It’s a battle of teams from the SEC on the college hardwood in the Magnolia State in search of a victory. The LSU Tigers are on the road as they travel to face the Ole Miss Rebels Saturday night. LSU came back to down Texas A&M 89-85 in overtime on the road Tuesday night in their last game. Ole Miss was dropped 71-55 on the road by Florida Tuesday night in their previous contest. The Tigers own an 81-60 edge in the all-time series between the schools, including an 83-69 road win in the most recent matchup on January 15, 2019.
LSU Tigers Seek to Keep RollingLSU is rolling along coming into this one as they have been clicking recently. The Tigers started the year 3-2 with losses to VCU on the road and Utah State on a neutral floor, both by two points. LSU then won four straight, all by double figures, before losing back to back games at home to East Tennessee State and by two at the Staples Center against LSU. Since then, the Tigers have reeled off five straight wins, with four of those in conference play. LSU rolled to a double-digit win over Tennessee but has won the last three (at home vs. Arkansas and Mississippi State, at Texas A&M) by a combined seven points.
The Tigers are putting up 79.9 points per game on the season, putting them 28th in the nation in scoring offense. LSU collects 39.8 rebounds per game and dishes out an average of 13.8 assists per contest. The Tigers hope to improve defensively as they come in 171st in scoring defense by allowing 68.6 points per night. Skylar Mays leads LSU with 16 points plus 4.8 rebounds a game this season. Trendon Watford (13.1 points, 6.7 rebounds), Emmitt Williams (13.2 points, 6.8 boards), Darius Days (12.5 points, 8.4 boards) and Javonte Smart (11.2 points, 4.7 assists) are all scoring in double figures. Charles Manning Jr., James Bishop and Aundre Hyatt are all part of the rotation for the Tigers. LSU shoots 48.4 percent from the field as a team on the year. The Tigers connect on 6.5 triples a night while shooting just 31.4 percent from beyond the arc. LSU has been solid at the charity stripe, knocking down 75.2 percent of their chances this season. Manning underwent surgery January 17 for a broken foot that could sideline him for at least a month. That puts pressure on Hyatt, Bishop, Marlon Taylor and Marshall Graves to step up and replace his production.
According to KenPom, LSU is fifth in the nation in offensive efficiency on the year. The Tigers are 28th in effective field goal percentage (53.8 percent), 13th in offensive rebound percentage (36 percent), 48th in free throw percentage and a sparkling second in two-point field goal percentage (57.3 percent) this season. By comparison, LSU’s opponents shoot just 43.8 percent from inside the arc, leaving the Tigers’ defense 33rd in that category on the year. LSU will push the pace if given an opportunity as they are 103rd in tempo with 70.3 possessions per game.
Ole Miss Rebels Hoping to Right the ShipOle Miss has had their share of issues this season and it’s going to be tough for Kermit Davis to get things going in the right direction again. The Rebels started the season with four straight victories before a stretch that saw them lose three of four games, including a 41-point blowout on a neutral floor against Oklahoma State where the margin of victory was greater than the number of points the team scored (37) in the contest. Ole Miss rebounded with four straight wins but have dropped their last four games, including their first three SEC contests, to drop to 9-7 overall entering this game.
The Rebels are averaging 68.8 points per contest on the year, which puts them 251st in the nation in scoring offense. Ole Miss is grabbing 34.7 rebounds per contest and dishes out 14.2 assists per game this season. The Rebels are 104th in the nation in scoring defense as they give up 66.2 points per contest. Ole Miss is led by Breein Tyree, who puts up 17.8 points a night. Blake Hinson puts up 11.4 points plus 5.2 rebounds a night. KJ Buffen kicks in 10.4 points plus 6.5 boards a night while Devontae Shuler chips in 10.5 points and 4.6 rebounds plus 3.9 assists per contest. Khadim Sy, Luis Rodriguez, Austin Crowley and Bryce Williams are key pieces in the rotation for second-year coach Kermit Davis. Ole Miss shoots 43.3 percent from the field as a team on the year. The Rebels sink 6.3 threes per game while shooting 31.7 percent from downtown. Ole Miss is mediocre at the charity stripe, cashing in 72.3 percent of their attempts. Rodriguez has been out with a foot injury since November 27 but is expected to return in the near future.
Looking at the numbers from KenPom, Ole Miss has some decent metrics going for themselves. The Rebels are 112th in the nation in offensive efficiency and 121st in defensive efficiency on the year. Ole Miss is close to average in pace as they are 202nd in tempo with 68.4 possessions per game this season. The Rebels are 35th in three-point field goal percentage defense (29.3 percent) and 36th in offensive rebound percentage allowed (24.3 percent) this season. That second number is going to be critical against a very aggressive LSU group of glass crashers.
The top trends for this contest according to Covers.com:
- Tigers are 11-4 ATS in their last 15 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600
- Tigers are 12-5 ATS in their last 17 road games
- Rebels are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600
- Rebels are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record