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GAMETHREAD: Basketball vs. Michigan, 10:30pm, ESPNU

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Tigers face first challenge as underdog in Hawai’i

NCAA Basketball: Alcorn State at Louisiana State Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Aloha!

Your LSU Tigers (2-0) tip off this evening in Hawai’i against the Michigan Wolverines (3-0) to wrap up the first day of the Maui Invitational. The Wolverines made quick work at the beginning of their season, winning three games within a week against Central Michigan, Southern Mississippi, and future LSU opponent North Florida.

Michigan will serve as a more than capable opponent to truly test Wade’s new squad. Not only will the Tigers need to combat the fatigue of traveling to Hawai’i, they will face a strong, poised team in the Wolverines, who have only allowed an average of 59.3 points through their first three games. They are also currently ranked 42nd in the KenPom to LSU’s 79.

On an encouraging note, the Tigers have had no problems of scoring, finishing with 99 and 105 points in their only two contests respectively. Coach Wade expressed a deep embarrassment in Thursday’s 105-86 victory over Samford, mostly due to poor defensive effort in the second half, where they gave up 58 points. Lucky for LSU, Michigan hasn’t yet hit their stride on offense, only averaging 73.0 points and shooting 46.3% from the field and 32.9% behind the arc.

Projected Michigan Starting 5

#22 G/F - Duncan Robinson (Sr): 14.3ppg, 4.0rpg, 32.7 minutes

#13 F - Moritz Wagner (Jr): 13.3ppg, 9.7rpg, 27.7 minutes

#01 G - Charles Matthews (Jr): 13.0ppg, 3.3rpg, 31.7 minutes

#12 G - Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman: 12.0ppg, 3.0apg, 35.7 minutes

#03 G - Zavier Simpson (So): 5.3ppg, 4.3apg, 22.3 minutes

Beyond these starters, only two other players average over ten minutes per game: #15 C Jon Teske, who’s averaging 5.3 points and 4.7 rebounds, and #5 G Jaaron Simmons, who’s averaging 3.0 points and 2.3 assists.

Tonight’s contest will tip off at 6:30pm in Maui, 10:30pm Baton Rouge time. Watch the game on ESPNU, listen in at 98.1 FM, or follow along in the comments below or on Twitter @marq113.