Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports
Who: LSU Tigers (0-0, 0-0) vs Gardner-Webb Runnin' Bulldogs (0-0, 0-0)
When: Saturday, Nov 15 - Noon
Where: Pete Maravich Assembly Center (13,215 - 45th in NCAA)
How:
***TV: None
***Radio: LSU affiliates listed Here
***Stream: SECN+ (via espn3 dot com)

After a surprisingly successful first year under head coach Tim Craft, the Runnin' Bulldogs look to improve as a program in the Big South Conference. Last season Gardner Webb finished 18-15. They were able to keep games close against big five conference foes, including two SEC teams (Missouri 72-63 and Georgia 58-49). While the Runnin' Bulldogs lose two starters, they bring back some serious experience.

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Gardner Webb will be leg by their 4 year starting point guard, Tyler Strange. Strange averaged 4.9 assists and a 2.76 A/TO. He shot 37.6% from three point land last season making him a formidable opponent. Gardner Webb's new shooting guard, Jarvis Davis, shot 89% from the free throw line last season and averaged 4.2 points in only 10.5 minutes of action.

While Gardner Webb has two very good guards, the shooting forward spot will give LSU an opportunity to flex their muscles. Isaiah Ivey, 6'2" 190 Jr, will be matched up with 6'10" Jarell Martin. The Runnin' Bulldogs do have a 6'5" wing player (Adonis Burbage) who may get the nod against the much taller Martin.

Jerome Hill was Gardner Webb's leading scorer and rebounder last season averaging 14.4 points and 8.5 rebounds a contest. The 6'5" PF will have some work to do against one of the top defenders in the country in Jordan Mickey. While undersized, Hill is an active lefty who can give opponents fits.

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Tyrell Nelson rounds out their starting lineup at center/forward. Tyrell was Big Sky All Freshman team last year and is looking to make a big jump forward becoming a full time starter this year.

Gardner Webb played mostly man to man defense last year. They were successful defending the perimeter and were top 40 in steals. They did struggle inside with their undersized forwards, so look for LSU to go inside early and often. The two biggest mismatches on the offensive end will be at the 3 and 4 spots where both Martin and Mickey will have serious height advantages.

Gardner Webb's average possession length was almost an entire second slower than LSU who likes to push the tempo. While Gardner Webb was able to keep some big schools close last season, I wouldn't expect that to be the case in this one.

With the LSU football game not starting till 7pm Saturday night, LSU Basketball is a great way to fill the afternoon. Come pack the PMAC in this season opening contest.

Predictions:

Score: LSU 84, Gardner Webb 59
Most Points: Jarell Martin (LSU)
Most Assists: Tyler Strange (GW)
Most Rebounds: Jordan Mickey (LSU)
Most Blocks: Jordan Mickey (LSU)
Most Steals: Tim Quarterman (LSU)


Up Next: Texas Tech, Nov 18, 8:30pm, PMAC
Filed Under: LSU Basketball

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