- Very, very good rebounding team. 11th in the nation in rebounding.
- Athletic players who get out in the passing lanes and force turnovers. Force over 14 TO’s per game.
- Will play a fast-paced, loose game. Quite a bit of freedom on both ends.
- Talented group that is looking for a signature win.
#1 PG Anthony Hickey: 5’11’’ 182 JR
The Hopkinsville native and Christian County High School graduate is a great defensive player who will look to disrupt the opposing ball handler; he averages 2.5 steals per game. Offensively, Hickey does a good job of taking care of the ball and will shoot a lot of 3-pointers (31/92, 33.7%). The junior point guard averages 8.5 points and 3 assists to just 1 turnover per game.
#24 SG Malik Morgan: 6’4’’ 199 SO
Lefty. Malik isn’t a very offensive-minded player and will generally play fewer minutes than two guys who will come off the Tiger’s bench. He is a good athlete who will crash the offensive glass hard. He averages 4.9 points and 3.4 rebounds per game.
#5 SF Shavon Coleman: 6’5’’ 195 SR
Some players are athletic, but Shavon Coleman is VERY athletic. He will get out into the passing lanes defensively to get some steals, and will look to cause some havoc by simply flying around the court. The lone senior in the starting lineup averages 8.9 points and 3.8 rebounds per game, plus over 1 steal per game. Shavon will shoot some 3’s; he is 20/59, 33.9% from beyond the arc. He has a very quick first step and will look to drive from the perimeter off the dribble some.
#25 PF Jordan Mickey: 6’8’’ 220 FR
The freshman big man has put together a great season so far for LSU. Mickey is averaging 13 points, 7.2 rebounds, and over 3 blocks per game. Just like on defense to block shots, Mickey will use his great timing and length to clean the offensive glass. When he has the ball in the post he is turnover prone; UK should try and pressure him when he has the ball.
#2 C Johnny O’Bryant III: 6’9’’ 256 JR
A reigning All-SEC 1st Team selection, O’Bryant is putting together another fantastic season. Like fellow big man Jordan Mickey, O’Bryant is a great offensive rebounder. He is averaging 14.6 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. He is an aggressive offensive player who has the freedom to do a lot of things; he will step away from the basket and knock down some jumpers and will bang around some on the low block.
#10 PG Andre Stringer: 5’10’’ 190 SR
Andre will come off of the bench, but he plays 27 minutes per game and is the Tiger’s 3rd leading scorer with 12 points per game. He is LSU’s best 3-point shooter, knocking in 36 of 92 shots from beyond the arc (39.1%). Stringer is also a great free throw shooter; 42/50 for 84%. Strong, physical guard.
#12 PF Jarell Martin: 6’9’’ 241 FR
Another LSU substitute that plays 20+ minutes off the bench, Martin is an extremely talented player averaging 8.7 points and 4.1 rebounds. Just like all of the Tiger’s big men, he will grab his fair share of offensive rebounds. He will step out and shoot a 3-pointer, shooting 37% on the season (10/27).
#55 G Tim Quarterman: 6’6’’ 173 FR
Quarterman plays the role of 8th man; he averages just 2.9 points per game and isn’t a big offensive threat. He is very long and athletic.
- The Tigers are an aggressive offensive team that will look to push it in transition. Anthony Hickey is a very good decision maker who is capable of making things happen during the fast break or in the half court. All of LSU’s players have quite a bit of freedom offensively to create shots or take 3-pointers.
- Along with a group of athletic guards who can get up and down the floor, LSU’s big men (Mickey, O’Bryant, and Martin) do a good job of running the court in transition as well. This is a team that will try and speed up the tempo.
- The Tiger’s really utilize the baseline offensively. Their primary offensive set will feature two players up top (1 on either wing), the two “bigs” on either block, and then a baseline “runner” who will run to which ever side of the floor the ball is on. As the baseline runner switches sides of the floor he will run off of two screens (a “staggered double”) from the big men on the blocks. This is where they get a lot of their 3-point looks or a quick drive off the catch.
- Further utilizing the baseline, if teams do a good job of chasing that baseline runner around, sometimes Hickey or Stringer will dribble the ball over to one side of the floor and dribble-drive on the baseline as the big men seal their man down low. This also allows for an open shot for a shooter spotted up in the opposite corner or on the wing.
- Just as they try to play pretty fast and loose offensively, LSU has a similar style defensively. They use their length and athleticism to really attack the passing lanes and will create turnovers. They average 9.2 steals per game, and they also do a good job of protecting the rim, averaging 6.5 blocks per game.
- Many teams mix in some zone defense against Kentucky, but I think the other type of defense you may see from the Tigers would be a full-court press. At some point they will decide to pick up full-court to try and speed things up and force some more turnovers.
Keys to the Game
- LSU is a talented team that is very capable of beating the ‘Cats. Johnny O’Bryant and Jordan Mickey are very talented players are both capable of causing teams a lot of problems down low. Julius Randle, Willie-Cauley Stein, and Dakari Johnson will need to come to play, on both ends of the floor, in order to not allow the Tigers to take an upper hand here.
- Do not allow LSU to control the tempo. Kentucky obviously plays fairly fast and loose as well, however if this turns into a real track meet I think that LSU may have the advantage (especially being at home). Andrew Harrison, and the rest of the Wildcats for that matter, will need to really focus on taking care of the ball. Some turnovers will happen, especially against a team like LSU that does a good job of forcing them, but we will need to cut out the purely careless turnovers.
- Win the rebounding battle. LSU is a very good rebounding team, especially on the offensive glass. Luckily, Kentucky, at least statistically, is an even better rebounding team.