The LSU Tigers look to get back on the winning track Tuesday night as they continue their non-conference road trip against UC-Irvine with tip set for shortly after 9 p.m. CST.
Corban Collins has emerged as a big scoring threat for the Tigers
The Tigers are 6-1 after losing at Boise State on Friday, 89-70, while UC-Irvine after winning at Fresno State on Saturday is now 5-6.
Corban Collins had the big game for the Tigers off the bench in the Boise game with 19 points, hitting 5-of-8 treys in 30 minutes. Shavon Coleman had 11 points and Johnny O'Bryant III, despite foul trouble, had 15 points in the contest.
The Tigers were out rebounded 44-27 in the game and that is something head coach Johnny Jones wants to correct.
"It was our first road trip and there are some areas we definitely have to clean up," Jones said. "We've got to make sure we are able to focus for 40 minutes or however long it takes in the game. We are a good rebounding team and we've got to be able to do that to be successful. We didn't do that in our last game.
“We are playing a team that is fifth in the country in rebounding so we are going to have to make sure we are focused on rebounding and we've got to take care of the basketball. Those two areas were glaring with us having 20 turnovers and being beaten on the boards."
UC-Irvine is coming off a big win over Fresno State where the Anteaters found themselves down 51-46 with 3:34 to play and scored the next 12 points to win by seven.
"They are a good basketball team," Jones said of UC-Irvine. "They played UCLA to overtime. They beat Nevada and that win Saturday night at Fresno. So we will be playing a confident basketball team coming in on Tuesday so it will be a great challenge to us."
Jones announced that Collins could join the starting lineup, which means the other two starting guard spots will be decided among Andre Stringer, Charles Carmouche and Malik Morgan, a starter for the last two games. O'Bryant III will be at forward and Andrew Del Piero at center.
In the last two games, Collins has scored 30 points with 7 treys. O'Bryant III is second on the team in scoring at 13.8 points per game and tied for third in the league in rebounding at 8.3 a game. Stringer comes in still averaging double figures at 10.1 a game, while Shavon Coleman is averaging a team-high 15.1 points a game.
Damian Starring is the only Anteater scoring in double figures for UC-Irvine third year coach Russell Turner, averaging 12.9 points per game. The Anteaters are ninth in the country in field goal percentage defense at just over 35 percent, after holding Fresno State to below 30 percent on Saturday.
This is believed to be, like Friday's game at Boise, the first time UCI has hosted an SEC team at the Bren Events Center.
After Tuesday's game, LSU will travel back to Baton Rouge on Wednesday and then leave Friday for Saturday's 1 p.m. game with Marquette in Milwaukee that will be televised by ESPNU.