The LSU men’s basketball team faces its toughest week of the season to date when it travels for both SEC road games this week, starting Wednesday night when it faces Alabama at Coleman Coliseum in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
The No. 13 Tigers (15-2, 3-2) take on the Crimson Tide (11-6, 2-3) at just after 6 p.m. in a game broadcast on the LSU Sports Radio Network affiliates (Guaranty Media flagship Eagle 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge) with the Voice of the Tigers Chris Blair and former head coach John Brady and televised by ESPN2 with Karl Ravech and Jimmy Dykes on the call.
LSU is coming in off a 65-58 loss to Arkansas on Saturday which stopped a 13-game winning streak for LSU in the Maravich Center, while Alabama has lost three straight games including last week at home against Auburn and then a 78-76 loss on Saturday in Starkville against Mississippi State.
LSU coach Will Wade discussed at his Tuesday media session the status of point guard Xavier Pinson who has missed the last two games with an MCL strain and bone bruise.
Wade labeled it a game-time decision regarding Pinson’s playing against Alabama as he is continuing to prep for his return to the court.
Eric Gaines led the Tigers in scoring in the game at Arkansas playing a strong overall game with 14 points, six rebounds, four assists and four steals. He led LSU in all four categories in the contest. Tari Eason and Alex Fudge had 13 points each. Fudge had a strong night from the field with 5-of-6 shooting, including both three pointers.
Among the things that Wade discussed on his coaches show Monday night that bothered him was on the defensive rebounding end as LSU was out rebounded by the Razorbacks by 10 and something that has come up in the last few games – free throw shooting. LSU had been shooting at over 75 percent in the non-conference and is now at 62.2 percent for the five conference contests.
LSU will be looking to pick up some of the offensive numbers as LSU is averaging just 64.2 points a game in SEC play.
For the season, Eason continues to lead the Tigers in scoring at 15.4 points a game (13.4 in league play), while Darius Days is second at 14.0 (11.6 in SEC).
Alabama is led by Jaden Shackelford who is averaging 16.2 points and 5.9 rebounds a game. Jahvon Quinerly is at 14.8 points and 3.4 rebounds while Keon Ellis is at 12.2 points and 6.3 points a game. The Tide is averaging 81.8 points a game, while giving up 74.6.
Alabama defeated LSU in all three meetings, including 80-79 last year in the Southeastern Conference Tournament championship in Nashville.
Following the Alabama game, LSU will play at Tennessee on Saturday at 5 p.m.