BATON ROUGE, La. — It’s not often that a squad like the LSU basketball team is out for revenge against a school as small as Charleston.
But if you ask sophomore guard Antonio Blakeney, he’ll tell you this is the case.
“Oh yeah definitely,” Blakeney said. “They got us bad last year. But the main thing is to come out. It’s a new team. And they have a new team. We’ve just got to come out and play the game and hopefully we get the win.”
Coming off an 88-80 win over Texas Southern on Saturday, the LSU basketball team hosts Charleston tonight. For Blakeney and LSU’s other returning players, this game isn’t just another cupcake contest. Last season, Charleston shocked LSU with a 70-58 upset win despite 15 points and 18 rebounds from Ben Simmons.
But, as Blakeney said, this year’s LSU team is different. Namely, the Tigers are significantly improved on defense. Last season, LSU ranked 288th nationally in scoring defense, the second-worst mark in the SEC. This year, LSU has improved to a middle-of-the-road 156th, still not where the team wants to be but certainly well ahead of where it was.
Since its return from the Bahamas three games ago, the LSU basketball team has been playing its opponents close, but still earning victories. Junior forward Craig Victor has been a huge factor in these wins, returning to the starting lineup and averaging 11.7 points, 10 rebounds and two steals per game.
LSU’s starting point guard situation is still a question mark, but Skylar Mays has gotten the start each of the last two games, and the odds are somewhat high that he starts again tonight, despite struggling through foul trouble against Texas Southern.
LSU basketball tonight
Projected starting five
|PF||Craig Victor II||8.7||7.0||1.2|
LSU vs. Charleston
When: 8 p.m. ET
Where: The Pete Maravich Assembly Center in Baton Rouge, La.
Watch: SEC Network+
Stream: Watch ESPN
Listen: 98.1 FM