PREVIEW: LSU vs. Ole Miss

The Tigers are looking for their third win in a row Saturday afternoon with Ole Miss in town. Both squads are jockeying for seeding in the conference tournament and a chance to go dancing come mid-March. Check out TSD's game preview with projected starting lineups, stats and chalk talk.

Holding serve is the name of the game for LSU (20-8, 9-6) with three contests left before the SEC Tournament.

Next on the agenda for the Tigers is a home date Saturday afternoon with Ole Miss (19-9, 10-5). Tipoff is set for 1 p.m. Central Time and FSN will have the television broadcast.

Andy Kennedy’s Rebels head to Baton Rouge fresh off a disappointing 76-72 home loss to Georgia. Prior to that setback Hotty Toddy, tied with Texas A&M for third in the conference, had won eight of nine contests (with the only loss a one-point defeat at ranked Arkansas).

Like Georgia in the midweek, LSU will present another hungry opponent for Ole Miss.

The Bayou Bengals, tied with the Bulldogs for fifth in the league, are eyeing a move up in the SEC standings, something that would affect seeding for the conference tournament and, as a direct byproduct, who is and isn’t going dancing in a league that has six teams likely vying for five spots.

Get ready for the Saturday afternoon tilt with projected starters and stats as well as a detailed look inside the matchups and quotes from LSU coach Johnny Jones on the Rebels.

PROJECTED STARTERS

LSU (20-8, 9-6)

G Tim Quarterman (So., 6-6, 187) – 11.5 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 3.7 apg
G Jalyn Patterson (Fr., 6-0, 173) – 6.2 ppg, 2.1 apg, 1.2 spg
G Keith Hornsby (Jr., 6-4, 210) – 12.7 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 1.2 spg
F Jarell Martin (So., 6-10, 235) – 16.5 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 50.9% FGs
F Jordan Mickey (So., 6-8, 235) – 16.5 ppg, 10.1 rpg, 3.7 bpg

Impact Reserve: G Josh Gray (Jr., 6-1, 182) – 7.7 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 4.2 apg

Ole Miss (19-9, 10-5)

G Jarvis Summers (Sr., 6-3, 186) – 12.3 ppg, 4.5 apg, 35.1% FGs
G Stefan Moody (Jr., 5-10, 179) – 16.5 ppg, 37.3% 3s, 90.7% FTs
G Martavious Newby (Jr., 6-3, 210) – 3.9 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.1 spg
F Sebastian Saiz (So., 6-9, 233) – 7.5 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 60.0% FGs
F M.J. Rhett (Sr., 6-9, 240) – 6.8 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 54.4% FGs

Impact Reserve: G Ladarius White (Sr., 6-6, 211) – 10.7 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 1.2 apg

TALK OF CHALK

- Part of the secret to Ole Miss’ success this season is getting surprisingly balanced production, at least more so than you’d initially think if you just look at the scoring numbers of Moody and Summers in the backcourt. Yes, they can fill it (although Summers’ shooting has been abysmal in his senior season). But the Rebs also get extremely efficient play in the paint. Starters Rhett and Saiz aren’t volume shooters, but they connect on 54.4% and 60.0% of their field goal attempts, respectively. They also have good size – both standing 6-foot-9 and in excess of 233 pounds. That’s enabled Ole Miss to be a strong rebounding team, ranked 45th in the country at 37.5 boards a game. Considering the Rebels shoot a pedestrian 43.0% as a team, that’s been huge to secure extra possessions. These two will make Martin and Mickey work for theirs, especially on the glass.

- Here are Moody’s point totals over the last eight games, dating back to Ole Miss’ Jan. 31 win at Missouri: 23, 19, 15, 18, 16, 29, 22, 19. When last he played LSU, a 75-71 Tiger win in Oxford on Jan. 14, the JuCo transfer scored only 14 points on 5-of-18 shooting, 2-of-9 from deep. So the question is can LSU, which bodied Moody up with plenty of Hornsby the last time around, replicate its success or is Moody just bound to get his on Saturday? Jones indicated on Thursday that LSU would use a “by-committee” approach to defending Moody, but I’d expect the two most likely Tigers to see him will be Hornsby and Quarterman, in that order. And whichever one is not on Moody will likely take Summers, who at this point is more dangerous as a creator/distributor. Somewhere in the mix, Patterson will get his chances at Summers as well.

WHAT LSU’S SAYING

“(Jarvis) Summers just does a tremendous job of being able to break people down and make shots and make plays to create opportunities for other people. (Stefan) Moody is probably smaller than (Antoine) Mason or (KT) Harrell (of Auburn) but is a really top-notch shooter. He has a great vertical. He’s small and extremely quick. They run a lot of plays for him to get him open. He can get hot, and he’s shown that. He’s put himself in the situation where he’s knocked down a lot of big shots for them late in the game that have been a deciding factor in whether or not they’ve won or lost those games.”
- Johnny Jones on makeup of Ole Miss backcourt

“I think, defensively, we’ve been getting off to the start we needed. I think Tim Quarterman, again, has probably been our best perimeter defender in the last two years. Having the ability to start him off on some key guys helps along with Jalyn Patterson being healthy. Keith Hornsby is physical enough to defend bigger, stronger perimeter players out there, so that helps. Jarell Martin is able to defend some of the perimeter guys. Because of the length that we have, that helps. I think it’s helped us defend the three-point line a little better than we possibly have in the past as well.”
- Jones on benefit of starting five shakeup six games ago


“I think you talk about where we sit in the standings. This could put us in a good position that we could be tied for that same spot. I think they are a game ahead, and that’s about it. It’s the next game on our schedule. That’s what makes this important. I think Auburn was no ramification for them or it was, but the game was important for us to compete and play at a certain way and to win. This will be no different for us. That will be our approach. It’s the next game on our schedule. It’s here at home. It has an importance all own its own to perform the right way in front of our fans. We are playing for them.”
- Jones on if the team is scoreboard watching



Tiger Blitz Top Stories