Cal Irvine vs. LSU
Tip off: 8 PM EST
Spread: LSU -15
Last year was a little rought for the Tigers. They finished with an 11-21 record and went 3-13 in SEC play. They lost to Vandy by 12 in the first round of the SEC tournament and predictably were not invited to any post season tournaments.
Things may be better this year.
So far, LSU has gone 6-3, and they have won their last three games, over Houston, Rutgers, and Boise State. They haven’t faced any tough opponents, with Georgia Tech being on the major conference opponent (and not a very good one at that), and they beat the Yellowjackets by 9 on November 20th.
All five Tigers starters average at least 9 a game, but no one averages more than 12. That ’12’ would be Andre Stringer, a 5’9″ waterbug sophomore point guard from Jackson Mississippi. He was very good as a freshman last year, putting up 11.2 points per game and getting over a steal a night, but he has to learn to facilitate better for teammates.
Both seasons he has failed to record 3 assists a game, and though he isn’t typically looked at as a true point guard (which is hilarious considering his height), he has to develop a better passing game. If you throw out an 8 piont stinker against Coastal Carolina and a 5 point game against Western Kentucky, he is averaging 14 points per game. In the season opener against Nicholls State, he had 4 steals and 4 assists, and even though he has scored more, it would have to have been his best all-around performance.
6’11” junior center Justin Hamilton has put together a nice season after sitting out his transfer year having come in from ISU. He has nearly doubled his scoring average since his last season 09-10, and is playing nearly 28 minutes a game. Last outing against Boise State, he put up 14 pionts and 5 rebounds in 30 minutes of play as the Tigers won by 19.
Of all the UC small campus teams, the Irvine Anteaters may be the worst. While they did finally manage to capture a couple victories over Vanguard and San Diego, they lost predictably to Wyoming and are probably in for a big drubbing tonight against LSU. Things won’t get significantly easier until they get into their weak conference play.
As I mentioned last time I discussed the Anteaters, they really only do one thing well: rebound the ball. With 39.6 boards per game, the Anteaters are ranked 38th in the nation in rebounding, and that’s really just not enough to make a team compete if they aren’t going to hit their shots, and they aren’t — the team is shooting under 40% from the floor and ranked 290th in the nation in field goal percentage.
Their best three players all shoot between 37% and 43% from the floor ande they have only two players shooting better than 45% from the floor. Starring, their team leader, averages 12.9 points per game but shoots 39.8% from the floor. He has hit less than half his field goal attempts in every game except a bad loss to Anchorage Alaska, and he went 0 of 7 in a narrow 1 point defeat to San Jose State. It’s just not easy to win games when you’re not hitting your shots, and when the best player on your team sets the pace by having nights like his 3 of 9 against Wyoming last outing, it’s hard for the Anteaters to put up numbers. They’ve failed to score 60 in three games already this season, and put up an absurd 48 points last game.
If you feel, as I do, that LSU is going to punish Cal Irvine by a total more significant than 15, you may feel inclined to back LSU at Bookmaker, where these odds were drawn from. They offer a 5% return on lost bets and a great cashout system. We suggest checking out our paid pick plans at Maddux Sports, too, as we kill the books once again. Full season packages are available at reasonable prices!