teams this season. Mizzou is 2-9 over its last 11 games and 3-10 away from home so far. LSU needs to win two of its final three games to finish .500 in the SEC. The Tigers haven’t had a losing conference record since Will Wade’s first season.

Former Saints head coach Sean Payton is currently engaged in negotiations with Fox Sports to join them as an analyst according to reports. It has yet to be decided whether Payton would be in-studio or in the booth, but there are rumors he could succeed Troy Aikman as the network’s lead analyst.