LSU vs Ole Miss Basketball Preview and Prediction
LSU vs Ole Miss Preview
It’s been a miraculous start for the 18th-ranked Ole Miss Rebels (13-2, 3-0) who host a very good LSU Tigers (12-3, 2-0) team on Tuesday night.
Originally picked to finish dead last in the 14-team SEC at the start of the year, the Rebels are now at the top. First year head coach Kermit Davis has taken the team under his wing and delivered 10 consecutive wins for a team that wasn’t supposed to win that many all season.
Ole Miss catapulted into the rankings as the result of two conference wins against Top 25 teams last week. After spanking No. 14 Auburn 82-67 Wednesday night, it scored an 81-77 victory Saturday at No. 24 Mississippi State.
One coach who isn’t surprised at how quickly Davis has turned things around is Auburn’s Bruce Pearl, who got an up-close look last week.
“Kermit Davis is one of the best coaches in our country,” Pearl said. “They are terrifically offensively efficient. What he has been able to do was give them a little more discipline offensively. They are valuing possessions more.”
Ole Miss entered the week ranked 15th nationally in field goal percentage and 20th nationally in free throw percentage. It also ranked in the top 50 in 3-point percentage and assists. Its top three scorers are all hitting between 40 and 42 percent from 3-point range, led by Breein Tyree, who averages 17.5 points per game.
Davis marveled recently at the team’s progress from its August trip to Canada, where they trailed Ottawa 44-17 in the second quarter before rallying for an 85-74 win that capped its tour at 3-1.
“To see our team make this kind of progress from that game until now is a credit to our guys,” he said. “They have totally bought in. When they do that, they are capable of doing great things.”
LSU was supposed to be doing this well this season. Freshman Naz Reid is a big reason why. In their conference game against Arkansas, Reid scored 27 points, grabbed seven rebounds in just 26 minutes of play. LSU coach Will Wafe has monitored the big man’s minutes this season but that has not stopped him from making an impact.
The Tigers enter the game averaging 82.1 points but have more turnovers (221) than assists (219).
LINE: -3.5 Ole Miss
Dan’s Bet: +3.5 LSU
Score Prediction: LSU 77 Ole Miss 70