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3 Up, 3 Down: LSU vs. Reinhardt

Tiger Blitz gets you started with three Ups and three Downs from LSU's exhibition win over Reinhardt at the PMAC on Monday night.

Up No. 1: Duop Reath starts LSU career with big night

The junior college transfer finished with 26 points and 13 rebounds in his debut in a Tigers uniform. Reath's energy was something that Johnny Jones praised with Reath's four blocks and his ability to affect most shots in the paint. Reath's energy on the glass was welcome and that same energy is needed when the team gets into the tougher portion of the schedule. Overall, Reath brought exactly what LSU was missing. With Elbert Robinson continuing to work himself back into shape, Reath will have to be smart not to get into foul trouble this season as he'll log plenty of minutes.

Up No. 2: Shot Selection and Fast Start

LSU got off to a 23-7 lead on the night with easy layups due to solid passing into the paint to Reath and Reath also dominating the glass. To jump out to a lead like that was something most would expect, but it's even more important in a game like Monday night that was against a far inferior opponent. While Antonio Blakeney started a little cold, much like his freshman season, he finished strong enough to end up with 17 points and nine assists. Blakeney got an extended look at point guard too with Mays out with some foul trouble. Offensively, the team accomplished everything it really wanted to on Monday against Reinhardt. It's the defense that still needs some work.

Up No. 3: Freshmen make an impact

Quietly, Kieran Hayward put together a solid night for LSU. Hayward was 4-for-5 shooting and finished with 14 points and three rebounds. One of the things Hayward wanted to add to the team was the ability to shoot from beyond the arc to help spacing. When he was on the floor, he added that element. Skylar Mays had a productive night as well with 13 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. Mays did get into a little foul trouble, but for the most part, he ran the offense and pushed the pace, which was nice to see. Wayde Sims added 11 points and eight rebounds. Sims' defense needed a little work at times, but he had a solid game and didn't make too many killer mistakes.

Billy Embody - SCOUT

Down No. 1: Three-Point Defense

LSU wasn't aggressive enough in getting out on three-point shooters and forcing the Reinhardt players to drive, rather than throw up three-point shots. The team said that it was due in part to everybody not doing the little things and playing with enough energy to do so. Even though in the second half the Tigers tightened it up a bit, Jones was not happy with the team allowing eight three-pointers made from Reinhardt in the first half. Even more concerning was Reinhardt getting to the line 30 times. Overall, a rough first outing on the defensive end of the floor for the Tigers to give up 80 points to an NAIA squad. 

Down No. 2: Free Throws

Reath is probably going to see a lot of time at the charity stripe this season with his ability to grab rebounds and go up for second chances and the rest of the LSU team didn't fare very well at the line. LSU finished 13-of-20 from the line and with that many points left on the table, it could be the difference between winning and losing. The Tigers have to work on the little things across the board and free throws are included in that.

Down No. 3: Careless Play

LSU finished with 20 turnovers on the night and many of which were due to lazy ball handling and passing. There weren't many errant passes that turned the ball over or offensive fouls, which means the team just needs to be crisper and smarter when moving the ball around. Mays is only a freshman, but is going to see a lot of minutes and can't try some of the flashy passes that he attempted. Other players tried behind the back and difficult passes that ended up getting taken by Reinhardt and turned into points some of the times. The team has to lock in on staying disciplined to not allow other teams to have 23 points off turnovers like Reinhardt had on Monday.

Billy Embody - SCOUT

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