There's plenty of reasons to be happy about Tigers basketball after the performance they had against South Carolina on Thursday night. Johnny O'Bryant was able to score 30 points, nearly half of the Tigers total of 64, and the defense as a team held South Carolina to only 46 points. The second half was entirely laughable, as LSU not only took control, but toyed with South Carolina both offensively and defensively. Andre Stringer added some dagger threes to crush any attempt at a comeback, showing how LSU can close out games when they take the pressure off themselves by getting the ball inside.
Of course, South Carolina isn't the best team in the league, and likely won't be playing more than a couple of games in March. It's still a team that LSU lost to, at home, in overtime. It's good to know that Johnny Jones was able to make the adjustments necessary against a veteran like Frank Martin. Now LSU looks to continue moving forward against Mississippi State, the only team worse than South Carolina. The Bulldogs themselves are coming off a worse loss, by 42, to Missouri.
In the first meeting this season, LSU needed some late heroics from Anthony Hickey to pick up a win. It was another game, similar to the South Carolina game, where LSU was very bad defensively. Mississippi State had a solid lead at halftime, but the over matched Bulldogs couldn't keep the momentum into the second half. Although LSU won, and did so because of the way they played, it wasn't a pretty win.
Today, I think the opposite is going to happen. I think LSU, as bad as we have played this season, is due for another massive victory. Mississippi State is on a horrible slide after starting out 2-0, and a confident LSU team should be good enough to keep that going. Johnny O'Bryant is, seemingly, completely healthy and extremely effective. With so few D1 quality players on MSU's roster, I don't see any reason why JOB3 won't score another 30 points other than that he might sit in place of walk-ons.
Vegas isn't quite that optimistic, but LSU is double digit favorites at 11.5 points. I'd give the points in a heartbeat, I really like the Tigers' chances today. An over/under of 133 is too high for me to feel comfortable with since I don't think MSU will keep their end of the bargain and will fail to score 50.
Game time is set for 4:00 CT and the game can be seen nationally on ESPNU and WatchESPN.