OXFORD, Miss. – Another road trip calls for the LSU men’s basketball team and the task doesn’t get any easier as they face the Ole Miss Rebels in an 8 p.m. game Wednesday night here at Tad Smith Coliseum.
The game will be regionally televised on CSS/CST with Dave Baker and Kyle Macy on the television call, with Jim Hawthorne, Ricky Blanton and studio host Kevin Ford will have the radio broadcast on the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network (Eagle 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge and WWL 870 AM/105.3 FM in New Orleans).
LSU comes in off a 71-68 win at South Carolina which puts the Tigers at 10-4 overall and in a six-way tie for fifth after one week of the league at 1-1. Ole Miss, also 1-1, is 10-5 overall after losing on the road, 76-72, to Mississippi State on Saturday.
Freshman Jarell Martin had his best scoring game as an LSU Tiger, coming off the bench Saturday at South Carolina, with 18 points, hitting 5-of-6 field goals, including one trey and getting to the free throw line eight times, making seven. Jordan Mickey and Johnny O'Bryant III both added 13 points for LSU, winners for the second time on the road this year.
LSU started a new lineup at South Carolina with Shavon Coleman in at one forward for Martin and Malik Morgan in at a guard spot for Andre Stringer. Coach Johnny Jones said in his media session that several factors such as matchups and practice work among other things may determine future starting lineups.
“The good thing is for us, and we’re fortunate that we have – and I won’t call it a luxury – we have several guys on our team that are capable of playing certain roles,” said Jones. “What I want to make sure that our team gets caught up in are a few things – winning is the most important thing, preparation and being ready when your number is called. I think if the guys are ready and capable of doing that then it really doesn’t matter at the end of the day because throughout the game guys should be getting great minutes and playing for us. We should be worried more so about our rotation and getting into that instead of starters so I hadn’t put a whole lot into that.”
O’Bryant III leads the team in scoring at 14.4 points per game, while Mickey is at 13.9 points and Andre Stringer 11.4 points.
Marshall Henderson returns off a two-game absence for the Rebels. He leads the team in scoring at 18.8 points a game with 53 three-pointers in 138 attempts. But Jarvis Summers is having a strong season for Ole Miss as well, averaging 17.9 points and 18.5 points in the first two league games. Derrick Millinghaus, who averaged 15.5 points in the first two league games, has averaged 11.2 for the 15 game schedule.
“We’re looking forward to two big games this week,” Jones said. “Certainly, on Wednesday Ole Miss – Marshall Henderson returns to conference play. It will certainly be a challenge and a great test for us. It will be a great environment there in Oxford. We are certainly looking forward to that challenge after coming off of a really gutsy hard-fought battle at South Carolina where I thought our guys did an excellent job of coming out and playing extremely hard. Through stretches of the game, we had some turnovers which South Carolina had a lot to do with. Unfortunately, we didn’t knock our free throws down like we needed to late, but we were able to sustain the energy that we needed to and convert – execute the plays down the stretch to get out of there with a victory.
“We are going to have to do a lot of that on Wednesday as well with the guard play that Ole Miss will have. It’s going to be a great evening for our perimeter guys to have to make sure they turn up their defensive intensity throughout the game. We know what we are in for, and it’s something that we certainly have to be prepared for,” the second year LSU Coach said.
LSU will return to the Maravich Center on Saturday for the start of four home games in the next five playing dates as it hosts Vanderbilt at 8 p.m. on ESPNU. Tickets are available at LSUtix.net. Follow LSU Basketball on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/LSUBasketball and on Twitter @LSUBasketball.