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GAMETHREAD: #25 Basketball vs. Missouri, 5pm, SEC Network

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Tigers hit the road seeking their ninth straight victory

NCAA Basketball: Georgia at Louisiana State Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The 25th-ranked LSU Tigers (15-3, 5-0 SEC) look to continue their impressive winning streak this afternoon as they head to Columbia, Missouri to take on the Mizzou Tigers. Mizzou currently have a 10-7 (1-4) record, albeit with good wins over Oregon State, UCF, and Illinois.

LSU notched their eighth win in a row Wednesday night, a sluggish ten point victory over Georgia that gave Coach Will Wade more to criticize than to speak praise.

“We played pretty decent defense for 27 minutes. The problem is, that’s not going to get it done when you play really good teams in our league,” Coach Wade explained to the media Friday. “We need to be able to play for a complete game. That’s something we’re focusing on – playing for a full 40 minutes. We’ve got to be able to sustain our defense and sustain what we’re doing for longer stretches.”

“We weren’t disconnected. We were a little bit discombobulated,” Wade continued. “We weren’t in our right mind. We were a little bit out of whack, but we were hopefully able to get some of that stuff corrected yesterday with the guys. Hopefully we play better tomorrow.”

While any performance that leads to a double digit win should usually be praised, Wade is right in being concerned about giving up 82 points to, by KenPom’s metrics, the second worst offense in the SEC. Mizzou’s offense isn’t particularly much better than Georgia’s, but they play an above average defense and dictate one of the slowest paces in basketball, a direct clash with LSU’s faster style.

The Mizzou Tigers are headlined by sophomore Jeremiah Tilmon. The 6’10” center has already recorded four double-doubles this season and is averaging 9.9 points and 5.8 rebounds per game.

“It will be a challenge for us on the road. The big kid Tilmon is really good,” Coach Wade spoke of Mizzou’s players. “When he gets going for them, they’re a totally different team when they play inside out. (Jordan) Geist, the point guard is a good player. He can really shoot it.”

Jordan Geist, a senior, leads Mizzou in scoring with 13.3 points per game as well as assists with 3.2 per game.

This afternoon’s de-facto SEC/Big XII Challenge clash will tip off at 5pm in the Mizzou Arena and will be televised on the SEC Network. You can also listen in to the game at 98.1FM and join the discussion in the comments below.

Projected Missouri Tigers Starting 5

#15 Jordan Geist - 13.3 PPG, 3.2 APG, 32.1 MPG

#13 Mark Smith - 12.6 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 29.6 MPG

#23 Jeremiah Tilmon - 9.9 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 23.1 MPG

#24 Kevin Puryear - 8.6 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 26.3 MPG

#4 Javon Pickett - 7.8 PPG, 1.3 APG, 23.6 MPG

Projected LSU Tigers Starting 5

#3 Tremont Waters - 14.2 PPG, 6.1 APG, 3.0 SPG, 31.3 MPG

#4 Skylar Mays - 13.3 PPG, 2.3 APG, 30.3 MPG

#0 Naz Reid - 13.2 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 23.1 MPG

#14 Marlon Taylor - 7.3 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 22.3 MPG

#1 Ja’vonte Smart - 10.3 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 28.0 MPG