On Wednesday night in the PMAC, LSU (21-8, 10-6) has a chance to extend the losing streak to six games for Tennessee (14-14, 6-10) and, in the process, vault its hopes for making the NCAA Tournament while improving seeding.
Tipoff in the House that Pete Built is set for 6 p.m. Central Time. Mike Morgan and Sean Farnham will have the call on the SEC Network.
Donnie Tyndall’s Vols have had a tough go in recent weeks, dropping five consecutive decisions by an average of 12.6 points. Rocky Top, which began 4-1 in the SEC, is looking to right the ship in time to preserve an NIT bid.
The Tigers have won three straight coming in, running off a 5-2 record since shaking up the starting lineup (see below) versus Alabama on Feb. 7.
Get ready for tonight’s SEC showdown with projected starters and stats as well as a detailed look inside the matchups and quotes from LSU coach Johnny Jones on the Volunteers.
LSU (21-8, 10-6)G Tim Quarterman (So., 6-6, 187) – 11.7 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 3.9 apg
G Jalyn Patterson (Fr., 6-0, 173) – 6.3 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 2.2 apg
G Keith Hornsby (Jr., 6-4, 210) – 12.8 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 2.2 apg
F Jarell Martin (So., 6-10, 235) – 16.6 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 51.0% FGs
F Jordan Mickey (So., 6-8, 235) – 16.3 ppg, 9.9 rpg, 3.8 bpg
Impact Reserve: G Josh Gray (Jr., 6-1, 182) – 7.4 ppg, 4.0 apg, 1.1 spg
Tennessee (14-14, 6-10)G Kevin Punter (Jr., 6-4, 180) – 10.3 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 1.6 spg
G Josh Richardson (Sr., 6-6, 200) – 15.5 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 3.6 apg
G Robert Hubbs III (So., 6-6, 206) – 6.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 40.9% FGs
F Armani Moore (Jr., 6-5, 215) – 10.8 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.6 spg
F Willie Carmichael III (Fr., 6-8, 210) – 3.2 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 50.7% FGs
Impact Reserve: F Derek Reese (Jr., 6-8, 220) – 6.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 0.9 apg
- I’m not sure the first game these two played has a ton of bearing, just because LSU likely couldn’t replicate its first half in Knoxville if it tried. The Tigers went into the half up 47-20, dismantling the Vols and making an obscene 7-of-10 three-point attempts. Perhaps the realistic takeaway is that Tennessee has a hard time closing out on shooters, something that can benefit perimeter starters Hornsby and Patterson. Almost without fail this season, LSU has been able to get one or both of Martin and Mickey going inside. Once you couple that with made shots from beyond the arc, that’s when the Tigers become a different animal and are very hard to defend.
TALK OF CHALK
- The catalyst for Tyndall is Richardson, his senior. Richardson has enjoyed a borderline All-SEC season to date, posting well-rounded numbers and giving wing defenders plenty to consider every trip down the floor. Quarterman, after his defensive mastery of Ole Miss’ Stefan Moody, is all but certain to get the challenge – and it’s a distinctly different challenge, too, considering Richardson is some seven inches taller than Moody. Look for the LSU sophomore to try to get into Richardson, forcing him to put it on the floor and away from the three-point line, where Richardson shoots 37.3%. In his last four games Richardson has shot 10-of-28 (35.7%) in two-point shots. That’s where LSU wants him.
“We shot the ball extremely well at Tennessee and had a pretty good cushion there for most of the game. Knowing that going back the second time around, it is going to be tough. We just have to be mindful of the type of start we have to get off to against a team of that caliber. You have to be playing well because anytime someone gets confidence whether they are at home or on the road, it is difficult to play against them and try to take that confidence away.”
WHAT LSU’S SAYING
- Johnny Jones on guarding against success from first game