LSU/Ole Miss pre-game notes

The LSU Tigers are fresh off of their hottest performance of the year in their 85-68 win over South Carolina on Wednesday. They try to make it two in a row in conference play when they meet Ole Miss today at 3 p.m.

Ole Miss (10-6, 1-1 SEC) vs. LSU (13-3, 1-1)

Saturday, Jan. 17, 2009 at 3 p.m. CT

Oxford, Miss. C.M. Tad Smith Coliseum

 

LSU Tigers

 

Projected Starters

G - 5 Marcus Thornton (6-4, 205, Sr.) 17.9 ppg, 4.9 rpg

G - 14 Garrett Temple (6-6, 190, Sr.) 7.1 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.7 apg

G - 11 Bo Spencer (6-1, 185, So.) 12.2 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.8 apg

F - 1 Tasmin Mitchell (6-7, 235, Jr.) 15.1 ppg, 6.6 rpg

F - 21 Chris Johnson (6-11, 210, Sr.) 8.1 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 2.2 apg

 

Key Reserves

G – Terry Martin (6-6, 210, Sr.) 4.6 ppg, 1.9 rpg

F- Quintin Thornton (6-9, 225, Sr.) 3.4 ppg, 2.9 rpg

G – Alex Farrer (6-5, 205, Jr.) 2.5 ppg

 

Ole Miss Rebels

 

Projected Starters

G - 3 Will Bogan (6-1, 167, Fr.) 2.4 ppg, 0.4 rpg

G - 32 Zach Graham (6-6, 225, So.) 7.0 ppg, 2.8 rpg

G - 33 David Huertas (6-5, 200, Jr.) 19.6 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 2.4 apg

F - 21 Malcolm White (6-9, 217, So.) 5.5 ppg, 4.9 rpg

F - 31 Murphy Holloway (6-7, 225, Fr.) 8.4 ppg, 5.8 rpg

 

Key Reserves

G – Terrico White (6-5, 211, Fr.) 8.4 ppg, 2.8 rpg

F – Terrance Henry (6-9, 192, Fr.) 5.2 ppg, 3.8 apg

F – DeAundre Cranston (6-9, 251, Fr.) 2.9 ppg, 4.1 rpg

 

The LSU Tigers are fresh off of their hottest performance of the year in their 85-68 win over South Carolina on Wednesday. The total was the most that the Tigers have scored against a Southeastern Conference team since the 2006 SEC tournament.

 

Junior Tasmin Mitchell was the big man for the Bayou Bengals on the night, dropping a career high 30 points on 10-of-15 field goals and 10-of-13 free throws en route to giving the Tigers their 16th straight home win.

 

However, Saturday's test will come in Oxford, where the Tigers haven’t won since 2006. Head coach Andy Kennedy owns a 40-4 record at home in three seasons with the team.

 

The Tigers will look for help from their bench, which bounced back from a pour outing against Alabama to factor in as a major key in the win over the Gamecocks. Senior Terry Martin played his best game since his return to the lineup, netting seven points and two assists in 21 minutes of action. Quintin Thornton also played a major role off the bench, knocking down seven points, six rebounds and two blocks in 22 minutes of play.

 

Despite not having the services of three key players due to season-ending injuries, Ole Miss won its SEC home opener Wednesday against Arkansas, 74-65, and hosts a second straight Western Division foe when LSU comes to town Saturday.

 

The Rebels dropped an opening road loss to Florida, 78-68. Freshman Terico White, who saw his most minutes at guard on the season during the matchup with the Gators, tied a career high with 18 points off of the bench against the Razorbacks.

David Huertas dropped 16 on the evening, with Zach Graham adding 12 and Murphy Holloway scoring 11. Malcolm White also showed signs of life down low, pulling in eight points and nine rebounds.

 

Ole Miss ranks second among SEC teams and 17th in the nation with a 75.6 free-throw percentage.

 

Ole Miss struggled in its rebounding game throughout much of non-conference play after the Rebels ranked 12th in the nation a year ago when led by a senior-laden frontcourt. However, after two SEC games Ole Miss ranks first in the conference in rebounding offense (41.0/game), rebounding defense (28.0/game) and therefore, rebounding margin (+13.0) in league contests.

 

The Tigers 75.3 points per game is good for seventh in the SEC, while the Rebels 73.9 points per game is good for eighth in the conference.

 

The Tiger defense is holding opponents to 62 points per game, third best in the conference, while the Rebels 70.7 points allowed per game is good for 11th in the SEC.

Both the Tigers' free throw (71.5) and field goal percentages (46.1) rank amongst the conference’s top five.

 

While Ole Miss boasts the 2nd ranked free throw percentage in the conference (75.6), the Rebels field goal percentage (43.8) is good for 10th.

 

LSU remains at the top of the pack from behind the arc, hitting 38.5 percent from downtown, while the Rebels 35.6 percent ranks fifth in the SEC.

 

The Tigers +7.6 rebounding margin currently stands as the best in the conference, while the team's 99 blocked shots is good for third overall.

 

The Rebels' season was dampened early, seeing sophomore Trevor Gaskins, junior Eniel Polynice and sophomore Chris Warren all go down for the season with knee injuries.

 

The series with the Tigers, which began in 1909, is the second-longest in Ole Miss basketball history.

 

LSU leads the all-time series 114-80, although the Rebels hold a 14-12 edge in the last 26 meetings.

 

Ole Miss has won three of the last five encounters. The teams split last year's series with each winning on its home court. The Rebels hold a 50-32 lead in games played in Oxford and have won 11 of the last 15 at Tad Smith Coliseum.
 

Kennedy owns a 4-2 record against LSU in his career. He faced the Bayou Bengals as Cincinnati head coach in 2005-06, earning a 75-72 victory at the Las Vegas Holiday Classic.


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