LSU at Alabama

Alabama Men's basketball team (12-9, 1-5) plays host to the LSU Tigers (8-12, 1-5) Saturday (2/2/08) at 2pm CST. In a game televised regionally by Raycom Sports, the Tide will play in front of another sold out Coleman Coliseum.

Bama plays another depleted team as the Tigers have been hampered by injuries. LSU is down to seven players who have played any significant minutes. In a win in their last game over Auburn (81-80), the Tiger starters were Alex Farrer (6-5, sophomore guard), Garrett Temple (6-6, junior guard), Marcus Thornton (6-4, junior guard), Quintin Thornton (6-8, junior forward), and Anthony Randolph (6-10, freshman forward).

Offensively, LSU is averaging 68.8 points per game while being lead in scoring by Marcus Thornton (19.7) who put up 38 in their last outing against Auburn.

The Tigers shooting percentages are 43 percent from the floor, 31.8 (133-418) percent from the three point line, and 72.7 percent from the foul line. LSU distributes the ball at the rate of 12 assists and 14.1 turnovers per game. The Tigers utilize a three guard line-up, but they are big guards who could cause some match-up problems.

On defense, LSU allows 69.3 points per game by the opposition while holding them to 42.3 percent from the field and 34.4 percent from the arc. The Tigers' defense averages 6.3 steals and 6.1 blocks per game while forcing their opponents into 14 turnovers per game.

LSU has a -3 rebounding margin per game as they average 35.1 to the opposition's 38.1 rebounds per game. Look for the Tigers to zone for most of the game due to the lack of available players.

For Bama, this game is to see who gets the sole possession of the cellar in the SEC Western Division. The Tide has showed well in all of their SEC games, but has had trouble finishing.

Bama continues to play hard with some improvements on both ends of the court. The only question now is will they continue to give their best effort.

After this home game against LSU, the rest of this season could be a long one with six of the last nine games away from home.

Defensively, look for the Tide to use their 2-3 zone as LSU is not a good three point shooting team. The important match-up for Bama is who will get the assignment of keeping up with Marcus Thornton. Brandon Hollinger and Rico Pickett will probably get the task of holding him down as he has been hot as of late.

Look for the home team to apply some full court pressure as the visitors do not handle the ball well. One of the important pieces of that pressure is Senario Hillman who is seeing extended minutes with his electric energy and athleticism.

On offense, the Tide will need some zone-breaking jumpers to loosen up the Tigers defense. The main theme for Bama is to get the ball to Richard Hendrix and company as LSU will be reluctant to foul because of the depleted numbers.

With a good shooting percentage from the arc and free throw line, look for the Tide to pull out a single digit win.

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