LSU Tigers @ South Carolina Gamecocks When:
Saturday, January 11 - 12:30pm Where:
Colonial Life Arena (18,000 15th NCAA, Columbia SC) How:
TV:SECTV, Radio: 98.1FM/199XM , Stream: ESPN3.com ** Five Louisiana stations will carry the SECTV broadcast -- Alexandria: KLAX-DT2; Baton Rouge: WBXH-TV; Lafayette: KADN; New Orleans: WNOL; Shreveport: KMSS.**
LSU hits the road this weekend struggling. Luckily, they are heading to Columbia, where South Carolina has been less than exceptional themselves. Coach Jones plans on mixing things up and was quoted that there will be a change to the starting lineup. My money is on Coleman taking Martin's spot on the floor, however there is a chance we could see Malik Morgan or Tim Quarterman inserted to the starting 5.
Sitting at 0-1 in the league, LSU is not in trouble yet. Losses by Missouri and Arkansas this week proved that the upper middle class of the SEC still has a lot to prove. If South Carolina is going to win this game, they are going to do it from the perimeter. Both of their post players score under 7 points per game, while each of their guards score over 10. As a team, they only shoot 45.4% from inside the arc (279th NCAA) but they shoot 37.2% from three (67th NCAA). If LSU is able to get hands in the faces of USC's perimeter players, USC could struggle to hit baskets.
LSU needs to find a way to score some easy baskets. The easiest way I can think is to force turnovers in their press. Especially with Coleman in the Tiger's 3/4 court trapping zone press has yielded dividends. South Carolina is prone to turning the ball over. In fact, Florida forced 16 USC turnovers in the first half on Wednesday night.
The other big thing the Tigers need to do is grab those boards. USC has been good getting 39.4% of the offensive rebounds possible (13th NCAA). The Tigers have struggled lately with rebounding and a correction is needed moving forward. Still, this game should be a close one. Prediction:
LSU 73, USC 71