Of all the great news during Saturday's win, the most important stat was MU allowing Northern Colorado, and above average team on the offensive glass, to rebound only 22% of their missed shots in the 93-72 win that made MU 10-0 for the first time since Dwyane Wade's first year.
LSU's trio of highly recruited big men are playing together for the first year (1 freshman, 2 transfers), and have started to dominate the offensive glass in winning their last four games including trips to Rutgers and future Big East member Houston.
Thankfully Jamil Wilson and Juan Anderson were back from injury today to tune up for tough match-ups underneath Monday, but even though MU fans had the welcome sight of Chris Otule off of crutches, his absence Monday poses a big threat to MU staying undefeated.
MU is giving up about 3 inches per match-up underneath against players that were as highly recruited as MUs players as recruits based on the Rivals ratings. The table below goes through each team's talest four players, and which team has the edge on each matchup based on who was a bigger recruit (Rivals Stars and then Position Rank if they were rated).
|Edge||Jer||LSU tallest 4||Ft||In||Yr||Rivals||MU tallest 4||Ft||In||Yr||Rivals|
|LSU||2||Johnny O'Bryant||6||9||Fr||4* 4th||Jamail Jones||6||6||So||4* 10th|
|MU||5||Malcolm White||6||9||Sr||4* 24th||Jamil Wilson||6||7||So||4* 18th|
|Even||41||Justin Hamilton||6||11||Jr||3*||Jae Crowder||6||6||Sr||3*|
|Even||13||Eddie Ludwig||6||9||Jr||3*||Davante Gardner||6||8||So||3*|
O'Bryant ranking as the 4th best at his position makes him the highest touted big man on the court Monday, as he ranked slightly higher than even Jamail Jones (10th best).
Jamil Wilson was slightly more highly regarded than fellow trasfer Malcolm White, but they were virtually even (18th best vs. 24th best out of high school)
Justin Hamilton also transferred (from Iowa State) and Eddie Ludwig were virtually equal;y regarded as Jae Crowder and and Davante Gardner.
So from the pure standpoint of how highly regarded they were as recruits, LSU and Marquette are virtually even among the four bigs, but MU averages giving up three inches per position underneath with Otule out.
While certainly none of the LSU bigs have matched the production of Crowder, White and Hamilton have been among the top offensive rebounders in the country both at their previous colleges (Mississippi and Iowa State respectively). O'Bryant is already the third best offensive rebounder in an improved SEC (grabs 15.5% of all LSU misses). You can see how Otule will be missed if MU's 4 "bigs" don't step out and do a great job of boxing out.
|Edge||Jer||LSU other 6||Ft||In||Yr||Rivals||MU other 6||Ft||In||Yr||Rivals|
|MU||10||Andre Stringer||5||9||So||3* 27th||Vander Blue||6||4||So||5* 7th|
|MU||22||Ralston Turner||6||6||So||3* 28th||Junior Cadougan||6||1||Jr||4* 13th|
|MU||24||Storm Warren||6||7||Sr||3* 33rd||Juan Anderson||6||6||Fr||4* 19th|
|Even||14||Jalen Courtney||6||8||So||3*||Darius Johnson-Odom||6||2||Sr||3*|
|Even||32||John Isaac||6||4||Fr||3*||Todd Mayo||6||3||Fr||3*|
|Even||1||Anthony Hickey||5||10||Fr||3*||Derrick Wilson||6||0||Fr||3*|
If MU isn't blow out underneath, then they do have a clear advantage at the other positions.
Vander Blue, Junior Cadougan and Juan Anderson were all more highly recruited than any of LSUs swing men or guards.
While Darius Johnson-Odom, Todd Mayo and Derrick Wilson were not more highly recruited than their LSU counterparts, they have proven to be better than many more highly rated players. DJO was picked as one of the top 10 players in the country so far this year in an SI article, and when he had to sit out today for a team rules violation, Mayo continued his incredible play this year by scoring 22 points to give MU a win virtually identical to what was predicted on www.kenpom.com assuming DJO was playing.
So MU needs to control the pace with superior talent at the guard and swing positions, but everyone will have to help box out to pervent LSU from getting on a roll and dominating inside much as Stanford did with current LSU coach Trent Johnson was coaching them.