Scouting Report: LSU Tigers

The Wildcats have not fared well in games before Christmas break. Arizona always tries to schedule difficult road games and this year is no exception. The Cats head to LSU, a place they have never won. In fact, the Wildcats suffered one of their worst losses ever the last time they went into the Maravich Center at Baton Rouge.

This Scouting Report is sponsored by InnSuites Hotels. If you're coming to town for the game, business or pleasure, why not stay where all fans stay. Stay at the Inn Suites Hotels & Suites. For more information, click on the banner below.

Arizona Wildcats (5-0) at Louisiana State University Tigers (6-1)
Saturday, December 21
8:00 EST, ESPN2

Arizona won a close one, edging out No. 8 Texas 73-70. LSU routed Prairie View 75-49.

Arizona beat the Tigers 88-75 at McKale back in 2000. Arizona leads the series 3-2, with the home teams winning each contest.

BACKCOURTS: The Tigers will throw a big, talented backcourt at the Wildcats. Collis Temple III is a versatile, 6-7 player that causes mismatches. Temple can score inside and out. His scoring is down from a year ago, but with Luke Walton out, the Wildcats won't get the luxury of using Andre Iguodala or Hassan Adams at shooting guard for very long.

Torris Bright is a competent point guard and his defense is a key. With good hustle and a size advantage, the 6-4 Bright could make things difficult for the smaller Wildcat point guards.

Darell Mitchell and Antonio Hudson give the Tigers a competent tandem off the bench. Hudson plays over 23 minutes a game and Mitchell is not far behind. Mitchell is the fifth leading scorer at 8.0 ppg and Hudson is sixth at 7.0 ppg. Mitchell is the team's sharpshooter hitting over 57% of his long balls.

The Wildcats will counter with a smaller unit. Gardner and Salim Stoudamire should get the starting nod. Both have yet to put up the numbers that they did last year. Gardner has sacrificed scoring to be a more complete point guard. His assists are up and his turnovers are down. Stoudamire appears to be over his ankle injury and, if he can find his groove early, his three-point shooting can carry the Wildcats and free up the big men inside.

Will Bynum provides instant offense off the bench. His three-point shooting and defense is much better than it was a year ago. With the bigger LSU guards, the Wildcats may turn to freshman Chris Rodgers. Rodgers is one of the best guards defensively and his grasp of the offense gets better every day.

"Will is so good off the bench," said "He provides instant energy."

FRONTCOURTS: Ronald Dupree is one of the most athletic forwards in the SEC and can play either forward spot. He is strong enough to play in the paint, but athletic enough to cause problems on the wing. He leads LSU in scoring (14.3ppg) and with his leaping ability he hits the boards very well.

"Dupree is a really a good inside/outside player," Olson said. "They have great flexibility whether he plays the three or four. He's quick, tough and very competitive."

Jaime Lloreda is a banger inside and can both score and rebound. He is shooting a stellar .694 from the field and grabs 8.6 rebounds a contest. Brad Bridgewater and Thomas Davis give the Tigers two other talented seniors on the inside.

Arizona will miss the multi-talented Walton, but will trot out the athletic duo of Hassan Adams and Andre Iguodala. The true freshmen will split time at the small forward position. Iguodala is the better rebounder of the two, while Adams gets a slight nod as a scorer.

Rick Anderson has been great inside, playing a lot more consistent this season. The senior can play inside or out, but has not ventured outside as much, instead Anderson is getting a lot of points off of offensive rebounds.

Channing Frye and Isaiah Fox have split time at center. Fox is a space eater who has been more consistent and better against physical teams. Frye has a better offensive arsenal, but has been taken out of games at times when the play gets rough. Dennis Latimore has been a good role player off of the bench.

OUTLOOK: The Tigers have something to prove as they gear up for the Southeast Conference and a run to the NCAA tournament. LSU missed the Big Dance last season and played in the post season NIT. Arizona wants to improve their play after a couple of games they weren't real happy with. The Maravich Center is a tough place to play when the fans show up and despite weak crowds against inferior opponents, the LSU fans should pack the place with the Wildcats coming to town. Arizona should have a talent advantage, and if this wasn't the dreaded game before Christmas the Wildcats would be big favorites. As it is, the Wildcats should win, but it won't be easy. This should be a good one.

Wildcat Authority Top Stories