Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. and the SEC Network will have the live television broadcast.
The Cougars, losers of two straight, have played arguably a tougher slate than the Tigers have to this point of the season. Charleston has laced ‘em up, like LSU, at West Virginia (86-57 loss), versus Davidson (80-68 loss), and in Puerto Rico against Connecticut, Texas A&M and George Mason (the first two were single-digit losses and the last one a 61-60 win).
For LSU the biggest storyline heading in is the status of starting point guard Josh Gray. The JuCo transfer missed the Tigers’ triumph at UAB Thursday night with a sprained ankle and has been deemed by head coach Johnny Jones a “game-time decision” for tonight’s affair.
In his stead Tim Quarterman would make his second straight start for the purple and gold.
Get ready for tonight’s game with projected starters and stats, matchup and personnel talk as well as a quote from Jones on what the Cougars do best.
LSU (8-2)*G Tim Quarterman (So., 6-6, 187) – 11.2 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 3.4 apg
G Keith Hornsby (Jr., 6-4, 210) – 13.8 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 2.3 apg
F Jarell Martin (So., 6-10, 235) – 16.8 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 1.5 spg
F Jordan Mickey (So., 6-8, 235) – 15.9 ppg, 9.9 rpg, 2.9 bpg
F/C John Odo (Sr., 6-10, 245) – 2.5 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 61.5% FGs
*If healthy, 6-foot-1, 182-pound junior Josh Gray (11.1 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 4.7 apg) will start at point guard in place of Quarterman.
College of Charleston (5-6)G Anthony Stitt (Sr., 6-1, 180) – 9.7 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 3.0 apg
G Joe Chealey (So., 6-3, 180) – 12.5 ppg, 3.2 apg, 42.9% 3s
G Canyon Barry (So., 6-6, 195) – 12.1 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 2.5 apg
F Evan Bailey (Fr., 6-6, 195) – 4.6 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 44.4% FGs
F Adjehi Baru (Sr., 6-9, 225) – 9.0 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 56.5% FGs
- Déjà vu time. You’ve heard this from me before when previewing some of LSU’s non-conference (non-juggernaut) opponents, but this isn’t a prolific offense team invading the PMAC tonight. Here are the national ranks for the College of Charleston in four major offensive categories:
TALK OF CHALK
Scoring – 288th (62.5 ppg)
Rebounding – 208th (32.3 rpg)
Assists – 239th (11.6 apg)
Shooting – 188th (43.4% FGs)
I won’t splash the page with all of LSU’s numbers, but suffice it to say the Tigers rank much higher in every department. The most damning area, though, in my opinion, is the rebounding advantage LSU will hold. The Tigers average 8.2 more boards a game than the Cougars do, and Charleston typically starts three forwards that go 6-foot-6, 6-foot-6 and 6-foot-9. Could be a long night for the Cougs on the glass.
- One thing the College of Charleston does do fairly well is pump in three-balls. For the season they’re making 37.9% of their attempts and connecting on 7.1 trifectas per contest. That’s a pretty respectable clip. The most likely culprits to strike from deep: Chealey, shooting 42.9% and making 1.4 a game; and Barry, shooting 37.3% and making 2.0 a game. All of LSU’s perimeter players, but especially Quarterman and Hornsby (and Jalyn Patterson, particularly in the case Gray doesn’t go), will have to close out and defend from the beyond the arc. There are ample shot-blockers inside to erase mistakes should blow-bys occur. But what LSU doesn’t want is for Charleston to get confident from long range.
“Charleston has played a very tough non-conference schedule. They have been very competitive in all of their games. It will be another great challenge for us. They are a really good three-point shooting team; shooting about 37 percent from the three-point line. We will be challenged defensively to contain their shooters. We will have to execute at a high level against them to be successful.”
WHAT LSU’S SAYING
- Johnny Jones on the Cougars’ strengths