by SouthOfSouthFebruary 14, 2014
Who: Arkansas Razorbacks
When: Saturday, February 15 - 4PM
Where: Bud Walton Arena (19,200 - 10th NCAA)
How: TV:ESPNU, RADIO:98.1FM, STREAM:ESPN3.com
After a bitter defeat to Texas A&M on Wednesday night, LSU remains on the road and goes to the always tough Bud Walton Arena. Arkansas played Thursday night at Missouri and lost 86-85 in a thriller. Arkansas is one of the fastest paced teams in the NCAA averaging 73 possessions per game. On offense, they average only 15.1 seconds per possession. On defense, they force the most turnovers in the SEC.
LSU is going to have to figure out their defense. They have allowed teams to score almost at will lately. In their last six games they have given up 83, 80, 91, 74, 82, and 82. They are 3-3 over that stretch winning their 3 home games and losing their 3 road games.
Arkansas has 3 double figure scorers; 13.2PPG for Bobby Portis (6'10" 242 Fr), 12.9PPG for Rashad Madden (6'5" 180 Jr), and 11.4PPG for Michael Qualls (6'6" 210 So). Qualls is their 6th man off the bench. Arkansas' starting lineup has two 6'2" guards, a 6'5" wing and post players standing 6'7" 232 and 6'10" 242. As a team they shoot a respectable 35.7% from three point range however, in SEC play they have only shot 42.3% from two point range which is worst in the SEC.
This is a game where LSU has to get out on shooters. These two played against each other in Baton Rouge with LSU winning 88-74, but Arkansas is a different team at home. In the first meeting, it was the Johnny and Jordan show as both Mickey and O'Bryant scored over 20 points and had over 9 rebounds. Neither got into foul trouble and played 69 minutes combined(out of 80 possible). It will take an effort like that on offense, with the defense playing much better for LSU to win.
Keys to the Game
Turnovers LSU doesn't have to win the turnover battle, but they can't let it get out of hand. Arkansas is #1 in SEC in turnovers forced and #1 in protecting the ball.
Fouls There is 1 way to stop Jordan Mickey and Johnny O'Bryant; get them in foul trouble. LSU has to keep their play makers on the court.
Defense As obvious as this one is, LSU MUST play better on defense. They didn't allow nearly as many perimeter guys to get inside versus Texas A&M, but they left shooters open for three. Arkansas shoots that shot well so they cannot leave guys open.
Arkansas 85, LSU 81
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