Senior forward Duop Reath is averaging 16.5 points and 10.5 rebounds in first two SEC games.
Steve Franz

Basketball Tigers Make Trek to Arkansas

Kent Lowe (@LSUkent)
Kent Lowe (@LSUkent)
Communications Sr. Associate

FAYETTEVILLE, Arkansas -- The LSU Tigers, off its road win at Texas A&M Saturday, now tries to put good back-to-back road games together as LSU travels here to take on Arkansas Wednesday at 8 p.m. at Bud Walton Arena.

The Tigers are 10-4 on the season after a split of its opening SEC games, while Arkansas is 11-4 and 1-2 in the league after losing Saturday at Auburn.

Mike Morgan and Pat Bradley will call the game on television for the SEC Network, while Chris Blair and former Tiger coach John Brady will have the game on the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network (Eagle 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge).

LSU’s 10 wins equals last year’s victory total and the 10th win came in amazing fashion as SEC Freshman of the Week Tremont Waters hit two three-pointers from 30-plus feet in the final 12 seconds to go with two missed A&M free throws in the 69-68 victory. It was LSU’s second consecutive road victory to go with a win at Memphis on Dec. 29.

Waters had 21 points against A&M while Skylar Mays had 11 points and six assists and Aaron Epps 11 points as well. Duop Reath had nine points and 10 board on the game.

Arkansas is 8-0 at Bud Walton with a 22.6 average margin of victory at home this season. While Waters was named SEC FOW, Daryl Macon was a recent SEC POY when he scored 33 in a win over No. 19 Tennessee. Arkansas was on the road last week, losing at Mississippi State, 78-75, and the Auburn game, 88-77.

LSU will return to the Pete Maravich Assembly Center for two games starting on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. when Alabama comes to town. LSU is also at home against Georgia on Jan. 16.

Follow updates on LSU Basketball and game updates at www.Facebook.com/LSUBasketball and on Twitter @LSUBasketball.

Coach Will Wade met with the media late Monday afternoon and here are some of his comments:

Opening Statement …
“Big game coming up with Arkansas. We have to do a good job against their two guards (Jaylen) Barford and Daryl Macon. The kid (Daniel) Gafford inside is really good. Shot blocker, dunker. We have to turn the page and get ready to go in a tough environment on Wednesday night.”

On following a big win with a game on the road
“I don’t know. We just have to get better and prepare to play. We have to play better than we did on Saturday. We have to keep getting better and keep preparing the right way. Give ourselves a chance to win. Any road game is tough so it will be a tough environment up in Fayetteville. We have to get ourselves ready to go.”

On not playing well on offense against Texas A&M …
“We didn’t set screens very well. We left a lot of stuff on the table. Tre (Tremont Waters) bailed us out at the end which is what great players do which is what he is. Throughout the course of the game we just left a lot of stuff on the table that, had we lost, we would be kicking ourselves. We watched it all on film this afternoon and hopefully we will learn from that, not make the same mistakes, and not put ourselves in that position.”

On dealing with success after a big win …
“We hadn’t been very good at it so we have to clamp down, get better, and turn the page quickly. We need to play as well as we can against Arkansas. Arkansas is a very good team. We can play well, but the result may not be what we want. We need to prepare the right way so we can give ourselves and opportunity in the last six minutes.”

On the importance of fast starts …
“Starts are big. Getting off to a 10-0 start against A&M was good. Fast starts are critical, especially on the road in that type of environment. Arkansas can bury you early, middle, and late. They can go on those 12, 15-0 runs that and you can be pretty much done. We have to do a good job of making sure it doesn’t get away from us early for sure.”

On Arkansas being a team that could break out …
“I think every team in our league is good and Arkansas is no exception. They have a post player that is a phenomenal player (Daniel Gafford). They have two really good guards (Daryl Macon and Jaylen Barford) which makes them an excellent team and they are even better on their home court the way they play and the way they shoot the ball. It is going to be a tough matchup for us.”

On if Tremont Waters will get more attention on the court for his play …
“I am not sure it is because of that. Most of our offense runs through him. You would be dumb not to try to take him away or limit him. We obviously try to think ahead of what could happen, what may be happening, and what we can do to combat that. We have worked on that. Arkansas did a good job against Trae Young from Oklahoma when they played him earlier this year. They beat them in the PK80 in Portland. They did a good job on him. They doubled him all over the court. They hassled him up and down the court. We certainly expect it. We will see something similar on Tremont.”

On making Arkansas take shots that they want them to take …
“They shoot it a lot but we just can’t take away everything, which is how we are built so we just have to take away two or three main things. There are going to be some games where teams hit the stuff that we are giving them and we are just going to get beat. That is kind of how it goes. We will try as best we can to make sure Arkansas takes the shots that we want them to take, kind of bait them into taking those shots. If they do that will give us a shot. If they don’t then it could be a long night.”

On if he has seen improvement defensively …
“I think we are getting better. I think our guys are paying more attention to the scouting report. We are basically not guarding one of the other guy’s players. We pick out whoever the weakest link is and we don’t guard that guy. We are going to set that guy’s man in the lane and we are able to cut down on penetration. It has helped our defense. We are defending five on four which has helped us dramatically.”

On if they have improved finishing games …
“We’ve been better, but we have to get a lot better. We have done some good things, but we certainly could still improve and be better in the finishing part of it.”

On if they showed that they can beat anyone in the SEC …
“I don’t know about that. We are 1-1. We lost to Kentucky, beat A&M. It is what it is. My expectations internally are probably a lot higher than external expectations. I think it is what it is. I am not worried about what other people think, we just have to keep getting better. Keep putting ourselves into position to win games. That is what it is about. You have to win.”

On if he has ever played at Arkansas before
“Nope. I just talked to a lot of people and they all talked about the atmosphere there. I know their staff there, I know those guys well. Coach (Mike) Anderson does a phenomenal job. I know TJ Cleveland (Assistant Coach) well. I know Matt Zimmerman, who is their ops guy. I have known him for years. We used to talk pressing when we were pressing at VCU. I was kind of the assistant in charge of the pressing and Zim was in charge of it at Arkansas. We would talk once a week and just compare notes and things like that. I know those guys well. I always followed their program. Their home record is tremendous. They shoot the ball really, really well at home and they have a phenomenal home-court advantage and good players. That is a pretty good combination to win a lot of home games. They are a very, very good team. It will be a big challenge.”

RECENT HEADLINES

VIDEO

2:29
Men's Basketball
This Week in LSU Athletics - Feb. 20-25
Feb. 20
1:23
Men's Basketball
Men's Basketball Interviews - Feb. 19
Feb. 20
1:10:03
Men's Basketball
The Will Wade Show - Week 13
Feb. 19
VIDEO & AUDIO ARCHIVES