BATON ROUGE -- The LSU Tigers play their first return date of Southeastern Conference play on Wednesday night when they travel to Tuscaloosa to take on the University of Alabama.
Game time in Coleman Coliseum is just after 7 p.m. and the game will be televised on the affiliates of the over-the-air SEC Network (COX cable channel 16 WBXH-TV in Baton Rouge, KLAF-TV in Lafayette, WUPL in New Orleans and KMSS in Shreveport are the Louisiana affiliates) and the radio broadcast will be available on the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network (New Country 100.7 FM The Tiger in Baton Rouge) along with the Geaux Zone at LSUsports.net.
(NOTE: Some affiliates may change due to the State of the Union Address)
LSU is 9-10 on the season and 0-5 in the league, while Alabama is 12-7 and 2-3 in league play coming off a 62-57 win over No. 23 Mississippi State in Tuscaloosa on Saturday. The Tigers fell to No. 22 Mississippi Saturday, 73-63, at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
Alabama was able to handle the Tigers in the opening game of SEC play on Jan. 9 in Baton Rouge as Alabama, under first year coach Anthony Grant, won 66-49. In that first meeting, Alabama held LSU to 37 percent from the field while Alabama shot 45 percent and out rebounded LSU 37-27. Bo Spencer led LSU with 13 points while Dennis Harris had 12 and Tasmin Mitchell 11.
This will be the 164th meeting between the teams with Alabama holding a 97-66 advantage and a more pronounced 61-18 lead in Tuscaloosa. LSU has lost the last five games in Coleman Coliseum.
"From watching tape on Alabama, they are a lot better defensively on the half court than the first time we played them. They are much improved now, and they were really good then in their ability to force a lot of pressure or get you out of rhythm. Watching them play Mississippi State and Vanderbilt, which is a game I thought they should have won at home, they've improved. They are playing a lot better like a lot of people are playing in our league right now. I think with the quality of coaches in this league, teams are going to improve and get better as you move forward.
"We need to continue to focus on the things that are correctible such as: our concentration level in practice and games from start to finish, consistent effort, our ability to concentrate and catch the ball with two hands, setting good screens, taking the right shot at the right time, shot selection, being in a stance constantly, being a triple threat, being slow and strong, making good decisions, being able to rebound and block out and loose balls. Those are the things for our basketball teams that are correctible."
LSU is led by senior Mitchell who is averaging 17.9 points per game (third in the SEC in scoring) and 9.5 rebounds per game (tied for second in the league). Spencer is averaging 15.3 points and Warren is at 13.5 points per game.
The Tigers stay on the road for Saturday traveling to Mississippi State for another SEC Network tilt that tips at 12:47 at Humphrey Coliseum. LSU returns home the next week to face Tennessee on Feb. 4 and then on Feb. 6 All-American Rudy Macklin has his jersey retired at the Kentucky game. Tickets for those two games are on sale at the LSU Athletic Ticket Office or online at LSUSports.net
Trent Meets with the Media Prior to Alabama Game
January 25, 2010
LSU HEAD COACH TRENT JOHNSON QUOTES
Opening Statement ...
"From watching tape on Alabama, they are a lot better defensively on the half court than the first time we played them. They are much improved now, and they were really good then in their ability to force a lot of pressure or get you out of rhythm. Watching them play Mississippi State and Vanderbilt, which is a game I thought they should have won at home, they've improved. They are playing a lot better like a lot of people are playing in our league right now. I think with the quality of coaches in this league, teams are going to improve and get better as you move forward. We are going to practice today, and we need to continue to focus on the things that are correctible such as: our concentration level in practice and games from start to finish, consistent effort, our ability to concentrate and catch the ball with two hands, setting good screens, taking the right shot at the right time, shot selection, being in a stance constantly, being a triple threat, being slow and strong, making good decisions, being able to rebound and block out and loose balls. Those are the things for our basketball teams that are correctible.
"When you go back, like I do all the time, I look at the Ole Miss tape. It's 59-58 and we've just come down, made three passes went inside-out, and got a good shot. Bo misses it, but it's a good shot for rhythm. At the point of attack, Terrance Henry put the ball on the floor and beats Chris Bass to the point attack from 35 ft. out. We go down, good execution, Bo misses a wide open three, went inside-out, Eddie (Ludwig) runs it down, kicks it back out and we have a new shot clock. He turns it to Chris, and Chris shoots a three with the best player open on the wing, which is Tasmin (Mitchell). He misses it, and they go down and beat us at the point of attack. Horn goes down, there's a substitution, and we bring in Aaron (Dotson) to put on a good defensive play. He does it, Eddie steals it. Aaron misses the layup, but coming back the other way in transition, Chris Warren is right in front of him, he doesn't communicate, and Warren goes by. The sequence there, you go from not a four-point turnaround, but a possible eight- point turnaround. Those are the things with this group that are starting to happen. We are getting to a point that we are getting better against good teams and good people for 20 or 30 minutes. When you start talking about the things that are correctible, these are things that are correctible. These are the things that we have to continue to do as a staff to get them to see. We have to continue to fight through. I put emphasis on that, and I know it sounds like a broken record, but it is a fight, and they have to look at it like that. Frustration is good, but it is how you deal with it. If after a loss the guys in the locker room weren't frustrated, that's a sign of them not caring .They know from my standpoint, that's probably the most frustrated they've seen me in my own demeanor. It wasn't like I was throwing things around. They know that only lasts so long, and now, we are going back to work to get better regardless of who, when or where we play. We will leave and go to Alabama around 3 p.m. on Tuesday, and when we get there we are going to practice."
On if playing on the road is a good way to get away from distractions ...
"With certain teams, I can say it's good, but with this team it doesn't matter because when they are losing, and they are at home, it bothers them. They get to themselves. We've lost three games at home, and it's not like what's going on in school or at home has been a distraction. It's probably has been more of a burden on them, because this is a group that really cares. They understand why we are in this situation, so I think more than anything, being on the road or at home it doesn't matter. With teams I've coached in the past, yes it was good to get them away because there were a lot of distractions, but me personally, I don't put a lot of stock in that. I put stock in them understanding why. At home or on the road, it doesn't matter with this team."
On the difference between this year and last ...
"Last year, where our margin of error was slim, we don't have a margin of error this year. I just talked about a scenario at home where it was a one-point game. We take two open shots in rhythm that Bo misses, and we get a stop, but then we come down to an ill-advised shot and the ball isn't turned to your best player, you are talking about six or eight-point turnarounds. You sub in, transition and miss a layup, go back and don't convert, well there's your game. As opposed to being up two or maybe tied, now you are down six or eight points to a team that is pretty good. The more you lose or don't have success, is there more pressure that the kids put on themselves? Probably. Is there more pressure when they really care? No question. Some of the guys that don't care or aren't as competitive, those are the ones you find out. They start shying away from doing the things you want to do.
"I think this is a great comment by someone who used to coach here, 'You either care about getting better, or if you don't you're stupid.' There is no fine line. Everyone at this level of play, what we are doing offensively last year isn't near like what we are doing this year. We tried to simplify things as much as we could because we have limitations at a skill level. We have to play close to the basket. Again, I just go back to what I've said. It's not like it's been 10 losses. There have been some wins. We've executed, there have been open shots and guys have to step up and shoot them."
Birmingham-Tuscaloosa-Anniston, AL, WTTO, CW
Dothan, AL, WTVY, CW
Huntsville-Decatur-Florence, AL, WAMY, MNT
Mobile-Pensacola (Ft Walt), AL, WJTC, NBC
Montgomery (Selma), AL, WCOV, FOX
Jonesboro, AR, KAIT, ABC
Little Rock-Pine Bluff, AR, KATV, ABC
Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto, CA, CSN-SAC, RSN
San Francisco-Oak-San Jose, CA, CSN-BAY, RSN
Jacksonville, Brunswick, FL, WJXT, IND
Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbrn, FL, WRBW, MNT
Panama City, FL, WJHG, CW
Tampa-St. Pete, Sarasota, FL, WTTA, MNT
Albany, GA, GA, WALB-DT, NBC
Atlanta, GA, WPCH, IND
Augusta, GA, ERDW, MNT
Columbus, GA, GA, WLGA, CW
Macon, GA, WPGA, ABC
Evansville, IN, WTVW, FOX
South Bend-Elkhart, IN, WHME, IND
Bowling Green, KY, WBKO, ABC
Lexington, KY, WKYT, CBS
Baton Rouge, LA, WBXH (Channel 16), CBS
Lafayette, LA, LA, KLAF, MNT
New Orleans, LA, WUPL, CBS
Shreveport, LA, KMSS, FOX
Biloxi-Gulfport, MS, WXXV, FOX
Columbus-Tupelo- West Point, MS, WCBI, CBS
Jackson, MS, MS, WJTV-DT, CBS
Meridian, MS, EGBC, FOX
Charlotte, NC, WAXN, IND
Greensboro-H. Point-W. Salem, NC, WCWG, CW
Norfolk-Portsmth-Newpt Nws, NC, WSKY, IND
Raleigh-Durham-Fayetteville, NC, WNCN-DT, NBC
Binghamton, NY, WBPN, MNT
Toledo, OH, WMNT, MNT
Oklahoma City, OK, KXOC, IND
Charleston, SC, SC, WMMP, MNT
Columbia, SC, SC, WIS-DT2,
Greenvll-Spart-Ashevll-Anderson, SC, WSPA-DT, CBS
Chattanooga, TN, WDSI, FOX
Jackson, TN, TN, JACKSON ENERGY, Cable
Knoxville, TN, WVLT, CBS
Nashville, TN, WUXP, MNT
Tyler-Longview-Lfkn & Ncgd, TX, KLPN, MNT
Roanoke-Lynchburg, VA, WDRL, IND
Spokane, WA, SWX,
Madison, WI, ETVW, MNT
Charleston-Huntington, WV, WSAZ, NBC