After a frustrating 74-66 loss to Alabama Saturday night, the LSU Tigers (11-5, 2-2) will try again for their first conference win in the PMAC tonight against the Georgia Bulldogs (11-5, 2-3). Georgia lost their last two games against Missouri and South Carolina.
While Alabama’s perfect 18-of-18 free throw shooting certainly sealed the game, the Tigers were dominated on the boards Saturday night 40-24. You can shoot as well as you want, those two numbers are an almost guaranteed death sentence. LSU can’t really control how well another team shoots free throws, but they’ve got to step up the rebounding game tonight, considering Georgia currently ranks 30th in offensive rebounding.
One particular factor the Tigers need to lock down is PF Yante Maten. The 6’8” senior is consistently the best player on the court for the Bulldogs, most recently scoring 25 points with 8 rebounds and 4 blocks against South Carolina. He recorded a double-double with 26 points and 11 rebounds in Georgia’s blowout win over Alabama.
Georgia currently ranks 61st in the KenPom, only eight spots behind LSU. While their offense isn’t well equipped to protect the ball or take effective shots from the field, they’re one of the best in the country when it comes to offensive rebounding and drawing fouls. The Bulldogs don’t shoot particularly well from outside the arc at 32.2%, so the Tiger defense really needs to focus on protecting the rim, and may need to double-team the aforementioned Maten.
Projected Georgia Bulldogs Starting 5
#1 PF - Yante Maten: 19.6 PPG, 8.9 RPG, 32.7 minutes
#0 PG - William Jackson II: 10.1 PPG, 3.7 APG, 30.0 minutes
#34 C - Derek Ogbeide: 7.2 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 21.9 minutes
#3 SG - Juwan Parker: 7.4 PPG, 1.0 APG, 19.8 minutes
#20 SF - Rayshaun Hammonds: 7.4 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 26.5 minutes
Tonight’s contest tips off in the PMAC at 6pm tonight, and will be televised on ESPNU. You can listen on the radio at 98.1 FM, follow along in the comments below, or follow my live tweets of the game @marq113.