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LSU sophomore guard Skylar Mays, shown making a layup against North Florida on Dec. 22, had four of the Tigers' season-high 13 made 3-point baskets in a 71-61 victory over Memphis last Thursday night.

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK

Opening Tip is posted about five hours before each game.

General Info

• What: Kentucky (11-2, 1-0 SEC) at LSU (9-3, 0-0 SEC)

• When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday

• Where: Pete Maravich Assembly Center

• All-time series: Kentucky leads 87-26

• Last meeting: Kentucky 92, LSU 85 (Feb. 7, 2017 in Lexington, Ky.)

• Streaking: Kentucky (W2), LSU (W3)

• TV: SEC Network (Tom Hart, play-by-play; Jon Sunvold, analyst)

• Radio: WDGL-FM, 98.1; WWWL-AM, 1350; KLWB-FM, 103.7 (Chris Blair, play-by-play; John Brady, analyst)

In game Twitter updates: @MicklesAdvocate, @RabalaisAdv

Up next: at Texas A&M, 1:15 p.m. Saturday (SEC Network)

The Storyline

Riding a three-game winning streak, LSU has a tall order in front of it when it opens SEC play against reigning league champion and 2018 preseason favorite Kentucky. To say it’s a tall order would be accurate in that five of coach John Calipari’s top eight players go 6-foot-7 or better — which explains the Cats’ dominant rebounding edge of 40.2 to 33.7 over their 13 opponents. They’ve snagged at least 36 rebounds in all but one game with a season-high 53 against Troy. That’s one reason LSU coach Will Wade said Tuesday he’ll likely play 6-9 freshman forward Mayan Kiir some tonight to help his two starting forwards — 6-10 Aaron Epps and 6-11 Duop Reath — to help combat the 'Cats down low. Kiir has played in just five games and averaged 6.4 minutes, but has had 11 rebounds in 18 minutes in the last two games he's played in. Wade said his team, which ranks near the bottom of the SEC stats with 35.7 rebounds a game, has to stay within five of Kentucky to have any shot at a win.

 Starting Five

• THE LONG BALL: LSU connected for a season-high 13 3-point field goals in the Tigers' 71-61 win at Memphis last Thursday. The 13 makes tied for fourth-most in a single game in school history.

• DEFENSE, DEFENSE: The Tigers will be challenged beyond the arc against Kentucky, which ranked second in the SEC in 3-point field-goal defense going into Tuesday night's games at 29.4 percent.

• THEY'RE FREE: Kentucky has already taken 324 free throws, which ranked second in the SEC as of Tuesday. The Wildcats were right behind Alabama, which had 330 going into Tuesday night's game at Vanderbilt.

• CATS IN CONTROL: Kentucky holds an 87-26 lead over LSU in the all-time series, but its been at least a little more competitive over the last 40 years. Since LSU's 95-94 OT win in 1978, the Tigers are 23-42.

• MEMORABLE WIN: LSU has won just two of the last 12 meetings, but one of them was the Ice Dome game on Jan. 28, 2014, when the Tigers upset the Wildcats 87-82 while a winter storm raged outside the PMAC.

By the numbers

57.0 — Points allowed by LSU in its last three games (58, 52, 61) after the Tigers gave up 78.9 points per game in their first nine outings.

The Lineups

Kentucky Wildcats (11-2, 1-0 SEC)

Probable Starters

• G Quade Green, 6-0, Fr., 10.8 ppg, 3.5 apg

• G Hamidou Diallo, 6-5, Fr., 14.9 ppg, 5.2 rpg

• F PJ Washington, 6-7, Fr., 10.0 ppg, 5.2 rpg

• F Kevin Knox, 6-9, Fr., 14.5 ppg, 5.6 rpg

• F Nick Richards, 6-11, Fr., 7.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg

Key reserves

• G Shai Gilgeoous-Alexander, 6-6, Fr., 11.6 ppg, 4.2 apg

• F Wenyen Gabriel, 6-9, So., 6.6 ppg, 6.1 rpg

• F Sacha Killeya-Jones, 6-10, So., 4.1 ppg, 3.8 rpg

LSU Tigers (9-3, 0-0 SEC)

Probable starters

• G Tremont Waters, 5-11, Fr., 17.1 ppg, 6.4 apg

• G Skylar Mays, 6-4, So., 12.8 ppg, 4.3 rpg

• G Daryl Edwards, 6-3, Jr., 6.6 ppg, 1.6 rpg

• F Aaron Epps, 6-10, Sr., 9.9 ppg, 6.3 rpg

• F Duop Reath, 6-11, Sr., 11.9 ppg, 4.7 rpg

Key reserves

• G Brandon Sampson, 6-5, Jr., 9.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg

• F Wayde Sims, 6-6, So., 7.5 ppg, 4.2 rpg

• G Randy Onwuasor, 6-3, Sr., 4.9 ppg, 1.9 rpg

Follow Sheldon Mickles on Twitter, @MicklesAdvocate.