The Tigers face off tonight against The Old Dominion Monarchs in the first round of Paradise Jam. Old Dominion comes in with a 2-0 record after winning their first two games against UNC-Wilmington and Richmond. The Monarchs come in with more experience and depth on their roster than The Tigers. This will be a much different test for LSU than Texas Tech, who started three freshmen. The Monarchs also play a different style than the Red Raiders. They play an inside-out game, making 14 3-pointers in 29 tries (48.3%). Shooting inside the line Old Dominion is 35-80 (43.8%).
The Monarchs are coached by former Virginia head coach Jeff Jones. Like The Tigers, they have also been tested in their first two games of the season, and had to overcome a deficit to defeat UNC-Wilmington (76-56) in their opener. Jones says he believes he has a good team, but "we're not there yet." Jones also said LSU will be their toughest test yet, and had high praise for both Jordan Mickey and Jarell Martin. "That front line is very explosive and very athletic, they put a lot of pressure on you, in a lot of ways."
Junior guard Trey Freeman leads The Monarchs with 36 points on the season, and Jordan Baker leads the team on 3-pointers (5-7, 71.4%). Fifth-year senior, and George Mason transfer, Jonathon Arledge has scored 24 points in his first two games, and leads the team with 14 rebounds.
The Tigers head coach Johnny Jones said Old Dominion will be a tough test for his team. He hopes the same defense that showed up against Texas Tech in the second half will show up again tonight. On Tuesday The Tigers held Texas Tech to 7-of-30 (23.3 percent) after the half to help overcome a 36-24 deficit.
One key for The Tigers will be their fifth starter. Elbert Robinson started the first two games, but he only played 8 minutes against Texas Tech, and did not play at all in the second half. Tim Quarterman could start as a third guard/small forward. Quarterman has proved to be very valuable on defense for The Tigers. Jones said Quarterman has "maximized the minutes he's been given this early part of the season." Quarterman could add more versatility to an already dynamic defense for LSU, but he has not officially been named the starter.
The Tigers will likely have to have strong play from the defense again tonight. The game is set to air at 5:30 CST on CBS Sports Network.