LSU/A&M pre-game notes

The bar will be raised for Trent Johnson and the LSU Tigers on Saturday as they travel to Houston to face a tough Texas A&M squad at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. LSU will be looking to move to 9-0 with a win over the Aggies and tipoff is set for approximately 4 p.m. CST.

LSU (8-0) vs. Texas A&M (9-1)

Dec. 20, 2008, Approx. 4 p.m. CST

Toyota Center – Houston, Texas


Probable Starters



G 5 Marcus Thornton (6-4, 205, Sr.) 17.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg

G 14 Garrett Temple (6-6, 190, Sr.) 6.8 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 4.2 apg

G 11 Bo Spencer (6-1, 185, So.) 11.6 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 2.2 apg

F 1 Tasmin Mitchell (6-7, 235, Jr.) 12.8 ppg, 6.9 rpg,

F 21 Chris Johnson (6-11, 210, Sr.) 9.5 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 2.9 bpg


Top Reserves

G – 13 Terry Martin (6-6, 210, Sr.) 5.6 ppg, 2.6 rpg

F – 32 Quintin Thornton (6-9, 240, Sr.) 3.1 ppg, 2.7 rpg

F – 24 Storm Warren (6-7, 220, Fr.) 3.5 ppg, 3.6 rpg

F – 2 Delwan Graham (6-5, 215, Fr.) 4.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg


Texas A&M

G 15 Donald Sloan (6-3, 205, Jr.) 12.5 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 4.0 apg

G 03 Derrick Roland (6-4, 185, Jr.) 4.9 ppg, 2.0 rpg

F 23 Josh Carter (6-7, 200, Sr.) 14.5 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 2.1 apg

F 00 Bryan Davis (6-9, 240, Jr.) 10.7 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.5 bpg

C – 31 Chinemelu Elonu (6-10, 235, Jr.) 8.1 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.6 bpg


Top Reserves

G – 11 B.J. Holmes (6-0, 175, So.) 8.7 ppg, 2.7 rpg

F – 10 David Loubeau (6-9, 215, Fr.) 6.2 pgg, 4.5 rpg

F – 45  Nathan Walkup (6-7, 205, So.) 3.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg




LSU leads the overall series 14-10.


The Tigers and Aggies have met only four times since 1983 with each team winning twice. LSU fell to Texas A&M, 79-53, in College Station last year.


LSU checks in at No. 79 in Jeff Sagarin’s College Basketball Ratings and Texas A&M is No. 55.


The Tigers’ strength of schedule according to Jeff Sagarin’s ratings is No. 347 out of 347 teams and the Aggies are at No. 308.


The Tigers defeated Nicholls State, 68-56, in their last outing.


LSU is fourth in the SEC in scoring at 80.2 points a game, but leads the league in scoring defense at 55.6 points.


Marcus Thornton is sixth in the SEC in scoring with 17.3 points a game.


The Tigers have knocked down 48.4 percent of their shots from the field for second in the conference, but they are tops at 3-point shooting at 42.3 percent.


From the charity stripe, LSU is hitting 74.3 percent on the season.


Trent Johnson’s squad is one of the top defensive teams in the league based on statistics alone. LSU holds the opposition to 33.4 percent from the field and 28.7 percent from behind the arc.


The Tigers entered the week as the nation’s leader in rebound margin and they average 15.9 more boards a game than their opponents. On the year, LSU averages 45 rebounds a contest.


LSU is second in the SEC averaging 8.25 blocked shots a contest. Chris Johnson ranks second behind Mississippi State’s Jarvis Varnado in that department. Varnado averages six blocks, while Johnson is good for 2.88 a game.


Chris Johnson has 104 career blocks which puts him tied for fourth all-time at LSU with Brandon Bass.


LSU is third in the conference averaging 17.5 assists a game.


Garrett temple is tied for third in the SEC in steals with 2.38 a contest.


Texas A&M defeated SMU in its last outing by a score of 66-56.


The Aggies average 73 points a game and they yield 63.3 which put them in the lower third of the Big 12 in both categories.


Mark Turgeon’s club is 10th in the Big 12 in field goal shooting at 44.2 percent and eighth in field goal defense at 40.3 percent.


The Aggies have connected on 62-of-174 from behind the arc for 35.6 percent. Defensively, opponents are hitting 37.9 percent from 3-point range which puts A&M last in the conference in that category.


Texas A&M averages 39.4 rebounds a game and holds a 6.4 margin over its opponents.


A&M blocks an average of 4.5 shots a game which is fourth in the Big 12.


Josh Carter leads the conference in free throw percentage at 90 percent and as a team A&M hits 72.6 percent, which is good for third in the Big 12.


Chinemelu Elonu and Bryan Davis rank third and fourth in the league, respectively, with 1.6 and 1.5 blocks a game.


Donald Sloan is third in the league in assist-to-turnover ration. He has dished out 40 assists against 15 turnovers on the year.

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