LSU is back on the court and back in the AP Top-25, as the newly minted 25th ranked Tigers take on the Georgia Bulldogs at 6:00 P.M. in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
The Tigers (14-3) have won their opening four conference games, and the last time the program achieved that feat they made the 2006 Final Four. LSU’s looking to push their overall winning streak to eight games; a win in the PMAC tonight would give them nine straight in conference play dating back to last year and 18 in a row at home, which would tie for the second-longest run in program history.
Opposite LSU is a Georgia team led by first-year man and former Indiana Hosiers head coach Tom Crean. Crean’s Bulldogs (9-8) are 1-4 in conference and have dropped their past three contests to Auburn, Kentucky and Florida.
Georgia is led by a pair of long, athletic sophomores Rayshaun Hammonds and Nicolas Claxton. Hammonds checks in at 6’8” while Claxton is 6’11”. They are Georgia’s leading scorers with 12.9 and 12.4 points a game and Claxton brings a presence in the interior with nearly 10 rebounds and 3 blocks a night. The duo presents a challenge for an LSU front court featured by reigning conference player of the week Kavell Bigby-Williams.
“(Georgia poses) some challenges for us,” Will Wade said at his Monday media session. “They’ll pack their defense in. It’s a little different from South Carolina who extends the defense. It will be a bit different playing against them. We’ll be more packed in. They’re very long across the three four and the five. We’ll have to do a good job on the backboards. They killed us on the backboards last year. They have a lot of the same personnel back. We’ll have to do a better on the backboards than we did against them last year.”
It is assumed that LSU will go with the same three-guard, two-big starting lineup utilized against South Carolina. Skylar Mays, Tremont Waters, Marlon Taylor, Naz Reid and Bigby-Williams are more than likely to be Wade’s starting five but expect to see plenty of Emmitt Williams and Darius Days to counter Georgia’s more compressed style of defense.