Vanderbilt Commodores @ LSU Tigers When:
Saturday, January 18th - 8:00PM Where:
PMAC (13,215 - 46th NCAA) How:
TV: ESPNU, Radio: 98.1FN, Stream: ESPN3.com
After going one and one on their two game road trip, LSU comes home to play a depleted Vanderbilt team on Saturday night on ESPNU. Vanderbilt beat Missouri Thursday night by three to claim their first SEC win. In the game, Vandy played three players the entire 40 minutes. They only played 7 players in the game. If there was ever a time for Coach Jones to pull out the press and try to speed the game up, this is it.
In their game with Missouri, Their 1-3 stayed on the floor for all 69 possessions. They combined for 12 of 28 three pointers and 13 of 15 free throws. LSU will have to do a better job on the perimeter trio. The rest of their team only scored 21 total points (Out of 78).
LSU needs to get their post players involved. Ole Miss was able to keep LSU out of the post using a 2-3 zone. Vanderbilt plays almost exclusively man to man so we will see if they make an adjustment to defend a post reliant LSU team.
Vanderbilt's depleted lineup stems from the loss of 6'11" Josh Henderson (torn ACL) and leading scorer Eric McClellan (dismissed from team). It has left an already thin roster in meager shape. Still, they defeated a good Missouri team Thursday night and can bring it from the perimeter similarly to Ole Miss.
LSU must execute their offense better in the half court or get after Vanderbilt who has been prone to turning it over in conference play. They are 12th in turnovers in conference games and have been one of the poorer rebounding teams thru the first 3 games.
Jordan Mickey and Johnny O'Bryant will be looking for redemption after a very poor performance by the two post players and their opportunities may be easier to find this game.
An even bigger question to be answered is how Coach Jones reacts to a team as thin as Vanderbilt. The Commodores tempo of 64.4 possessions per game is slow and LSU cannot let Vanderbilt slow this game down. LSU would rather reckless running to methodically efficient in this one just to ware out the perimeter guys.
The Tigers are desperate for a big win after such a letdown on the road and I hope the players react better than they did against Tennessee after a poor loss to URI. Prediction:
LSU 75, Vanderbilt 62