The LSU Tigers return to action tonight at 7:00 CT as McNeese State makes the trip over from Lake Charles. LSU is coming off of an impressive 77-63 win over UCSB on Friday night, though not all is well for the team. Sophomore leader Johnny O'Bryant probably isn't going to play tonight, and it starts to become a big deal the longer that he is out. Although all signs suggest that it is a minor injury, it's always concerning that a lower body/leg injury could persist for the entire season and perhaps impact his performance.
For tonight though, LSU should be able to make up his production against the Cowboys. Shavon Coleman, while still a little bit raw offensively, will be called upon to play a bulk of the minutes and also score some points. Jalen Courtney will also need to stay out of foul trouble and work on his interior rebounding. At this point, the only other forward is senior Eddie Ludwig, who will need to work on his free throw shooting and his ability to finish. Luckily for LSU, McNeese isn't going to even have a size advantage on the Tigers, so it will be possible for our forwards to produce.
Offensively, the Tigers looked very good against UCSB, and there's no reason to think that it will change against McNeese. Charles Carmouche led the team with 16 points and overall has a great understanding of the offensive game. Unlike the younger players, he understands when to take shots and when to run time off the clock. Johnny Jones did a great job with substitutions on Friday night, and I think that giving Carmouche the necessary rest will benefit LSU in the long run. So far the freshmen have showed they can not only fill in, but fill up the stat sheet.
Tonight, I'm interested to see how LSU designed the gameplan. Will LSU rely on what it did well in the first game, shooting and aggressive play, or will the Tigers try to work on developing other parts of their game they aren't as good at? There will be opportunities to use the fowards down low and to see if they have adequate post moves. At the same time, the forwards will need to understand pressure and how to pass out of potential double teams.
Tipoff is set for 7:00 CT in the PMAC and will be broadcast on CST.