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L.S.U. @ UMass

by: Rich Salvatori @dickiesalvatori - posted on: 11-Nov-2013

Both of these teams are looking at potential improvement after up and down campaigns in 2012. UMass looked good in a 13 point win over B.C. on Sunday. They now get ready to play a Tigers team that features a lot of athleticism to go along with an up tempo system.

LSU has to not only travel relatively far to play this one, but they also must deal with an 11 A.M. start time. That doesn’t bode well for either group, but probably more so for the team who has a tight schedule due to the aforementioned travel.

As for the matchup, Andre Stringer, Anthony Hickey and Johnny O'Bryant are expected to be aided tremendously by a big time recruiting class brought in by coach Johnny Jones. Jarrell Martin and Jordan Mickey highlight this class. They both stand at 6’9 and should provide size and rebounding for a team that needed to get O’Bryant help along the front line.

UMass is a bit deeper as a roster in terms of proven commodities and have also been helped by the transfers they bring in. They looked good in scoring 86 against a Boston College team that has defensive issues, but this matchup will be different. They probably will not hold much of an advantage at all on the boards, and will have to scrap for points against a team that will likely exhibit more size than them.

Cady Lalanne came through in a big way for the Minutemen in his debut. His 27 point, 12 rebound effort was substantial given that he was going up against an NBA caliber big man in Ryan Anderson. He’ll have to do the same against O’Bryant here. 

I give the Minutemen a serious edge given that they have Chaz Williams. Williams is good with the ball that he can handle any pressure LSU brings and potentially turn it into his advantage, as the Tigers are not a great half court defense.

Overall I have this at 5.5 and it seems to be hitting press at around 4. There are too many unknowns for me to play the Minutemen here given what LSU could look like. I believe them to be a program on the rise, and they will be ready to play here.