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|Alabama Crimson Tide||TBA||TBA|
If you are a casual basketball fan, you will think these two teams are far apart. But, in reality, LSU is only a little better, and Alabama was ranked at no. 22 just last week.
Even though LSU lost their last game to Arkansas, they are having an outstanding season. They were undefeated in non-conference play and have beaten then no. 16 Kentucky and then no. 18 Tennessee in conference play. The LSU offense shoots well, but their defense is excellent. They lead the NCAA in steals with 12.2 per game.
Alabama played pretty well in non-conference play, but they are 2-3 in conference play. Their offense is not the problem; the problem is their defense. Their defense gives up 74.6 points per game. Alabama needs to play better defense if they want to give themselves a better chance this season.
LSU beats Alabama 77-73
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|Will Wade||Head Coach||Nate Oats|
|13-2 (3-2, 5th in SEC)||Standing||11-6 (2-3, 7th in SEC)|
|Leader (Per Game)|
|Tari Eason (15.4)||PPG||Jaden Shackelford (16.2)|
|Darius Days (7.6)||RPG||Keon Ellis (6.3)|
|Xavier Pinson (4.6)||APG||Jahvon Quinerly (4.2)|
|Eric Gaines (2.1)||SPG||Keon Ellis (1.9)|
|Tari Eason (1.1)||BPG||Charles Bediako (1.7)|
|Tari Eason (.529)||FG%||Charles Bediako (.644)|
|Mwani Wilkinson (.455)||3P%||Jaden Shackelford (.366)|
LSU has a very well-balanced roster. They have three players scoring more than ten points per game (Tari Eason, Darius Days, and Xavier Pinson) and play great team defense. They will need to continue playing great defense against this high-scoring Alabama team and outrebound them.
The Alabama offense is electric and scores 81.8 points per game. Those 81.8 points come on 45.5% shooting. The LSU defense has to force Alabama to take tough shots and look to create turnovers as much as possible. The Tigers have shown time and time again that they can create turnovers; they average 12.2 steals per game, the best in the country.
LSU is not a very big team, but they are bigger than Alabama. With that being said, LSU averages about the same amount of rebounds as Alabama. They have to step up their rebounding game, especially on the defensive glass. They cannot allow Alabama to get easy points off second chances. It is imperative that the LSU forwards and centers box out and limit Alabama’s second chances.
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It is not too late for Alabama to turn it around. They have lost their last three games to unranked Mississippi State, then no. 4 Auburn, and unranked Missouri, but Alabama’s roster does not lack talent. Earlier in the season, they beat a ranked Tennessee team, ranked Houston team, and ranked Gonzaga team. If Alabama wants to win this game, their focus has to be on defense. Everyone knows they can score, but their defense has been questionable at best.
Alabama gives up an embarrassing 74.6 points per game. There are 300 Division I teams that give up fewer points than Alabama per game. The Crimson Tide need to play team defense and hold each other accountable. A significant part of playing team defense is communication. Alabama needs to communicate on defense and help each other. If they stick to the fundamentals of defense, they can limit LSU’s scoring.
LSU shoots well near the hoop and is a little bigger than Alabama. Alabama’s big men need to protect the rim and not allow LSU to score on easy layups. The big men of Alabama need to be high-energy and grab every rebound they can. It is paramount that the Alabama big men protect the rim like it is their home.
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LSU forward Darius Days is an impressive player. He plays a lot of minutes, scores, grabs rebounds, shoots well, and will get you some steals. His game is exceptionally well-rounded, which makes him so dangerous.
Days is the most impactful play on the LSU squad. The 6’7” senior from Florida will continue to be important tomorrow. He will need to play strong defense against this Alabama squad and grab rebounds.
Alabama must be aware of Days’ whereabouts at all times. Since he is dominant on both sides of the floor, they cannot take their eyes off him.
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Alabama guard Keon Ellis is an impressive player for his size. He is 6’6” and averages 1.9 steals per game. He also shoots well and hits 88.9% of his free throws. Those are very impressive stats for a player that size at the college level.
Ellis is a good scorer and probably the best defender Alabama has. He needs to be the defensive leader on the floor this game.
Ellis is a senior, so it is only fitting that he is a leader on this team. Watch out for him to make a large impact against LSU.
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|No. 13 LSU vs Alabama Information|
|What||No. 13 LSU vs Alabama|
|Where||Coleman Coliseum, Tuscaloosa, Alabama|
|When||Wednesday, January 19, 7:00 PM EST|
|How to Watch||ESPN2|
Max Heering graduated from the University of Kansas Sport Management program in May 2020. Max follows and writes about the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, college football, and college basketball. In his free time, you can catch Max draining threes on the basketball court. Email: [email protected]More info on Max Heering
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