Skylar Mays (Photo by Terrill Weil)

Game Preview: LSU vs. Kentucky

LSU heads to Rupp Arena on Tuesday for an SEC matchup against No. 15 Kentucky at 6 p.m. CT on ESPN.

LSU (9-13 overall, 1-9 in SEC) vs. Kentucky (18-5 overall, 8-2 in SEC)
WHEN: Tuesday, February 7 at 6 p.m. CT
WHERE: Rupp Arena (Lexington, Ky.)
TV/RADIO: ESPN/98.1 FM Baton Rouge
SERIES: Kentucky leads 87-26
LAST MEETING: Lost 77-94 in Lexington on March 5, 2015

Tiger Trends

LSU was able to correct some things in Saturday's 85-73 loss to Texas A&M in Baton Rouge — the third loss in a row to the Aggies — but overall, it was much of the same story. The Tigers' defense was just not good enough to get a win as the team dropped to 1-9 in SEC play. Now, a quick turnaround comes for LSU, who heads to Kentucky with players like Brandon Sampson coming off a 21-point night and a decent effort against a Texas A&M team, who beat up the Tigers in a visit to College Station just a short while ago. The LSU frontcourt of Duop Reath and Wayde Sims are coming off one of its better games on the offensive end as Reath and Sims combined for 31 points and 24 rebounds.

Scouting Kentucky

The Wildcats have now lost three of their last four and have completely gone back to the drawing board as Kentucky coach John Calipari called it a reboot for the team. Kentucky is coming off a 22-point loss to Florida, where the Gators outrebounded Kentucky 54-29 last week, an impressive thing to do to any team on a given night, much less the Wildcats. It's clear that Kentucky will be out for blood on Tuesday.

Wildcats to Watch

G Malik Monk: After a 0-point night for Monk against the Gators, but he's averaging over 21 points per game on the season. That's impressive.

G De'Aaron Fox: Fox returned to action for the Wildcats against the Gators and piled up 19 points.

F Bam Adebayo: The freshman center has struggled at times with man-to-man defense. The Wildcats are going to zone more often, but LSU needs to get it inside to Reath to help get Adebayo in foul trouble.

Projected Kentucky Starters: 
F Bam Adebayo
G Malik Monk
F Isaac Humphries
G Isaiah Briscoe
F Derek Willis

Projected SMU Starters: 
G Skylar Mays
G Antonio Blakeney
G Brandon Sampson
F Aaron Epps
F Duop Reath

Matchup to Watch

G Malik Monk vs. G Antonio Blakeney: Blakeney and the rest of the LSU backcourt is going to have its hands full with the Wildcats, but the SEC's leading scorer, Malik Monk, had zero points in the first half. The impressive freshman will be a tough matchup to keep from filling up the box score. It's a key for LSU that the Tigers shut down Monk on Tuesday night though.

Photo by Danny Parker

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