With a week removed for LSU’s worse loss of the season, LSU looks to move forward against Arkansas. Arkansas has put together a nice 3-2 record since their 69-60 win over LSU last month, including wins over Michigan and Vanderbilt (both wins were at home).
The last meeting between the two teams was a lot closer than the nine point win indicates. The nine point lead was the largest lead of the game. Both teams battled back and forth for the lead, but eventually the 54 percent shooting in the second half help Arkansas secure the win. Guards BJ Young and Julysses Noble were the leading scorers for the Razorbacks. Young scored 20 points on six of 11 field goals and Nobles added 15. Arkansas was able to take advantage of LSU continuing foul trouble that plagued them all game. The return of LSU’s Johnny O’Bryant should help LSU with the lack of depth that hurt them in the last game.
Going back to the opening paragraph, Arkansas is putting together a nice season under Coach Mike Anderson. The Razorbacks are 16-6 overall and 4-3 in SEC play. Currently they are ranked second in scoring in the SEC with 71 points per game and are plus five in turnover margin, which leads the conference. Arkansas likes to play an up-tempo style with Young and Nobles as the centerpieces of the team. Young is averaging 14 points per game and shoots an impressive 48 percent from the field and Nobles is adding 12 points.
As good as Arkansas is playing, they are last in the conference in scoring defense. Allowing over 72 points per game, LSU should not struggle scoring like they did last Saturday. Justin Hamilton led all scores last meeting with 20 and will need another strong performance to give LSU a chance. The return of O’Bryant should allow Storm Warren to continue his solid play. Warren was the only Tiger to have a nice game against Kentucky. His ability to make the 12-15 foot jumpers should open up the middle even more for Hamilton to operate. Those three players should dominate the Arkansas front line. No Razorback is averaging more than six rebounds per game, and LSU won the rebounding battle last meeting 46-38, so LSU should be able to win the second chance point opportunity.
Trying not to sound like a broken record, but if LSU can get solid production from Ralston Turner, Anthony Hickey and Andre Stringer; LSU should win the game. The stats speak for themselves, when the three play well, LSU usually wins. However, it will be difficult for LSU to win if two of the starters are on the bench most of the game due to fouls. With a week to prepare and put the last few games behind them, hopefully a refocused LSU team and get a much needed victory.
The game will air at 12:45 Saturday on the SEC network.