When: 8 p.m., The Pete Maravich Assembly Center (13,215)
TV: ESPN2. Radio: Ole Miss network.
Satellite Radio: XM 202. Sirius 134.
Series: LSU leads 119-87
Last year: LSU defeated Ole Miss twice last season inning 75-71 in Oxford and 73-63 in Baton Rouge.
Coaches: Ole Miss – Andy Kennedy (225-130, 11th year; 204-117 in 10th season at Ole Miss). LSU – Johnny Jones (70-43, fourth season at LSU, 275-205 15th season overall).
Notes: Guard Keith Hornsby, a senior shooter, and forward Craig Victor, a transfer from Arizona, are recent additions who have added depth for LSU. … Hornsby was a starter last year but missed most of the first two months coming off an injury. … Ole Miss F Tomasz Gielo, a post-grad transfer from Liberty, was held scoreless against Georgia, the first time that’s happened this season. … Stefan Moody leads the SEC and ranks sixth nationally in scoring. … Ole Miss has won nine of its last 10 games.
Ole Miss (12-3, 2-1 SEC)
F – Tomasz Gielo 6-9 Sr. 8.5p 3.8r
F – Sebastian Saiz 6-9 Jr. 12.5p 10.3r
G – Martavious Newby 6-3 Sr. 5.5 p 5.4r
G – Stefan Moody 5-10 Sr. 23.9p 3.1a
G – Rasheed Brooks 6-5 Jr. 7.9p 2.5r
Top Reserves: F Marcanvis Hymon, F Anthony Perez, G Donte Fitzpatrick-Dorsey
LSU (9-6, 2-1 SEC)
F – Ben Simmons 6-10 Fr. 20.6p 13.1r
F – Craig Victor 6-8 So. 12.6p 6.6r
G – Tim Quarterman 6-6 Jr. 11.5p 3.7a
G – Keith Hornsby 6-4 Sr. 15.5p 2.3r
G – Antonio Blakeney 6-4 Fr. 9.3p 3.3rpg
Top Reserves: C Elbert Robinson III, G Josh Gray, G Jalynn Patterson
Ben Simmons was the No. 1 ranked recruit in this year’s crop of freshmen, and he’s done nothing to play his way out of lofty expectations.
He was the preseason SEC player of the year and comes into tonight’s Ole Miss-LSU game averaging 20.6 points and 13.1 rebounds.
In spite of Simmons’ phenomenal numbers LSU has only gotten off to a 9-6 start. There were injuries and other things that kept some other key parts of the equation out, but the parts and pieces are all together now, and LSU could be peaking soon.
That said the Tigers are coming off a six-point loss at Florida in which Simmons had 28 points and 17 rebounds. Former Ole Miss player and assistant coach Mike White was left scratching his head that Simmons would amass such totals in spite of what White called a “decent” defensive effort by the Gators.
White will be in the Pavilion at Ole Miss Saturday night when Florida visits. More on that later in the week.
Tonight, Ole Miss hopes to catch LSU with some of its other “issues” still in play.
While the Tigers are coming off that loss at Florida, they aren’t coming off a loss in their last home game. In that one they dismantled Kentucky by 18 points.
I asked Andy Kennedy if having just seen Georgia’s versatile 6-foot-8 big man, Yante Maten, would help Ole Miss preparation in any way. Maten drew Ole Miss bigs away from the basket with his ability to score on the perimeter.
Kennedy was very clear in his opinion that there are no comparisons to Simmons.
“He’s inarguably the best player in college basketball.”