Men's Basketball
Come out to the Maravich Center for Wednesday's matchup
Photo by:Steve Franz, LSU Athletics Staff Photographer
Men's Basketball Set for Second-to-Last Home Game
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Published: February 26, 2013, 05:47 PM (CT)
by Kent Lowe (@LSUkent), Sr. Associate SID

BATON ROUGE - The LSU men's basketball team, which has come from 0-4 down in the Southeastern Conference to 7-7, enters the final two weeks of the regular season with a chance to possibly improve its tournament seeding when it faces Arkansas Wednesday night at 7 p.m. CST at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

LSU is 16-9 overall and its 7-7 record puts it in a two-way tie for eighth place, while Arkansas is 17-10 and 8-6 in the league. The Razorbacks are tied for fifth with Missouri and Tennessee. The Vols host league leader Florida on Tuesday night and Missouri is on the road Thursday at South Carolina.

LSU is coming off the exciting 97-94 triple overtime win over Alabama on Saturday afternoon while Arkansas had its three-game win streak broken with a 71-54 loss at No. 4 Florida.

The game will be broadcast on the SEC Network (affiliates in Louisiana are: Alexandria-KLAX-DT2; Baton Rouge-WBXH; Lafayette-KADN; Monroe-KARD; New Orleans-WUPL; Shreveport-KSHV). The radio broadcast will be available on the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network (Eagle 98.1 FM In Baton Rouge and in the Geaux Zone at LSUsport.net).

The giveaway on what is being billed as 70s night will be LSU headbands and it is also "Greek Night" and there will be a Greek step show at halftime. Tickets are available online at www.LSUtix.net and beginning one hour prior to tip at the upper concourse ticket windows of the Maravich Center. LSU students are admitted free of charge with a valid student ID.

For the first time since 1992 when Arkansas joined the league, this will be the only meeting of the teams in the regular season. LSU took two of three meetings last year, winning in Baton Rouge and in New Orleans at the SEC Tournament. LSU has won six-of-the-last-nine in the series but Arkansas still has a 31-24 advantage. LSU leads in games played in Baton Rouge, 13-10.

LSU is 5-2 in SEC games in the Maravich Center, having won five straight since losing its first two home games to Florida and South Carolina. Arkansas is 7-0 at home this year in the league, but just 1-6 away from Bud Walton Arena, having defeated Auburn on the road.

LSU will go with Malik Morgan (5.7 ppg) and Anthony Hickey (11.9 ppg, 4.0 ast, 3.3 spg) at the guards along with either Andre Stringer or Charles Carmouche. Stringer did not start the Alabama game because of a minor foot problem but came in later to hit three-of-three from the arc and score 10 points. Carmouche equaled the most minutes ever played in a triple overtime game by an LSU player, 54, in recording his second double double of the year against Alabama with 20 points and 11 rebounds.

Johnny O'Bryant III (14.0 ppg, 8.7 rpg), averaging 22 points over the course of the last two games, will start at forward with center Andre Del Piero (4.3 ppg, 3.2 rpg).

Arkansas had two projected starters in double figures for second year head coach Mike Anderson - BJ Young who is averaging 15.7 points per game and has eight 20-point games and Marshawn Powell at 14.8 points per contest and the team's leading rebounder at 5.2 a game.

LSU Coach Johnny Jones met with the media on Tuesday afternoon and here are some of his comments:

On facing Arkansas on Wednesday ...
"Well, they're a little different because of their ability to scramble. The way that we press is a little bit different than what we do. It's very extended. They've got about 10 or 12 guys, and the length of time that they generally like to perform or play that way. For us, it's more certain times of the game that we'll get into our press, and we don't have the numbers to extend it the way that they've done over the years. They've had a great deal of success. We're going to have to do a great job of taking care of the basketball, get back defensively and make sure that we get stops."

On if the team's substitution patterns will change ...
"We can't really affect ours as much because we are who we are. So, a lot of things won't change for this game. It's not like we'll get some new bodies or anything out there. I think guys will do just like they did on Saturday, and they'll be challenged like we've been all year. We've just got to make sure that we're ready and understand that we're going to have to be extremely focused throughout the game."

On fast-paced teams playing better at home ...
"A lot of teams are like that especially teams that play aggressively defensively and run the type of trapping and pressing type of defense that they do. I think a lot of times they have the ability to feed off of their crowd, and they get a lot of energy from their crowds as well. Sometimes, when you go on the road, you just don't have the benefit or the luxury, of that as well. It's a little bit tougher. Teams have a tendency of playing a little bit better at home possibly against that type of defense at times and being a little bit more aggressive and feeding off of their crowd as well."

On players like Tennessee's Jordan McRae and Alabama's Trevor Releford having success against LSU ...
"(Trevor) Releford is just a tough player. He just decided he was going to take over the game and make some big plays for them. I think you can go back and look at his history. They had good games against us at Alabama and last year as well. So, they've got good size, strength and make big plays. That may be an area that they feel that they may have an advantage or see some areas where there are certain ways that they're able to attack us."

On Arkansas Guard B.J. Young ...
"Well, our goal is to try to just contain him, just like people do Anthony (Hickey). You catch him out there in the open floor, and they're extremely good. We've got to try to do a great job of staying down in front of him and make sure that we try to limit the plays that he's going to make because he's going to make plays. We're just hopeful that we can do a great job as a team. It's a real strong, or tough, assignment just for one individual. So, it will definitely be a group effort."

On his intentions behind sitting players for periods during games ...
"Well, I just think it's just kind of a growing process. I try not to look at it so much as a punishment as I just think we're really about teaching life lessons and continuing to grow. I think these young men have taken advantage of that, and they've done it. They know what our mission has been, and our focus has been. I think they have responded extremely well. I think that's a good sign knowing of their growth and the type of young men that they are."

On the opinion of him being a 'player's coach' ...
"No, I don't think that has anything to do with it. I think that's more so because of our approach and what we try to do and the way we go about doing it. I think when people refer to (someone being) a player's coach, I think it's because guys have the ability to relate to you, the style of play, allowing guys to make plays on the floor, be comfortable in a sense in doing that and being able to relate to when they make mistakes how you handle or how you deal with those. Then, their growth through their play, but I think when you talk about a player's coach it really encompasses a lot of other things. I don't think being a player's coach means that you're not going to take responsibility and discipline them when it's necessary."

On Arkansas' style of play ....
"I don't think they'll change what they do. I think they'll still play because they're looking for some easy scoring opportunities. If you score, you better get back. If you turn it over, you better get back against them. In their half court sets, they're patient at times in making good plays. If (Anthlon) Bell catches it, I think you have to have somebody close to him and have to get a hand up and defend him. You can't leave him open because he should be playing extremely confidently right now."

On Anthony Hickey's defense ...
"He's been a tenacious defender. He's really been good for us. Sometimes he'll catch himself out of position, but he can come up and make big plays for us. The challenge is, a lot of times when he gets a steal, it's generally from someone else's man not necessarily his. It happens when he comes down to be a help defender, rotates over and comes up on someone's blind side. I think what you put on the opponents' mind is that they're looking for him because he can get anywhere pretty quick, and he's really strong."

On Anthony Hickey being able to steal the basketball ...
"Well, I think the word that a lot of people use for it is people have a knack for having an ability to get steals. Some people have a knack for rebounding. You look at (former NBA great) Dennis Rodman, that's something that's hard to teach, but he knew when a shot would go up that he was going to position himself in the right position to get it (the rebound). (Anthony) Hickey has a knack for getting steals. He understands reads and understands a lot of times the angles that he can come from. He catches guys' blind side. If he understands a little bit about their offense, what their post guys are doing and what they're looking for, then a lot of times he'll have an opportunity to get in there and knock that ball out of there."

On what he remembers about Mike Anderson when they were assistant coaches in the 1990s ...
"When I was in the league after our pregame shoot around the day of the game, we would stay around and usually play two-on-two with the opposing team's assistants. We used to have some really good battles. We would play extremely hard against each other. We played right before they closed the old Barnhill Arena, but we also played in the new one as well. So, we've had some great battles off the floor as well."

On Mike Anderson returning to Arkansas as the head coach ...
"I was really happy for him because I thought that they had done a great job during their time there and had won a national championship. I knew that was a job that he had a great desire for. He went off to the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), did a tremendous job there and built a program. At Missouri, it was the same as well. When that opportunity presented itself, I was glad to see him get that opportunity."

On the remainder of the regular season ...
"I'll tell you we have a really tough four-game stretch, two at home and two on the road against four quality basketball teams. It will be a challenge for us. You want to be playing well at the right time. If we can do a great job in these last four leading into the conference tournament, it would mean a lot for us. You want to get hot at the right time. If you can get in that tournament and win you a couple of games, anything can happen. That's something that we look forward to, and I think anybody can make a run in that conference tournament."

 

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