A quick chance to bounce back

After a tough-to-swallow loss at Alabama, the Tigers get right back to action with road game at Arkansas.

Part of the beauty of a basketball season is knowing there's always a game coming up pretty quickly, so the human nature to linger on a bad performance gets cycled out quicker.

That's what the LSU men have to bank on Saturday when they travel to Arkansas for a second consecutive road game.

The Tigers (11-5, 1-1 SEC) were left with a bitter pill to swallow after a 69-53 loss at Alabama on Wednesday. But after flying back that night, there wasn't much time to stew about their worst loss of the season.

"We've got to move forward," freshman point guard Anthony Hickey said. "We've got another team to play."

Another team with a different style based on the same thing that created problems for LSU in the loss to the Crimson Tide.

Under first-year coach Mike Anderson, the Razorbacks (12-4, 1-1) have gone back to the 40 minute of hell method they perfected under Nolan Richardson when they the SEC's top program in the early 1990s.

Arkansas will play up-tempo, press and try to pull LSU into the faster pace.

While the Tigers are deeper than they have been and equipped to handle the intensity of the Hogs' style, it took them a while to adjust to Alabama's much less aggressive press Wednesday, which led in part to 11 first-half turnovers.

"Once we break the press, we need to attack," guard Andre Stringer said. "That's what we have to do Saturday.

"The key every game is to take care of the ball, rebound and play defense, and (Wednesday) night we didn't do that as well as we've been doing the rest of the year."

Ralston Turner: LSU needs more offensive production from the 6-foot-6 sophomore.

LSU adjusted against the Tide and had some success on press-break transition plays. But shooting woes exacerbated the Tigers' struggles. They hit only 35.8% from the floor (19 of 53) and got next to nothing from Ralston Turner (2 points). Storm Warren sat most of the first half with two fouls and wound up playing only 19 minutes.

Although the Tigers rely heavily on what they do defensively, Arkansas' style necessitates offensive efficiency. LSU can't afford unforced turnovers or forced shots or even quick shots. There has to be a focus on making the Razorbacks play defense for extended periods to keep them out of rhythm.

"This team we're playing will turn you over and speed you up constantly," LSU coach Trent Johnson said.

"We have to make good decisions and get back to winning the battle on the glass. They're going to shoot it quick and shoot it deep. We're in a situation where you're going to have to attack the basket. They're going to double you and force you to make a play offensively."

It will be key for the Tigers to get as many plays as they can from center Justin Hamilton.

Alabama effectively limited the LSU 7-footer, limiting him to 3-of-12 shooting and only two offensive rebounds. For the Tigers to have a shot against the Hogs, they must seize upon the size advantage Hamilton gives them and also need Stringer and Turner to be poised to launch – and make their fair share – from the perimeter.

It's also vital that Hickey play under control and function well against the Arkansas press.

"If we bring our A game, we'll be there at the end," Stringer said. "That's what we expect from ourselves."

Martin ready for action

Freshman Ronald Martin was at practice this week and made the trip to Fayetteville.

Ronald Martin

Martin was a safety on the Tigers football team. He starred in both sports at White Castle, leading the Bulldogs to state championships in both.

Johnson said the 6-foot-1, 180-pound guard is strong and has a skill set, including a nice shot, that will give him a chance to play. Martin averaged 21 points a game as a senior and scored 25 in the Class 1A state championship game.

"He still needs to learn the system defensively and offensively as soon as possible," Johnson said. "If he can help us he'll be out there.

"He likes contact which I like. And he's been around a lot of competitive guys who win and that helps."

CHALK TALK: LSU at Arkansas

VIDEO: Johnson prepares for Arkansas

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