After the disappointing loss against Stephen F. Austin Saturday afternoon, the Tigers (6-3) turn their attention to the Sam Houston State Bearkats (6-5). The Bearkats will be the second Southland Conference and third Texas opponent in a row for LSU.
“I want to give some other guys who haven’t played as much a little bit more opportunity,” said Coach Wade. “Some of these guys have been playing and maybe not doing what they need to do based on what (minutes) they’ve been getting. We’re going to trim that fat a little bit.” After coming off the bench for the last four games, it appears Duop Reath will return to the starting lineup, as well as guard Daryl Edwards. Tre Waters, Skylar Mays, and Aaron Epps will resume their usual roles.
Despite this season’s defensive struggles, Wade anticipates the Bearkats will force the Tigers to play a tighter game on offense. “Turn the page quickly. Get ready for Sam Houston, a very good defensive ball club,” he opened. “Top 20 in field goal percentage on defense. 14th in the country in scoring defense. 57th in the country in rebounding margin so it is going to be a little bit tougher sledding for us offensively.”
“We need to run good offense, get the ball inside, play inside out and do a good job on Galbreath, their big kid,” Wade added. “He would start for us if he played for us. We have to do a good job on him and do a good job of taking away their periphery guys as well, because we have done a bang-up job this year on letting some of the guys who are maybe role players on other teams beat us.”
Only two of the Bearkats’ six wins are against Division I teams: Little Rock and Santa Clara. They are currently ranked 249th in the KenPom, with a 317th adjusted efficiency ranking on offense and 144th on defense. LSU’s overall ranking fell from 86th to 93rd after Saturday’s loss.
Projected Sam Houston State Bearkats Starting 5
#23 F - Chris Galbreath Jr.: 16.1ppg, 8.2rpg, 26.8 minutes
#11 G - John Dewey III: 9.5ppg, 5.5apg, 28.0 minutes
#20 F - Jamal Williams: 7.9ppg, 5.5rpg, 23.3 minutes
#22 G - Marcus Harris: 5.9ppg, 3.0rpg, 21.5 minutes
#15 G - Josh Delaney: 5.3ppg, 2.6apg, 19.6 minutes
This game will tip at 7pm Tuesday night in the PMAC, and will be televised on SEC Network+ via the Watch ESPN app. You can also listen in on 98.1 FM, follow/join along in the comments below, or follow my live Twitter stream @marq113.