LSU basketball vs Texas A&M: Preview, prediction and keys to the game

Jan 16, 2016; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; LSU Tigers head coach Johnny Jones talks to forward Ben Simmons (25) during the second half of a game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. LSU defeated Arkansas 76-74. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 16, 2016; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; LSU Tigers head coach Johnny Jones talks to forward Ben Simmons (25) during the second half of a game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. LSU defeated Arkansas 76-74. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports /

Live stream, preview, predictions and betting odds for the LSU basketball team’s Tuesday night showdown with the Texas A&M Aggies at Reed Arena.

The LSU basketball team heads back on the road after a successful home stand last week, in which the Tigers (11-6, 4-1) picked up a pair of comeback victories over the Ole Miss Rebels and Arkansas Razorbacks.

Their next opponent, the No. 10 Texas A&M Aggies (15-2, 5-0), sit alone atop the SEC standings with a flawless 5-0 conference record. The Aggies’ dominance this season will not be the only obstacle facing the Tigers on Tuesday night at Reed Arena, either.

LSU has struggled tremendously this season away from the friendly confines of the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. The Tigers have recorded just one win away from home this season, which came during their SEC opener against the Vanderbilt Commodores. They are 1-3 in road games, and 0-2 when playing at a neutral site. Conversely, LSU is 10-1 at home this season.

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Texas A&M is led by a trio of players averaging double-digit scoring figures in Jalen Jones, Danuel House and Tyler Davis, as well as senior guard Alex Caruso, who has led the SEC in assists for each of the past two seasons.

If the Tigers are able to overcome their shortcomings on the road on Tuesday, they will move into a tie with the Aggies for the No. 1 spot in the SEC standings, for which they will hold the tiebreaker.

The game will be televised on ESPN, with tipoff scheduled for 8:00 p.m. CT. Live streaming will be available via Watch ESPN.

Next: 2016 LSU baseball preview: Depth chart projections

Details for LSU vs Texas A&M are below:

Date: Tuesday, January 19th
Start Time: 8:00 p.m. CT
Location: College Station, Tx.
Arena: Reed Arena
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
Radio: LSU Tigers Radio Network

Keys to the Game


1. Get double-digit shot attempts from Ben Simmons.

As the season goes on, it appears that freshman forward Ben Simmons is becoming more comfortable taking over games at the offensive end. Simmons’ unselfish nature and remarkable vision makes his passing ability a valuable asset, but LSU will need its star freshman to dominate with his scoring against one of the top teams in the country on Tuesday night. The Tigers are just 2-3 when Simmons attempts less than 10 shots, and although one of those two wins was a Top 25 upset of the Kentucky Wildcats, it is evident that the team is more successful when Simmons shoots at a high volume.

2. Dominate the paint.

Texas A&M has a handful of lengthy guards who can be expected to give LSU headaches on the perimeter. The Aggies’ post presence is not weak by any indication, but it is an area that LSU can expose, especially if the Tigers can get freshman center Tyler Davis in foul trouble. Simmons and sophomore forward Craig Victor II are averaging a combined 33.6 points, 20 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game for LSU this season, which could pose some issues for a young Texas A&M frontcourt.

3. Find production from Tim Quarterman.

Junior guard Tim Quarterman is one of the most versatile players in the SEC, and his ability to make an impact in multiple aspects of the game was a driving force in LSU’s upset of Kentucky earlier this season. During that game, Quarterman allowed the Tigers to overcome foul trouble for Simmons by delivering one of the most complete performances by an LSU basketball player this season, recording 21 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists while committing zero turnovers. During the Tigers’ previous two losses, Quarterman averaged just four points, three rebounds and two assists.

Texas A&M:

1. Exploit LSU from long-range.

LSU has been downright awful at defending the the 3-point line this season. The Tigers are allowing opponents to shoot 35.6 percent from behind the arc, ranking 253rd out of 346 Division 1 college basketball teams. With four players shooting better that 43 percent from long-range, the Aggies would be wise to unleash a barrage of three-point attempts on Tuesday night.

2. Attack the basket and get the Tigers in foul trouble.

Simmons and Victor have both proven to be prone to foul trouble this season, with each player fouling out in the Tigers’ most recent losses to Florida and Wake Forest. Perhaps the easiest way for Texas A&M to take control of the game will be to take at least one of LSU’s top-three scorers and leading rebounders off the court. Sophomore forward Aaron Epps has been able to provide the Tigers with a spark off the bench at times, averaging 5.4 points per game on 58.6 percent shooting, but he simply does not possess the defensive prowess of Simmons and Victor.

3. Jump ahead early and prevent the big run.

In each of LSU’s past two games, the Tigers have overcome late second-half deficits. Against Ole Miss, LSU finished the game on a 31-17 run in the final 9:22 to turn a five-point deficit into a nine-point victory. During the Tigers’ comeback victory over Arkansas last Saturday, they erased a five-point deficit with 6:27 remaining by finishing the game on a 16-9 run. If the Aggies are able to come away victorious, it will likely be because they held off a late LSU comeback attempt.

Betting Odds

Point spread: LSU +7.5

Money line: LSU +275, Texas A&M -330

O/U: 152.5


The LSU basketball team has shown plenty of resolve this past week in bouncing back from a disappointing road loss to Florida, but they have also displayed glaring weaknesses. They give up too many open looks from behind the 3-point line, and continue to struggle against formidable big men.

Unless the Tigers can improve in both of these areas, they do not stand much of a chance against the No. 10 team in the country.

Final score: Texas A&M 82, LSU 77