At 7:00 Friday night, LSU will take on the Houston Baptist Huskies in Baton Rouge. The 7-2 Tigers are a heavy favorite over the 4-7 Huskies, who are coming off a 41 point loss to Oregon last Saturday. LSU's penultimate non-conference game has mostly gone under the radar, especially with the football team's match-up against Clemson coming up on the 31st. However, tonight's game has increased significance after yesterday's announcement from Johnny Jones that point guard Anthony Hickey has again been suspended.
Hickey sat out against Chattanooga and played limited minutes in the team's loss to Boise State. It is unclear whether Hickey is resuming his earlier suspension or if he has once again violated team rules and is serving a new suspension. However, Jones specified that Hickey is not injured.
Except for mystery about Hickey's standing on the team, tonight's game should be a straightforward match-up. Houston Baptist is a member of the Great West, the only conference in Division I that does not have an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament, and two of their four wins this season have come against teams that aren't even in Division I. In addition to the Oregon loss, the Huskies have dropped games to Hawaii, Pepperdine, Rice, and Sam Houston State.
Their leading scorer is Art Bernardi, a 6'9" senior power forward from Brazil, who is averaging 14.3 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. He is also the only player in their rotation who is shooting above 40 percent from the field.
Tip-off is at 7 on Cox Sports, and we'll have some updates of the game later on.