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GAMETHREAD: Men’s Basketball vs. Alabama, 2:30pm, SEC Network

Tigers take on one of the nation’s best defenses

NCAA Basketball: Louisiana State at Texas A&M
Skylar Mays learns the hard way that A&M’s defense isn’t weakly coached by Chavis across every sport
Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

Less than 24 hours after LSU Gymnastics dropped the hammer on #4 Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Men’s Basketball will attempt to do the same in the PMAC. The Tigers, as you might know, come into this afternoon’s game with a 9-6 (1-3) record having lost their last four of five. The Crimson Tide are 9-6 (2-1), with both of their conference wins coming against teams who already beat LSU. That fact alone doesn’t bode too well for the Tigers, but neither does Alabama’s trend of stout defending.

Alabama beat Mississippi State and Vanderbilt, holding each team to 58 and 56 points respectively. As you might remember, those teams scored 95 and 96 points against the Tigers. It helps that Alabama isn’t the best offensive team in the league, but that really hasn’t stopped any team from dropping 90+ points on LSU lately. Some fun facts about the Crimson Tide’s defense from Kent Lowe:

Alabama comes into the game holding opponents to 62.4 points per game, second in the league and 19th in the nation. While Alabama is undefeated when holding opponents below 62 points (9-0), they are 0-6 when teams score more than 62 points. More impressive is that in their three SEC games, the Tide has a +13 rebound margin.

So, the blueprint to beating Alabama is pretty clear. Normally I’d stress fixing LSU’s glaring problem of giving up 90 points to anyone who asks nicely, but it appears a focus on patient offense and winning the rebounding battle is today’s key to victory. Of course, being undersized and planning to win a rebounding battle against a team with a +13 margin in SEC play isn’t quite a guarantee, but it’s got to be a focus.

Today’s game tips at 2:30pm, and will be televised on the SEC Network. I would try to project our starting lineup, but due to Wednesday’s shakeup I’ll just update when those are announced. Follow along on Twitter @marq113 as the Tigers attempt to earn their first SEC win in the PMAC, or join the discussion in the comments below. I will post score updates and a summary during every full timeout.