Ready for LSU? No? Maybe this will help a little. If not, well, I don’t know what to tell you. Go Cats, I guess.
1.) LSU is 8-2 at home this season.
The Tigers lost back-to-back games in the Pistol Pete Center in early January to Rhode Island and Tennessee. Now sitting at 11-10, the Rhode Island Rams won by four, three days before the Vols destroyed LSU by 18 in the SEC opener in a nationally televised game on ESPN’s Super Tuesday.
LSU’s two conference home wins are against Vanderbilt and Missouri.
2.) LSU leads the SEC in blocks and steals in conference play.
LSU is the league’s best shot blocking team since league play began six games ago, although Kentucky trails by only two blocks. LSU also leads the league with 9.2 steals per game, much better than UK’s 10th-best six steals per contest.
LSU also ranks in the top 10 nationwide in both categories in 2013-14.
3.) LSU is a great offensive rebounding team.
The Tigers average over 15 second chances after missed shots in SEC play, ahead of Kentucky’s 13.5 offensive rebounds per game against conference foes. However, UK leads on the season with 14.9 offensive boards, the fourth best average in the country. LSU isn’t far behind, though, at No. 11 with 14.4 offensive rebounds per game on the year.
4.) The Tigers are a below average team from the stripe, whenever they can get there.
Not only is LSU one of the worst teams in America at getting to the free throw line, they’re not any better at making them once they’re there. The Tigers are 289th in free throw attempts and 262nd in free throw percentage on the year.
Kentucky, on the other hand, is sixth in the country in attempts and shooting over 70 percent in SEC games.
5.) Johnny O’Bryant III averaging almost 19 points in last three games.
O’Bryant III, now sans dreadlocks, has really stepped it up for LSU lately after a disappearance against Ole Miss. He is the team’s leading scorer and leading rebounder with double-digit points in all but three of LSU’s 18 games this year. The junior power foward also has four double-doubles, including a 22 point, 12 rebound game against Vanderbilt, 10 days ago.
6.) LSU’s Jarell Martin played with the Harrison twins, James Young and Marcus Lee in the 2013 McDonald’s All-American game.
Martin, a top 15 recruit in the 2013 class, played with four UK freshmen on the East squad in last year’s McDonald’s All-American game. Julius Randle and Dakari Johnson were across the way on the West squad.
7.) John Calipari replaced Johnny Jones at Memphis.
LSU head coach Johnny Jones was the interim head coach at the University of Memphis during the 1999-2000 season, before Calipari was hired to lead the Tigers. Jones’ Memphis squad won six of its last seven games to finish 15-16 in the final season before the John Calipari era.
8.) LSU freshman Jordan Mickey played against Julius Randle in high school.
Mickey, who leads the SEC in blocks per game, called it a challenge playing against Randle. He said they split their games in high school, adding that Randle is strong and extremely skilled.
9.) That big tuba player graduated.
It was always fun to root against that 7-foot-3 ginger who left the LSU band for the basketball team to become the starting center. He graduated last season, leaving the starting role for Mickey.
That’s too bad.
10.) LSU starting point guard Anthony Hickey is from Hopkinsville.
Get ready to hear all about how Hickey wasn’t recruited by UK or Louisville in his home state after leading Christian County to the state championship and earning “Mr. Basketball” honors. It comes up over and over and over every time these two teams meet.
Hickey is averaging 10 points per game in three tries against the Cats, scoring 5, 10, and 15, respectively. So, 20 tonight?