LSU (9-15, 1-11 SEC) vs. Ole Miss (15-10, 6-6 SEC)
WHEN: Tuesday, February 14 at 8 p.m. CT
WHERE: The Pavilion at Ole Miss (Oxford, Miss.)
TV/RADIO: SEC Network/98.1 FM in Baton Rouge
SERIES: LSU leads 120-87
LAST MEETING: LSU won 90-81 on Jan. 13, 2016
LSU is coming off another disappointing game as the Tigers fell apart in the second half against Arkansas in the Maravich Center on Saturday night. Johnny Jones' squad's slide continued as the team fell 78-70 to the Razorbacks, who erased a 14-point LSU lead in the first half to build a double-digit lead of their own behind an impressive three-point shooting performance in the second stanza. LSU's last two outings have seen some positives as the team started strong against Arkansas after furiously trying to come back against Kentucky, but the song remains the same. The Tigers dropped their 11th straight game, the longest skid since the 2011-12 team dropped 12 straight to open SEC play. Arkansas found a groove, shooting 53.8 percent in the second half from the field. It was too much for the Tigers to stop. Jones' team looks to put together two halves against the Rebels, who sit at 15-10 and are coming off a win over Auburn, who edged LSU earlier this season.
Scouting Ole Miss
Ole Miss is coming off a game similar to LSU's loss to Arkansas, but the Rebels were on the right side of a second half comeback as Andy Kennedy's team exploded for 63 second half points to beat Auburn 90-84. With bench scoring providing 54 of the 90 points for the Rebels, LSU will have its hands full in Oxford on Valentine's Day. The Rebels had four players in double digits, but the two leading scorers for the game in Cullen Neal and Terence Davis came off the bench. The duo added 20 and 26 points respectively. The Rebels have now won three of their last four games and are coming off the greatest comeback in school history, battling back from down 23.
Key Rebels to Watch
G Terence Davis: One of the more productive Rebels as of late has been the sophomore from Mississippi, who has scored in double digits in six of his last seven games, with 18 points or more in four of those games.
G Deandre Burnett: The junior guard comes in as the leading scorer for the Rebels and is also an excellent free-throw shooter, making almost 90 percent of his free throws.
Projected Ole Miss Starters:
G Deandre Burnett
G Breein Tyree
G Rasheed Brooks
F Sebastian Saiz
F Marcanvis Hymon
Projected LSU Starters:
G Skylar Mays
G Antonio Blakeney
G Brandon Sampson
F Wayde Sims
F Duop Reath
Matchup to Watch
Deandre Burnett vs. Skylar Mays: Burnett is the Rebels' leading scorer with over 16 points per game and handles the ball the majority of the time for Ole Miss. Mays will handle a lot of the defensive responsibilities on Burnett, who even after a rough night shooting against Auburn (3-for-11 from the field), still finished with 18 points thanks to hitting all 10 of his free throws. Mays has to keep Burnett in front of him and not allow him to get to the bucket. The LSU big men need to stay smart as well, with Burnett being aggressive enough to look for contact to draw the foul.
Keys to the Game
Limit turnovers. On the road, it's key to play as clean of a game as possible. As of late, the Tigers have been shooting the ball better for the most part, but they've been inconsistent at times and turnovers are killing possessions. If LSU can play mistake free basketball, the Tigers are going to have a chance to make a move and get that long awaited win for this team. A fast start would help as well for the Tigers, but the team overall has to put together 40 minutes to have a chance, something they haven't been able to do.
Johnny Jones Audible
On heading out on the road for next two games: “We’ve had that experience. I think we have some guys who have played well on the road and have had battles. As this continues to go I thought while we didn't win the game, they grew at Texas Tech. They had a chance to play on the road there against a good team in a tough environment. This is another big challenge for us and hopefully it's a great matchup for us. I think the key for us is that guys are hitting on the right cylinders at the right time together. We’ve had certain guys play well on certain nights and others not. We’ve just got to figure out a way to put it all together.”