BATON ROUGE - The LSU Tigers, 3-0 on the young basketball season, look to continue to improve Saturday night when they host former player Chico Potts and his Mississippi Valley Delta Devils in a 7 p.m. contest at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
The game will be broadcast on the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network (Eagle 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge) and in the GeauxZone at LSUsports.net. The game will also be regionally televised by Cox Sports TV. Tickets for the game are available online at LSUtix.net and beginning one hour prior to tipoff at the upper concourse ticket windows of the Maravich Center. While there is not a ticket discount involved for this game, fans are invited to bring can goods to put in dispensers to help the Baton Rouge Food Bank.
Potts is his first year as head coach of Mississippi Valley (0-3) after four years as an assistant to Sean Woods, who now is the head coach at Morehead State. Valley won the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship a year ago and advanced to the NCAA Tournament with a veteran squad that has turned into this year's team which has only one returnee.
The Tigers will be looking to move forward as despite scoring over 100 points for the first time in seven years in a 102-95 win over Northwestern State on Tuesday, the Tigers saw a 21-point second half lead shrink to four twice in the final three minutes. It was something LSU Coach Johnny Jones was emphasizing to his team.
"I told the guys that we can't give up 90-something points," he said. "You give up 90-something points more times than not, it's not going to be a good night for you. Scoring 102 points that generally doesn't happen. We want to try to score around 75-to-80 points and hold our opponents hopefully in the 60s at best. We want to hold them to a low field goal percentage shooting night. (Northwestern State) not only scored 95 points, but also shot 49 percent from the field. They shot around 71 from the free throw line. We just can't beat really good teams night in and night out playing that way."
LSU got good scoring again from Shavon Coleman off the bench, who scored over 20 for the second straight game with 22 points, while Anthony Hickey (who had six assists for the third consecutive game) added a career high 21 points and Charles Carmouche had 19. Johnny O'Bryant III returned from a one-game injury absence to score 13 points while playing just 19 minutes dealing with foul trouble.
Jones will want to see an LSU team that is a little more aggressive from the beginning.
"I think we were a little passive initially," Jones said about Tuesday's game. "I think we have guys that are very capable, and I thought we were a little hesitant."
Mississippi Valley has lost to Ole Miss, Cincinnati and Northwestern, all on the road, but maybe played its best game in its last out on Nov. 15, losing 81-68. Davon Usher scored a career-high 35 points for MVSU in the game.
Potts, who hailed from Indianola, Miss., played for LSU in the 1997-98 season at LSU as a junior college transfer, playing in 26 games. He would finish his career at Delta State, earning honorable mention Division II All-American honors.
LSU will conclude the first part of its non-conference schedule on Thursday with a home game against Seton Hall at 8:30 p.m. in the SEC-BIG EAST Challenge. That will be the final game before a long break for semester exams.
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