LSU will be playing their first game against Missouri today, as the Tigers head north for the second of two regular season games. It was an exciting first game, which LSU was able to win after jumping out to a big lead and slowly letting it dwindle. Missouri, like Arkansas, is a terrible road team and a great home team, so fans should expect a much different game today.
It was Charles Carmouche who carried the Tigers on Wednesday night. It was actually the same script as the Missouri game, where LSU jumped out to a big lead and saw it evaporate in the second half. Part of the reason might be that Johnny O'Bryant wasn't able to play much with foul trouble, and part of the reason is that Arkansas adjusted to make sure Carmouche didn't have open looks. None of the other guards were able to consistently knock down open shots. At the same time, there also weren't very many open shots.
I'm sort of conflicted on what to think about this game. Both teams present interesting match up possibilities because both can rely on different scorers in different positions. Laurence Bowers is a great scorer, but a little bit inconsistent like the Missouri team tends to be. Phil Pressey is at his best when he looks to get others to score, but in the first game he was trying to do everything by himself. Jabari Brown is a great shooter but LSU is good at defending threes so he may not get many open looks.
On the flip side, LSU relies a lot on Johnny O'Bryant, so if he can't get involved the LSU Tigers will be in trouble. Anthony Hickey isn't playing his best, but could cause some problems for Pressey if he plays tough defense. Andre Stinger will need to knock down a couple of open shots, while Carmouche will have to continue to attack the basket like he did against Arkansas. Perhaps a goal can be to get Andrew Del Piero the ball and try to get Alex Oriaki out of the game to help LSU get an edge in rebounding against a good rebounding team.
Vegas likes Missouri in this one, by a lot, as the Mizzou Tigers are 13.5 point favorites. The over/under is high at 150 as well. I'm quite surprised that LSU is such big underdogs, since they've done a pretty good job of competing on the road. They narrowly lost to Kentucky and Alabama, and didn't give up against Tennessee, so unless Missouri comes out really hot, LSU should be able to cover. I'm not too optimistic that LSU will win, but I think they will be in a position to win with 5 minutes or so left.
Game time is set for 3:00 CT and the game can be seen on the SEC Network (In Louisiana: Alexandria - KLAX-DT2; Baton Rouge - WAFB; Lafayette - KADN; Monroe - KARD; New Orleans - WUPL; Shreveport - KMSS) and ESPN3.