WHEN: Tuesday, November 29 at 8 pm CT
WHERE: Maravich Center (Baton Rouge, La.)
TV/RADIO: SEC Network/98.1 FM Baton Rouge
SERIES: Houston leads 10-7
LAST MEETING: Houston won 105-98 in Houston
The Tigers return to Baton Rouge following a 1-2 effort in the Bahamas at the Battle 4 Atlantis, something that isn't surprising, but still disappointing if you're the Tigers and Johnny Jones. The trip was marred by poor shooting nights and defense. LSU has to get better shots and get into an offensive rhythm to right the ship that has been leaky so far this season. This could be a big opportunity to bounce back for the Tigers if they can get it together.
Houston is athletic as all get out and likes to get up and down the floor when able to. Galen Robinson, Jr. likes to get out in transition and find open shooters on the wings to generate offense. Chicken Knowles (yes, that's his nickname) is their only true post presence and can be inconsistent at times. After starting with four straight double-digit games, Knowles was held to just six points against Cornell in the Cougars' latest matchup.
Players to Watch
G Galen Robinson, Jr.: One of the top players in the AAC, Robinson runs the show at point guard for the Cougars. Robinson averages over six assists per game and has two solid shooters in Gray and Dotson to dish to for opportunities.
G Rob Gray: Gray was picked as second team All-AAC this preseason and is another veteran face in the Cougars starting lineup. Gray has been Houston's most consistent point producer this season and is coming off a 15-point effort in a blowout win over Cornell.
G Dameyon Dotson: Dotson is the big name for Houston in their backcourt at 6-5, 210 and is a lethal shooter from beyond the arc although he's notched a combined 18 points in the Cougars' last two games.
G Galen Robinson, Jr.
G Rob Gray
G Damyean Dotson
F Devin Davis
F Danrad Knowles
Keys to the Game
LSU has to match the effort that Houston will bring to this game. The Cougars are very well coached and have now been playing together for the last couple seasons for the most part. The backcourt is stellar and on any night, one (or two) of them can go off and get things opened up for Knowles down on the block. Knowles is a lanky, 6-10, 200 pounds and can be pushed around if LSU can bring the physicality down low. If you can rough him up a bit, he'll quit on you from what I've seen in the past. This will be a matter of strengths vs. strengths with the two teams' backcourts and if SMU can get big scoring nights from its guards, the Tigers will be in good shape. Just don't leave Houston open or they'll make you pay. That's easier said than done.