The LSU men's basketball team hosts Texas A&M Wednesday night at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center at 7:05 p.m. as the teams meet for the first time in hoops since the Aggies joined the Southeastern Conference.
LSU looks to end SEC drought on Wednesday
LSU enters the game looking for its first SEC win with a record of 9-6 and 0-4 in the league, while A&M is 12-5 overall and 2-2 in the conference. The Aggies opened up 2-0 with wins over Arkansas and at Kentucky, but have lost the last two to Florida and Alabama. LSU lost to Georgia, 67-58, in its last start on Saturday.
"It was tough night in Georgia," said LSU Coach Johnny Jones. "A lot of reasons. One, I thought we had an opportunity to go up and get a win. Unfortunately, I thought turnovers, missed opportunities offensively and a couple of free throws late in the game to put the pressure back on them and to have them fight an uphill battle - they didn't allow it to happen.
“I thought our press created some steal opportunities for us that we failed to convert on. We wound up giving the ball back to them on a couple different occasions. I liked the effort and was pleased with that of our guys throughout the basketball game with the limited numbers that we had.”
LSU will be limited as Corban Collins will be out after suffering a concussion and a cut above the eyes late in the Georgia game. Eddy Ludwig remains out after a practice injury earlier in the month and Charles Carmouche was announced by Coach Jones on his radio show Monday night as a game day decision after missing the Georgia game with some knee problems.
It is expected that LSU will go with the lineup that started the Georgia game with junior Andre Stringer (11.1 ppg), sophomore Anthony Hickey (11.8 ppg, 3.8 apg) and freshman Malik Morgan (5.3 ppg) at guard, with sophomore Johnny O'Bryant III at forward (10.8 ppg, 7.7 rpg) and senior Andrew Del Piero at center (5.0 ppg).
Morgan responded in Carmouche's position with his second double figure scoring game with 11 points at Georgia and O'Bryant III had his best game since suffering a minor injury in the Marquette game (12/22) with 16 points and a career-high 14 rebounds.
"I am impressed with Malik Morgan," Jones said. "I thought he played exceptionally well with the minutes, and the responsibilities that he had. I thought Johnny (O'Bryant III) did an excellent job of being more aggressive and being more assertive in getting to the foul line. I think he got to the line eight times in that game, where it had only been a couple of times in three previous (SEC) outings."
A&M is coached by Billy Kennedy, who in his career served two years as head coach at Centenary and six years at Southeastern Louisiana.
The Aggies are led by senior Elston Turner who leads the team in scoring at 16.1 points a game. He had a career-high 40 at Rupp Arena in the win at Kentucky. Fabyon Harris is averaging 9.9 points per game but has reached double figures in five of the last eight games.
“We obviously have to get better with a really solid Texas A&M team coming in here on Wednesday,” said Jones. “They're a team that's playing really well - winning at Kentucky, beating Arkansas and only losing by one right there at the end of the game at Alabama on Saturday. So, we know that we have the challenges in front of us, but we look forward to it."
The game will be broadcasts regionally on the SEC Network ( Louisiana affiliates - Alexandra KLAX-DT2; Baton Rouge WBXH; Lafayette KLAF; Monroe-El Dorado KARD; New Orleans WUPL; Shreveport KSHV) and on the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network (Eagle 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge and in the Geaux Zone at LSUsports.net).