CHALK TALK: LSU vs. Arkansas

Tigers seek a new lease on the season against the Razorbacks at the SEC Tournament.


SEC Tournament

LSU vs. Arkansas, noon Thursday

Radio: 98.1 FM. XM: Channel 199. Sirius: Channel 220

TV: SEC Network


LSU (17-13)

Projected starters

G Anthony Hickey 5-11, 182, Fr. (9.2 ppg, 3.7 apg, 60 steals)

G Ralston Turner 6-6, 205, So. (8.9 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 43-121 3pt. FG)

G Andre Stringer 5-9, 175, So. (10.1 ppg, 56-68 FT, 65 assists)

F Johnny O’Bryant 6-8, 250, Fr. (8.3 ppg, 6.7 rpg)

C Justin Hamilton 7-0, 260, Jr. (13 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 96-124 FT)

Key reserves

F Storm Warren 6-7, 230, Sr. (8.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 29 steals)

F Malcolm White 6-8, 220, Sr. (3.4 ppg, 2 rpg)

G John Isaac 6-3, 208, Fr. (2.9 ppg, 16-21 FT)

G-F Eddie Ludwig 6-9, 210, Jr. (2.1 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 14-16 FT)

Coach: Trent Johnson (66-62, 4th season; 225-183, 13th season)


Arkansas (18-13)

Projected starters

G Mardracus Wade 6-2, 178, So. (10.8 ppg, 42.4% 3-pt. FG)

G Rickey Scott 6-3, 195, So. (9.4 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.5 apg)

G Julysses Nobles 6-1, 193, Jr. (8.6 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 3.2 apg)

F Marvell Waithe 6-9, 195, Sr. (4.8 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 32-42 FT)

F Michael Sanchez 6-9, 235, Sr. (3.9 ppg, 3.4 rpg)

Key reserves

G B.J. Young 6-3, 175, Fr. (15.3 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.3 apg, 42% 3-pt. FG)

G Rashad Madden 6-5, 178, Fr. (6.7 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 56-75 FT)

F Devonte Abron 6-8, 250, Fr. (5.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg)

F-C Hunter Mickelson 6-10, 234, Fr. (5.1 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 2.3 bpg)

G Brandon Mitchell 6-4, 230, So. (3.7 ppg, 2.3 rpg)

Coach: Mike Anderson (18-13, 1st season; 218-111, 10th season)


Up next

The winner moves on to face top-seeded and No. 1-ranked Kentucky (30-1) in the tournament quarterfinals at noon on Friday. The loser must wait and see if it receives an NIT bid.


Of note

  • The Tigers and Razorbacks split this season, each team winning at home – LSU 71-65 in Baton Rouge on Feb. 4 and Arkansas 69-60 in Fayetteville on Jan. 14. The Tigers trail the series against Arkansas 31-23 and are 1-2 against the Hogs in the league tournament, but the teams haven’t met since 2003 – also in New Orleans when the Tigers rolled to an 85-56 triumph.
  • LSU is 2-2 in SEC Tournament games played in New Orleans, with both wins coming in 2003 when the Tigers got to the semifinals. The four previous games were all at the Superdome.
  • The Tigers are 43-51 in SEC Tournament play and 15-18 in first-round games.
  • In two meetings with Arkansas, LSU missed 25 of 31 3-point attempts.
  • Sophomore Jalen Courtney was back at practice Wednesday after missing the last four games with Plantar Fasciitis. Courtney logged 17 minutes vs. Arkansas in the game on the road.
  • Warren needs 5 rebounds to become the 26th played in LSU history with 600 rebounds and 7 to take over 25th place on the Tigers’ all-time list.
  • Eddie Ludwig

    Ludwig turned in his best SEC game of the season in the win against Arkansas with 12 points (matched a career high), a 3-pointer, 3-for-3 free throws, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, a steal and a blocked shot. That all came after he never got off the bench in the first game with the Hogs.
  • Hickey scored 12 points in both games against Arkansas, had 3 steals in both games and snagged 9 rebounds. He also reduced his turnovers from 4 in the game at Arkansas to 2 at home.
  • O’Bryant has attempted 9 field goals or more in each of the last five games and is hitting 41.3% (19 of 46) in that stretch. He grabbed 11 rebounds in the one game he played against the Hogs, which equaled the most he had in an SEC game.
  • White snagged a season-high 6 rebounds against Arkansas in Fayetteville when he played 14 minutes.
  • Stringer has misfired on 13of 14 3-pointers in two games against the Razorbacks this season, but he made amends to a degree in the first game with a career-best 6 rebounds.
  • Young is the highest-scoring freshman in the league and has notched six games with 20 points or more – a season-best 31, only the third freshman in school history to top 30. LSU limited him to 3 points in a foul-plagued 24-minute day in Baton Rouge, his season-low in an SEC contest. That was the only time he didn’t crack double digits in league play.
  • Mardracus Wade

    Wade leads the SEC in 3-point accuracy at 42.4% and has nailed 11 of his last 24 tries from outside the arc. He has knocked down 3 treys or more in 11 games this season, including both contests with LSU.
  • Arkansas’ 9-for-18 shooting from 3-point range in the January game was the most makes by an SEC team vs. LSU this season.
  • The Razorbacks have lost three consecutive first-round games in the tournament since playing in the 2008 championship game in Atlanta, a 66-57 loss to Georgia. The last time Arkansas won an opening-round game was 2007. The Hogs are 3-7 in first-round games, but are also one of three teams that have won four games to grab the league’s automatic bid – doing so in 2000.
  • Mickelson’s 7 blocked shots against the Tigers in January were his career-high and the most by an individual against the Tigers this season. His performance also topped the total every SEC team recorded against LSU except Kentucky, which rejected 8 shots on Jan. 25.
  • Abron corralled 13 rebounds vs. the Tigers in the first game, the most by a foe in league play vs. LSU this season.
  • Arkansas sophomore Brandon Mitchell, an Amite native and a backup quarterback for the Hogs’ football team, was once a commitment to the LSU basketball program. He has played 20 minutes or more in the last three games and has averaged 6.7 points – including a career-best 10 points vs. Auburn – and 4 rebounds in that stretch.

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