LSU/Xavier pre-game notes

The LSU Tigers welcome perhaps the toughest competition of the season on Saturday, welcoming No. 15 ranked Xavier to the Pete Maravich Assembly Center for a 7 p.m. tipoff.

Xavier (16-2) vs. LSU (15-3)

Jan. 24, 2009 at 7 p.m. CT

Pete Maravich Assembly Center, Baton Rouge, La.



LSU Probable Starters

Marcus Thornton (6-4, 205, Sr.) 18.3 ppg, 4.9 apg

Garrett Temple (6-6, 190, Sr.) 7.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg

Bo Spencer (6-1, 185, So.) 12 ppg, 3.1 rpg

Tasmin Mitchell (6-7, 235, Jr.) 15.7 ppg, 6.2 rpg

Chris Johnson (6-11, 210, Sr.) 7.8 ppg, 7.7 rpg


Key Reserves

Terry Martin (6-6, 210, Sr.) 4.5 ppg, 2.1 apg

Quintin Thornton (6-9, 225, Sr.) 3.6 ppg, 2.9 rpg

Storm Warren (6-7, 220, Dr.) 2.4 ppg, 2.3 rpg


Xavier Probable Starters

Terrell Holloway (6-0, 185, Fr.) 6.9 ppg, 2.4 rpg

B.J. Raymond (6-6, 226, Sr.) 11.7 ppg, 4.1 rpg

Jason Love (6-9, 255, Jr.) 7.3 ppg, 6.3 rpg

Derrick Brown (6-8, 227, Jr.) 13.8 ppg, 5.3 rpg

C.J. Anderson (6-6, 225, Sr.) 10.8 ppg, 5.6 rpg


Key Reserves

Dante Jackson (6-5, 205, So.) 6.9 ppg, 3.4 rpg

Brad Redford (6-0, 170, Fr.) 5.7 ppg, 0.7 rpg

Kenny Frease (7-0, 265, Fr.) 5.4 ppg, 4.2 rpg





The LSU Tigers welcome perhaps the toughest competition of the season this weekend, welcoming No. 15 ranked Xavier to the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.


The Tigers put a 17-game home win streak on the line with the visiting Musketeers coming to town, the fourth longest streak in the 38-year history of the Maravich Center.


Xavier enters the game undefeated against road opponents this season at 5-0 and has won seven consecutive contests.


While this will be the Tigers' first match against a ranked opponent this campaign, the Bayou Bengals have proven themselves battle tested in their recent run through the Southeastern Conference opening set, scoring 85, 83, and 81 in wins over South Carolina, Ole Miss and Mississippi State, respectively.


Marcus Thornton and Tasmin Mitchell lead the way on the offensive end for the Tigers, averaging 18.3 and 15.7 points per game, respectively. Thornton pulls down 4.9 rebounds per game, with Mitchell bringing down 6.2 boards a contest.


Thornton is fourth in the SEC in scoring and he also ranks 10th in field goal shooting at 47.8 percent (120-251). The senior guard is ranked No. 10 in the league in steals with 1.6 a game.


Mitchell’s 15.7 points a game is good for 11th in the SEC, while his 57.1 field goal shooting percentage puts him fifth in the league. The junior from Denham Springs has connected on 112 of 196 shots from the field.

With 7.7 rebounds a game, Chris Johnson ranks seventh in the conference, and his 2.3 blocks a game puts him third behind Jarvis Varnado of Mississippi State (4.9) and Lafayette-native Perry Stevenson of Kentucky (2.4).


Bo Spencer has stepped in to provide solid youth play for the Tigers, averaging 12 points and 3.1 rebounds per game.


The Tigers remain one of the top rebounding teams in the SEC, averaging third best in the conference with 39.9 boards a game.


Xavier, under fifth-year head coach Sean Miller, advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight last season, losing in the regional final to UCLA. 


Derrick Brown leads all Musketeer scorers with 13.8 points per game, shooting 60 percent from the field in the five Atlantic-10 games this year.


B. J. Raymond, with a team-high 34 three-pointers, is averaging 11.7 points per game.


C. J. Anderson averages 10.8 points as well as 5.6 rebounds per game.


Terell Holloway leads the Atlantic-10 in free throw percentage at 83.3 (55-66), while Brad Redford leads the conference at 3-point shooting at 49.1 percent and has connected on 28 of 57.


Xavier boasts the third best scoring average in the Atlantic 10, recording 73.3 points per game. The teams' 46.4 field goal percentage is good for fourth best in the conference.


The Musketeers are shooting 38.6 percent from three point range, good for third in the league.


Xavier leads the Atlantic-10 with 40.1 rebounds per game.


The Musketeers enter the game with the ninth best RPI rating in the nation (.6344) and a strength of schedule ranking of 24 (.5693).


The Tigers carry the 174th best RPI (.4955) into the game, as well as the 74th best strength of schedule rating (.5412).

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