|6:07 PM PT7:07 PM MT8:07 PM CT9:07 PM ET2:07 PM GMT10:07 PM 北京时间7:07 PM MST9:07 PM EST, Nov 6, 2018
Pete Maravich Assembly Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana Attendance: 10,513
SE Louisiana-LSU Preview
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No. 23 LSU opens the basketball season Tuesday night amid the excitement of doing so as a ranked team for the first time since the 2015-16 season.
Much of the anticipation of the opener at home against Southeastern Louisiana centers around a trio of talented point guards.
Coach Will Wade, who led the Tigers to the second round of the NIT in his first season in 2017-18, is expected to start the trio of Tremont Waters, Skylar Mays and Ja'vonte Smart.
"Three point guards -- it's good," Wade said. "We shouldn't turn the ball over."
Mays started at point guard two years ago before Wade handed the position to Waters last season as he earned SEC All-Freshman honors and the Tigers won 18 games.
Now comes Smart, a three-time Louisiana Mr. Basketball, as part of the nation's fourth-ranked recruiting class (247Sports).
"I feel good about those guys," Wade told the Baton Rouge Advocate. "Waters will certainly be the primary ball-handler, but all those guys play off on-ball screens and all those guys can make reads."
The well-regarded recruiting class also features five-star forwards Naz Reid and Emmitt Williams as well as four-star forward Darius Days.
"We don't need to play Tremont 33 minutes a game like we had to last year," Wade told The Advocate. "He needs to rest; we've got to have him at his best so he shoots it well.
"Daryl (Edwards) can handle the ball as well, so we have plenty of good options there."
Even at 6-foot-10, Reid can also run the offense.
"When Naz is on the floor, there are definitely four guys that can get it and go," Mays told The Advocate. "We'll have four guys who can make plays off the bounce. That's tough to handle, tough to guard.
"We can space the floor really well, we have a lot of guys who can make plays off the dribble and at least three guys who can lead a break. Just increasing the pace of the game puts us at an advantage."
The Lions, who were 22-12 and won the Southland Conference regular-season title last season, have a pretty good point guard of their own in Marlain Veal, a preseason all-SLC selection.
But his availability won't be determined until game time because of a knee injury.
"He is day-to-day," Southeastern coach Jay Ladner said. "We are hoping he can go but that's up to the training staff. We need him for the long haul so if he can go, he will be right there with us ready to battle, if he can't then we will evaluate him each day."
If Veal can't play he'll be replaced in the starting lineup by Von Julien, a junior transfer from Tulane.
Either way the Lions hope to counter the Tigers' depth in the backcourt with their strength inside, led by seniors Keith Charleston (6-foot-7) and Moses Greenwood (6-6).
"We are going to have to play well in the paint," Ladner said. "But rebounding is the most critical part of it and we can't just rely on the bigs to rebound. LSU has so much size and athleticism that we are going to have to have a gang mentality when it comes to rebounding and loose balls. We can't give them second chances."
Updated November 6, 2018