How the Aggies intend on guarding 6-10 point guard/forward Ben Simmons. It’s a nightmare matchup for any team. A&M’s Jalen Jones said he should get the first opportunity at guarding a player that is not unlike Magic Johnson because of his height and all the things he does on the court. A&M may go to a zone, they’ve done it before this season with success. When guards Admon Gilder and Alex Caruso are on the floor with DJ Hogg, it makes for a very long zone that is more difficult to shoot over. Another reason is Simmons has a knack of getting opponents in foul trouble, which could be trouble for the Aggies, who can’t afford to have someone like Jones out for long, especially with Tonny Trocha-Morelos probably out.
Can the crowd, which Jones said outright and coach Billy Kennedy hinted at strongly should be a sellout, play a huge part. The answer should be a resounding yes. I’ve been there before when the student section is in fine form and the place is filled and it can be intimidating. I bring it up though because LSU senior Keith Hornsby mentioned the Florida crowd as making it tough when the Tigers suffered their lone SEC loss in Gainesville.
The intensity of the Tigers. Defense hasn’t been their forte and probably won’t be, but if they are engaged whatsoever, and they have been more lately, the Tigers can beat a lot of good teams. With guards Josh Gray and Jayln Patterson starting, and with transfer forward Craig Victor II giving Simmons help on the boards and on defense, LSU appears to be more consistent at both ends of the court.