TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The LSU men's basketball team, coming off a home opening win in the Southeastern Conference Saturday, hopes to find success on the road this week starting Wednesday night at Coleman Coliseum against the University of Alabama.
The game starts a stretch of four road games in the next five contests for the Tigers (11-4, 1-0). The Tide, winners at Georgia on Saturday in their conference opener, is 12-3 and 1-0 in the league.
Tipoff for the game is just after 8 p.m. CST at the 15,000 coliseum and the game will be carried by Comcast Sports Southeast (CSS) and COX4 in the Baton Rouge-Lafayette-New Orleans region live and on tape delay beginning at approximately 9:30 p.m. following the New Orleans Hornets game on Cox Sports TV. The broadcast will be available on the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network (New Country 100.7 FM The Tiger in Baton Rouge) and in the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net/live.
LSU defeated Ole Miss, 81-55, on Saturday with Justin Hamilton (the SEC Player of the Week) and Storm Warren both recording double doubles. Hamilton had 23 points and 16 rebounds, the first LSU player to record a 20 points-15 rebounds night since December 2009, with Warren getting 15 points and 11 boards.
Warren, the senior forward from Monroe, returned to the starting lineup after Johnny O'Bryant III broke a bone in his hand in practice last week. He remains out indefinitely. Senior forward Malcolm White, who missed the Ole Miss game because of a death in the family, returned to practice on Monday.
Hamilton leads the team in scoring at 13.0 points per game and rebounds at 7.5 a contest. He will start at center with Warren (8.5 ppg, 5.3 rpg) at the forward spot. At guards will be Anthony Hickey (9.0 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 4.1 apg), Andre Stringer 911.5 ppg, 2.3 apg) and Ralston Turner (8.5 ppg, 5.3 rpg). Hickey had 12 points against Ole Miss, but more importantly, seven assists and no turnovers in the victory for the Tigers.
The 26-point win over the Rebels matched the largest opening SEC win for LSU since the 1980-81 season against Florida and was a bounce back for the Tigers from a narrow loss at home earlier in the week against nationally-ranked Virginia. LSU has won eight-of-the-last-nine games and held all nine opponents under 60 points.
"I thought we did a decent job against an Ole Miss team that was missing two of their better players," said LSU Coach Trent Johnson. "But overall I thought our offensive execution was probably as good as it has been all years in terms of the assist-to-turnover ratio (16-9) and our ability to throw the ball in to the post and try to play inside-out. We needed that. This is league play so we need to start making shots and we need to start playing better at the other end of the floor."
Junior Tony Mitchell, who had 17 points at Georgia, leads Alabama with a 15.2 points per game average and 7.2 rebounds a contest, while JaMychal Green who had 10 boards and a career high five assists in the Georgia win, averages 14.7 points per contest. Freshman Trevor Lacey, who averages 7.5 points, had a career high 19 points with three treys against the Bulldogs.
When asked this week his general impressions of Alabama, Johnson said that they are "Always the same. They are a very tough minded team. If you do not keep your poise and handle their pressure, you have no chance. JaMychal Green is a hell of a player. (Trevor) Releford is a hell of a player. The recruiting class they brought in is exceptional. But the one guy that I think is underrated on a national level is Tony Mitchell. I think he is very special. It's a very tough-minded, very good team defensively and if you don't keep your poise and handle their pressure you can have a long night."
Alabama is coached by Anthony Grant who is in his third year at the Capstone who took the Tide last year to the final game of the NIT. The Tide also has a road heavy top half of the schedule with four road games in its first six contests, but just one back-to-back road trip, compared to two for LSU.
LSU returns to Baton Rouge after the game for one day before traveling on Friday to Fayetteville for a Saturday game with the University of Arkansas at 8 p.m. on FSN. LSU's next home game is Tuesday, Jan.17, at 6 p.m. on ESPNU against Auburn. Tickets for that game are available at LSUtix.net.
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