LSU/WSU pre-game notes

LSU and Washington State meet for the first time since 1973 when the two teams square off on Saturday at 1 p.m. CST at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

LSU (9-1) vs. Washington State (8-3)

Dec. 27, 2008, 1 p.m. CST on ESPN2

Pete Maravich Assembly Center – Baton Rouge, La.

 

Probable Starters

 

LSU

G 5 Marcus Thornton (6-4, 205, Sr.) 17.6 ppg, 5.5 rpg

G 14 Garrett Temple (6-6, 190, Sr.) 6.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 4.1 apg

G 11 Bo Spencer (6-1, 185, So.) 11.2 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 2.5 apg

F 1 Tasmin Mitchell (6-7, 235, Jr.) 13.0 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.7 apg

F 21 Chris Johnson (6-11, 210, Sr.) 8.8 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 2.5 bpg

 

Top Reserves

G – 13 Terry Martin (6-6, 210, Sr.) 5.0 ppg, 2.3 rpg

F – 32 Quintin Thornton (6-9, 240, Sr.) 3.3 ppg, 2.6 rpg

F – 24 Storm Warren (6-7, 220, Fr.) 3.0 ppg, 3.2 rpg

F – 2 Delwan Graham (6-5, 215, Fr.) 3.3 ppg, 2.6 rpg

 

Washington State

G 1 Klay Thompson (6-6, 187, Fr.) 10.9 ppg, 5.1 rpg

G 10 Taylor Rochestie (6-1, 193, Sr.) 9.8 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 5.0 apg

C 11 Aron Baynes (6-10, 250, Sr.) 11.6 ppg, 6.1 rpg

F 32 Daven Harmeling (6-7, 227, Sr.) 8.0 ppg, 1.8 rpg

F – 52 Caleb Forrest (6-8, 223, Sr.) 5.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg

 

Top Reserves

G – 4 Nikola Koprivica (6-6, 216, Jr.) 5.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg

F – 23 DeAngelo Castro (6-8, 229, Fr.) 3.9 ppg, 4.4 rpg

G – 0 Marcus Capers (6-4, 172, Fr.) 2.1 ppg, 2.6 rpg

 

Notes

 

Washington State leads the overall series as the Cougars won the only previous meeting, 80-78, when the two teams met in Pullman, Wash. in 1973.

 

LSU’s 12-game win streak at home is presently the 20th longest in Division I college basketball and is the 10th longest winning streak in the 38 years that the Tigers have played at the PMAC.

 

The Tigers are 16-25 in all-time games against the Pac-10.

 

LSU has not played an opponent that was ranked at the time they met this season. LSU's strength of schedule is currently No. 346 out of 347 teams in Jeff Sagarin’s ratings.

 

Trent Johnson’s squad defeated McNeese State its last time out, 62-59, on Dec. 22. The Tigers rallied from a 28-21 halftime deficit and scored the first 16 points of the second half.

 

The Tigers continue to lead the SEC in field goal defense and are fifth in the country at 35.1 percent. They are fifth in the league at defending from behind the arc holding opponents to 39.2 percent.

 

LSU is shooting only 59.1 percent from the foul line over the last three games and for the year the Tigers are hitting 71.4 percent.

 

On the offensive end of the floor, LSU leads the conference in three-point shooting at 39.2 percent and has hit 47.2 percent from the floor for third in the conference.

 

At 57.6 points a game, LSU leads the SEC in scoring defense. The Tigers have dipped to seventh in scoring offense at 76.5 a game.

 

LSU is second in the league behind South Carolina in scoring margin. The Gamecocks are +20.1 while the Tigers are +18.9.

 

The Tigers are still No. 1 in the country at rebound margin as they have out rebounded their opponents by an average of 12.9 a game. Texas A&M is the only opponent to out rebound LSU this season.

 

Marcus Thornton scored in double figures for the sixth consecutive time this season when he went for 15 points against McNeese State. He added 11 rebounds for his first double-double of the year and fifth of his LSU career.

 

Thornton is tied for sixth in the conference in scoring at 17.6 points a game.

 

Tasmin Mitchell is hitting 54.7 percent from the field for sixth best in the SEC.

 

With a minimum of one attempt a game, Bo Spencer leads LSU in three-point shooting at 45 percent on 18-of-40 shooting.

 

Garrett Temple is eighth in the SEC averaging 4.1 assists per game.

 

Terry Martin did not dress for the McNeese State game and his status for Saturday is still up in the air.

 

Washington State will travel across the country to Baton Rouge to face LSU for the first time in 31 years.

 

The last time Washington State took the floor, the Cougars defeated Idaho, 55-41, Sunday, Dec. 21. It was WSU’s first true road game of the season.

 

WSU has never defeated an SEC team on its home court (0-2).

 

Washington State has a strength of schedule ranking of 268 according to Jeff Sagarin and its only losses of the year have been to No. 3 Pittsburgh, No. 7 Gonzaga, and No. 21 Baylor.

 

The Cougars lead the nation in scoring defense allowing only 48 points a game, but are last in scoring offense at 60.8 a contest.

 

WSU is ninth in the Pac-10 hitting 44.2 percent from the floor and 32.1 percent from three-point range.

 

The Cougars are No. 1 in the country at field goal defense holding opponents to 33.5 percent shooting. They’ve held the opposition to 30.6 percent shooting on three-pointers which is good for second in the Pac-10.

 

Washington State averages 36.1 rebounds a game which ranks fourth in the conference.

 

The Cougars average 12.9 assists a game against 11.7 turnovers.

 

Aron Baynes is third in the Pac-10 in shooting at 63 percent. He’s hit 51-of-81 shots from the floor.

 

Taylor Rochestie is tied for third in the conference averaging five assists a game. He averages 2.5 turnovers.

 

Rochestie is also second in the league in free throw percentage at 91.7 percent on 22-of-24 shots.


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