PowerMizzou – Tiger Tip Preview: LSU

Early January was a rough one for Missouri. The Tigers finished 2022 on a high note, earning a win over a win over Kentucky, which was ranked 19th at the time. But over the next three weeks, the team won just two games, falling to 3-4 in SEC play.

Mizzou rallied last week with wins over Ole Miss and No. 12 Iowa State and enters February with a chance to extend his hitting streak to three for the first time in a month, facing LSU at home.

The Southern Tigers showed promise early on under the new manager Matt McMahongoing 11-1 on his non-conference roster and opening up conference play with a win over #9 Arkansas on December 28. Tech in the Big 12/SEC Challenge on Saturday.

Both teams will be looking to start February on the right foot.

β€œ(LSU is not) a replica of their record. I’m not that team,” Missouri head coach Dennis Gates She said. β€œIt’s just one of those things where you have to look beyond. They have some great players, they have one of the top 50 players in the country. There’s no question, you know, they’re coming and they’re not looking at their record. They are trying to win a ball match and we need to focus on the things that give us the opportunity to win a ball match as well.”

TIP INFORMATION TIME

Missouri (16-5, 4-4 SEC) vs. LSU (12-9, 1-7)

WHEN: 8:00 pm CT

WHERE IS IT: Mizzou Arena, Columbia, Missouri

TV: SEC network

SERIES: LSU leads, 11-2

KENPOM PREDICTION: Missouri 81, LSU 71

DESIGNED INITIATORS

GIVE THE NUMBERS

BEST LINE-UP OF THE LAST 5 RELEASES

Sean East II-Isiaih Mosley-DeAndre Gholston-Kobe Brown-Mohamed Diarra

Minutes played: 5

Offensive rating: 137.4

Defensive Rating: 74.0

Net vote: +63.4

THE KEYS TO THE GAME

1. Block KJ Williams. The big man followed McMahon from Murray State to LSU and quickly became one of the most prolific scorers in the conference, averaging 17.2 points per game. Williams catches 30.3 percent of his team’s field goal attempts while on the court — he usually isn’t even on the bench for very long, averaging 32.0 minutes per game. Despite him hitting a high number of shots each night, Williams remains effective with an effective field goal percentage of 55.6. However, the senior forward’s touch has declined slightly, coinciding with the team’s slump in conference play. Williams has not shot above 50% in any of LSU’s last seven games. Mizzou should do what it takes to keep it that way.

2. Limit second chance opportunities. The Southern Tigers as a whole aren’t all that strong as an offensive unit, shooting just 47.0% on 2-pointers and 33.3% on 3s. The team has only scored 70 points once against SEC opponents. LSU, however, does a great job on the boards, where they get 30.6% of available offensive rebounds. Going up against a pair of 6-foot-10 behemoths in Williams and junior forward Derek Fontana, Mizzou likely won’t finish Wednesday’s game with a lead on the draw. But MU needs to make sure it doesn’t allow LSU to flex its size lead and give up too many rebukes.

3. Reach the edge. LSU is one of the top 50 teams in the country to guard the 3-point line, allowing opponents to connect on only 31.0% of their attempts from beyond the arc. The Tigers’ home defense isn’t quite as good on the inside, where opponents shot an above-average 51.6% of his 2s. LSU also turns the ball around significantly, coughing it up on 19.3% of possessions and allowing teams to get to the basket on the break. Mizzou, an elite force inside the arc who sinks 57.9 percent of his shooting indoors, which ranks sixth in the country, should be looking to win points in the battle of paint.

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