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GAMETHREAD: Basketball vs. Saint Mary’s, 10pm, ESPNU

The Tigers head to Las Vegas for a neutral site showdown

Gus Stark | LSUSports.net

The LSU Tigers (7-3) head to Las Vegas Saturday night to face off with the Saint Mary’s Gaels (7-4) as part of the Neon Hoops Showcase benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer. The Gaels are on a four game winning streak and are 1-2 on neutral courts, the same as the Tigers.

Saint Mary’s finished last season with a record of 30-6, led by the incredible big man Jock Landale. They beat Southeastern LA and Washington in the NIT before falling to Utah in overtime, the same team that ended LSU’s season a game prior.

By KenPom efficiency ratings, the Gaels have the 17th best offense in the nation but the 135th best defense. The Tigers are 23rd and 107th respectively in those categories. As of now, the Tigers are projected as a one point favorite. Suffice to say, this should be a pretty evenly-matched game.

“(Saint Mary’s) run a European style offense,” said Coach Wade Friday. “We’ll have to guard a lot ball screen action, a lot of different cutting actions which will be different than kind of the power games of some of the teams we have played.”

Tonight’s contest will tip off at 10pm and will be televised on ESPNU. You can also listen in on 98.1FM or join the discussion in the comments.

Saint Mary’s Gaels Projected Starting 5

#3 Jordan Ford - 22.5 PPG, 1.5 SPG, 35.1 MPG

#1 Jordan Hunter - 10.3 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 22.5

#10 Elijah Thomas - 6.4 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 22.8 MPG

#24 Malik Fitts - 15.1 PPG, 7.9 RPG, 30.6 MPG

#00 Tanner Krebs - 6.9 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 22.7 MPG

LSU Tigers Projected Starting 5

#1 Ja’Vonte Smart - 12.1 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 29.3 MPG

#3 Tremont Waters - 11.3 PPG, 5.2 APG, 30.7 MPG

#4 Skylar Mays - 13.2 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 28.9 MPG

#0 Naz Reid - 12.2 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 22.7 MPG

#24 Emmitt Williams - 8.0 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 24.1 MPG