Duop Reath (Photo from USA TODAY SPORTS)

Game Preview: LSU vs. Vanderbilt opens SEC play in the PMAC for Tigers

Tiger Blitz previews LSU's SEC opener against Vanderbilt on Thursday in the PMAC at 8 p.m. CT on ESPNU.

WHEN: Thursday, December 29 at 8 p.m. CT
WHERE: PMAC (Baton Rouge, La.)
TV/RADIO: ESPNU/Tiger Sports Radio Network

Tiger Trends

Antonio Blakeney and Duop Reath continue to lead the Tigers in scoring with Blakeney averaging 16.4 points per game and Reath 15.0 points per game. Both teams are coming off losses with the Tigers getting beat at Wake Forest, 110-76, as the Demons shot 73 percent in the second half and made 16 threes for the game, while Vandy fell 68-63 at Dayton. LSU's defensive effort was downright terrible especially in the second half. The Tigers have to change that heading into SEC play. The Tigers have won the last five meetings in the series dating back to 2013. The last three meetings in the series have come in Nashville.

Scouting Vanderbilt

The Commodores score the ball well like the Tigers with both teams averaging over 70 points a game. LSU averages 75.2 points per contest while Vandy comes in at 71.0. While LSU is in the top five in the nation in percentage of two-point field goals made, the Commodores as has been their strength for many years relies on good three-point shooting. Vandy has made 113 treys (compared to 63 for LSU) and is shooting 39.1 percent. LSU shoot 33 percent from the arc and right at 50 percent on two-point field goals. Matthew Fisher Davis leads Vandy with a 15.8 average and 33 treys (42.3 percent from the arc). Luke Kornet averages 12.7 points. Cold shooting and defensive lapses became the main reasons behind the Commodores falling short yet again. Vanderbilt fell last Wednesday to Dayton 68-63 and now the Commodores head into conference play with even record at 6-6.

Key to the Game

Defensie. Enough is enough of what LSU rolled out defensively. The Tigers struggled to defend the simple on-ball screen much of the night against Wake Forest and something has to be done. Someone has to step up. Coaching can be part of it, but there's no doubt that the "want to" has to be there as well. After a while in the second half, the team completely shut down. A solid defensive effort against a poor Vanderbilt team has to be in the cards for LSU.


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