LSU will host Auburn Tuesday night. The basketball team has struggled to a 1-2 conference mark, but should be able to take advantage of a weak Auburn team. Auburn enters the game with the same overall record of LSU at 11-6, but that number is as mis-leading…as Gunner Kiel. Auburn current strength of schedule is 206 (LSU ranks at 75). Auburn has a RPI ranking of 144, while LSU is 73. Auburn’s toughest non-conference game was against Florida State and they were blown out.
LSU should be able to dominate the middle with Justin Hamilton, Storm Warren and Malcolm White. The key for those three is avoiding dumb fouls. The absence of Johnny O’Bryan has been greater than I expected. The loss of him has really hurt LSU’s front line depth. Auburn has struggled all year with interior scoring. Their center, Rob Chubby, is only averaging nine points and four rebounds. How in the world does a 6’10 center only average four boards a game? Auburn’s leading rebounder is Kenny Gabriel, who is averaging seven boards with 11 points per game.
Where Auburn does have an advantage is with its guard play. Only because LSU’s guards have struggled in the last two games. Ralston Turner and Andre Stinger need to step up. LSU can not put all the pressure on Hamilton and Warren to handle the scoring. The game plan is simple, if Stringer and Turner play well, LSU will win easy. If they don’t…I don’t want to think about it.
I hate to say that this is a must win for LSU being only the fourth SEC game, but it is. Following Tuesday, LSU plays at Florida and Mississippi State then host Kentucky and Arkansas, before traveling to Vanderbilt. The countdown for baseball might start a little earlier if LSU losses Tuesday.
The game will air on ESPNU at 6:00. Please give us something to cheer for.