LSU guard Keith Hornsby knows NC State better than anybody on the Tigers’ roster.
He played against them both of his years at UNC-Asheville. He even had the Wolfpack in his top three when he ultimately decided on LSU as his transfer destination.
The NC State roster has a different look than it did when Hornsby was considering them, but he’s definitely familiar with their style.
“I know their whole coaching staff, and they’re great people,” Hornsby said. “I really liked them, really liked the school. They don’t have many of the same players as they did when I was being recruited there two years ago, but they like to have their point guard make plays and read off of him. That dictates their offense.”
NC State’s guard play was a common theme when talking to LSU players about their opponent to start the NCAA Tournament.
They’re led by Trevor Lacey, Anthony Barber and former LSU Tiger Ralston Turner.
“They mostly do things through their guards,” Jarell Martin said. “We’ve got to slow them down and make sure they’re not having a good night. I feel like if we get rebounds, limit them to no second-chance shots, we’ll be great.”
Nobody currently at LSU was there when Turner did work at the PMAC. But Martin does remember watching him in purple and gold.
“I came to a few games when he was here,” Martin said. “He’s a great shooter. He can shoot the ball from deep, so we have to make sure we’re in his house and doesn’t get any good looks.”
Turner’s connection to LSU and Hornsby’s to NC State makes for a interesting bit of irony for Thursday’s showdown.
“There’s been some buzz about that,” Hornsby said. “It’s just funny, it’s pretty cool how things line up. I’m sure he’ll be as excited as I am.”
Hornsby added that he expects NC State to come out in man defense against them. Martin said he’s looking forward to that.
“I have to go out there and be aggressive, like I’ve been doing the last few games,” he said. “Making plays at the rim, getting rebounds and doing whatever I can do for my team.”
As for LSU’s keys to victory:
Martin: “We’ve got to come out and battle as a team, make sure we’re on the same page. We have to share the ball, move it from side-to-side and make defensive stops.”
Tim Quarterman: “We’ve got to get to them physically on defense. Keeping our turnovers down, getting good possessions and closing out the game.”
LSU doing homework on NC State
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