Seton Hall (5-1) at LSU (4-0)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, November 29, 9:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Pete Maravich Assembly Center (13,215) -- Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: Seton Hall 4-0, LSU 4-0. Away Record: Seton Hall 0-0, LSU 0-0. Neutral Record: Seton Hall 1-1, LSU 0-0. Conference Record: Seton Hall 0-0, LSU 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The LSU Tigers continue a six-game homestand to begin the 2012-13 season, as they take on the Seton Hall Pirates in Baton Rouge on Thursday as part of the Big East/SEC Challenge.
Johnny Jones' third season at the helm of LSU has gotten off to a fast start, as the team has posted four straight wins, the first time the program has begun a year 4-0 since the 2008-09 campaign. Three of those four victories have come by double-digit margins, including last weekend's 75-50 rout of Mississippi Valley State.
Kevin Willard has his Pirates playing at a high level as well, as the team has won five of its first six games. The lone loss came against Washington in overtime, but Seton Hall has recovered with three straight wins, including a 76-61 victory over Saint Peter's on Sunday.
This marks the first-ever meeting between these two teams on the hardwood.
The Pirates trailed by one point at halftime against the Peacocks, but caught fire in the second half, shooting 68 percent from the floor over the final 20 minutes to cruise to a 15-point win. Fuquan Edwin led the charge with 25 points, converting 10-of-14 shots from the floor. Eugene Teague was dominant inside, recording a double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds, while Aaron Cosby provided perimeter balance with 13 points.
As explosive as Seton Hall seemed against Saint Peter's, the team has really relied more on defensive pressure in the early going. The Pirates are holding foes to a meager 58.3 ppg, on under 40 percent shooting (.398). In addition, Seton Hall is enjoying a +4.5 rebounding edge and is forcing 16.8 turnovers per game. Edwin has been a scoring machine thus far, leading SHU with an impressive 19.7 ppg. Edwin has shown the ability to shoot from anywhere on the floor, converting 51.2 percent overall, including 46.4 percent from behind the arc. He has also proved to be a tough defender with a team-high 19 steals. Teague is next in the scoring column at 13.3 ppg and paces the team in rebounding (8.8 rpg). Cosby round out the top scoring threats at 11.4 ppg.
LSU flexed its muscles at both ends of the floor against the Delta Devils, rolling to a 25-point win this past weekend. The Tigers shot 55.1 percent from the floor, including a scorching 69.6 percent in the second half (16-of-23), while limiting MVSU to a mere .283 shooting performance. In addition, LSU owned the glass, outrebounding its foe 44-29Four players notched double digits in the win, led by Shavon Coleman's 16 points. Andre Stringer added 14 points, while Shane Hammink (12 pts) and Johnny O'Bryant III (11 pts) rounded out the top scorers. Coleman and O'Bryant both recorded double-doubles with 11 and 10 rebounds, respectively.
Coleman has done the majority of his damage as a spark coming off the bench, leading the team in scoring (17.3 ppg) and tied for the team-lead in rebounding (8.0 rpg). O'Bryant (12.3 ppg, 8.0 rpg) has dominated at times as well. Both forwards are converting over 56 percent of their shots from the floor. Anthony Hickey (10.3 pg) and Charles Carmouche (10.0 ppg) are also in double figures, while Andre Stringer (9.5 ppg) is just below that mark. The team's obvious scoring depth has led to a gaudy 81.8 ppg, while the Tigers are crushing opponents on the boards with a +11.5 rebounding advantage (15th nationally).
The Tigers have enjoyed the friendly confines of the Maravich Assembly Center, while this game represents the Pirates' first true road game of the year. If for no other reason, the scales are tipped in LSU's favor here.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: LSU 74, Seton Hall 67
11/29 10:38:40 ET