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GAMETHREAD: Basketball vs. Ole Miss, 3pm, ESPNU

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The Tigers look to win their third straight at home

NCAA Basketball: Louisiana State at Florida Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Looking to bounce back from a tough loss in Gainesville this week, the LSU Tigers (13-10, 4-7) return to the PMAC this afternoon to take on the sputtering Ole Miss Rebels (11-13, 4-7). With this being only one of two games left against teams not in the top 100 RPI, this afternoon serves as a must-win if the Tigers want to play in a postseason tournament.

Currently on a four game losing streak and losers of seven of their last nine game, Ole Miss doesn’t serve as the scariest opponent, especially when they’re on the road. Through seven road games this season, the Rebels are a perfect 0-7 and give up an average of 83 points, scoring only 69 points themselves. Over the last nine games, Ole Miss held their opponent under 70 points just once, a win over Alabama.

There are no real factors of Ole Miss’ game that’ll pop out as reasons to be concerned. They have a pretty decent offensive scheme and run a faster pace, but they just do not shoot the ball very well. As far as their defense goes, they rank very similarly to the Tigers in adjusted efficiency and rebounding, and never really show any propensity to force turnovers. They play to shoot quick and hope they make more shots than their opponent, which isn’t a great strategy to use against LSU in the PMAC.

One of the key players for the Rebels is point guard Deandre Burnett. The senior just celebrated his 24th birthday not two weeks ago, making him a very, very old man by college basketball’s standards. Burnett leads the Rebels in assists and scoring, although his offensive numbers more appropriately reflect his ability to get to the free throw line, where he’s shooting a cool 82.0% for the year. Before the ESPNU broadcast mentions it no less than a half dozen times, his brother is Dalvin Cook.

Projected Ole Miss Rebels Starting 5

#1 PG - Deandre Burnett: 14.4 PPG, 4.4 APG, 29.6 minutes

#3 SF - Terence Davis: 13.8 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 26.3 minutes

#4 SG - Breein Tyree: 9.7 PPG, 2.8 APG, 24.0 minutes

#12 C - Bruce Stevens: 10.1 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 21.2 minutes

#5 SF/SG - Market Crawford: 9.8 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 29.8 minutes

This afternoon’s matchup tips off at 3pm in the PMAC, and will be televised on ESPNU. You can listen to the game on the radio at 98.1 FM, or follow along in the comments below or via my live tweets @marq113.