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Rebounding could be biggest key for Cats tonight

Nick Richards (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Tonight against LSU could be a big night not only for Nick Richards but maybe EJ Montgomery and Keion Brooks.

LSU was the Southeastern Conference’s best rebounding team earlier in the season. However, going into tonight’s home game with Kentucky the Tigers have dropped to third in the league in rebounding.

In an overtime loss to Auburn, LSU got outrebounded by 10 after the Tigers had eight more rebounds than Auburn in the first half. Alabama had 10 second-half offensive rebounds in its upset win over LSU Saturday.
Richards is not only averaging 16.3 points per game but is also pulling down 8.7 rebounds per outing.

Montgomery and Brooks combine for another 8.9 rebounds per game.

“We haven’t been imposing our will on the glass,” LSU coach Will Wade said. “We’ll need to be better because Richards, Brooks and Montgomery and those guys are certainly a formidable front line.”

Kentucky could take a two-game over LSU in the SEC race with only five games left if it beats the Tigers tonight. A LSU win would leave the teams tied with Auburn if Auburn wins at Georgia Wednesday.

LSU beat Kentucky on a controversial finish in Rupp Arena last season but Barbee said the Cats are not looking at anything but winning one game.

“It goes back to not looking in the past because you can’t change it. There’s no sense in looking forward because you can’t do anything about it. The biggest thing we’ve gotta do is keep this team present, in the moment,” Barbee said Monday. “That’s today’s — focus on today’s practice and then focus on preparation for LSU tomorrow. That’s the only thing that you can control.”

2 comments

  1. Rebounding has been an issue with this team from the beginning. On the offensive glass, this team has a rebounding rate of 30.7% (#86) and on the defensive glass this team has a rebounding rate of 72.6% (#150). LSU on the other hand has offensive and defensive rebounding rates of 35.6% (#13) and 28.2% (#183).

    Tonight’s matchup will feature an efficient offense (LSU 1.17 ppp, #3) against a stingy defense (UK 0.94 ppp, #52). The Kentucky offense should perform a little better than usual (1.11 ppp, #32) against LSU’s defense (1.02 ppp, #174).

  2. Everyone will have to focus on rebounding. Whoever gets the most second chance points and forces the most turnovers will be in the driver’s seat for this game. Can we stop straight line drives to the hoop without fouling? These are the things that we must be better at tonight. We may have to play more zone to get through the game as I can see as many as 30 fouls being called on us. Coach will get tossed, just hope he does it early enough to make a difference. If we come in with a chip on our shoulders and play tough, we can win this game.

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