Saturday, January 18, 2020 at 8:00pm EST
Written by Chris Kubala
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.
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