No. 22 LSU set for bayou battle vs. Louisiana Tech
Louisiana Tech and LSU are each 3-0 to start the season and have used strong rebounding and balanced scoring to get where they are.
Something will have to give when Louisiana Tech visits the No. 22 Tigers on Friday night.
LSU is averaging 92 points and has five players scoring in double figures, led by freshman Naz Reid (19.0 points per game), Skylar Mays (13.0) and Tremont Waters (12.7).
Mays and Kavell Bigby-Williams both had breakout games that produced season highs in points in an 85-76 victory against Memphis on Tuesday night.
After scoring 20 points in the first two games combined, Mays scored 19, and Bigby-Williams, who had nine in the first two games, scored 14. Five Tigers scored in double figures.
"Skylar really picked it up for us," LSU coach Will Wade told The Advocate. "He maybe didn't have his best couple games the first two games. The last couple days we challenged him and Kavell, so I was really proud of the way they responded."
Mays and Bigby-Williams stepped up while Reid was slowed by a sore ankle and second-half foul trouble.
Still, Wade said there's room for improvement on offense.
"We've got to have a little bit better rhythm to what we're doing," Wade said told LSU's official website. "I think (the offense) was a little bit clunky at times. Our spacing gets a little bit poor and we try to sit around and wait for other guys to make plays instead of moving around to get to the open spots. (But) we scored 85 points the other night without two of our better guys scoring a bunch."
LSU outrebounded Memphis 37-32 and averages 10.7 more rebounds per game than its opponents.
The Bulldogs are outrebounding their opponents by an average of 16, having held a double-digit advantage in all three games. They had a 46-23 rebounding edge in an 89-58 victory against Harding on Tuesday night. Tech outscored its opponent in the paint 54-16.
"Rebounding the basketball has been a huge emphasis for us," Tech coach Eric Konkol said. "We continue to deliver with that. It gives us opportunities to get more chances at the rim. It is an energy-type play and we have to keep that going."
Five Bulldogs are averaging in double figures, led by DaQuan Bracey who scored 16 in the season opener at Wichita State but has missed the last two games because of an ankle injury. Tech hopes to have him back against LSU and Wade said the Tigers are preparing as though he will play.
Konkol is pleased with his team's versatility with or without Bracey.
"We have some depth," Konkol said. "We have some guys that are experienced and are playing multiple positions."
Even though the schools' campuses are separated by little more than 200 miles, this will be only the 11th time they have played each other in basketball and just the third time since 1946. LSU leads the series 10-1.
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