UALR will likely have to go a different route to match up with Louisiana-Lafayette

   In trying to analyze the UALR vs. Louisiana-Lafayette matchup, it’s clear this game will be a different type of game than the past two.
7 p.m. Saturday
Jack Stephens Center
   Both Troy and Louisiana-Monroe played smaller guards and gave UALR’s outside shooters space. It’s unlikely Louisiana-Lafayette will do the same. The Ragin’ Cajuns can play a smaller lineup, but went with a bigger group in Thursday’s loss to Arkansas State.
   While a pair of 6-2 guards saw most of the minutes, the remainder of ULL’s primary lineup consisted of players 6-5, 6-7, and 6-7. The others who saw minutes on Thursday were 6-3, 6-9 and 6-7.
   Louisiana-Lafayette got down 30-15 to Arkansas State before switching to a zone defense to slow down the Red Wolves. Louisiana-Lafayette also started to pound the ball inside with success.
   Now, ULL would be ill-advised to play zone. Troy had a few minutes of success against UALR with it, but most teams have struggled to contain the Trojans, who rank fourth in the nation in three-point shooting percentage. Chances are that Louisiana-Lafayette Coach Bob Marlin is not going to let the Trojans put on the type of shooting exhibition that they put on against Louisiana-Monroe.
   Expect Louisiana-Lafayette to pressure the guards and try to use their size advantage in the paint to keep UALR from driving for easy baskets and/or free throw attempts. And expect Louisiana-Lafayette to try to exploit that size advantage on the other end of the court as well. UALR has struggled to contain power forwards with size. And ULL has a team full of them.
   Having said that, ULL doesn’t defend all that well. Six consecutive opponents have shot at least 45 percent.
UALR is 9-0 this season when shooting a higher field-goal percentage than its opponent. And the Trojans are 9-0 this season when holding a lead at any point in the second half.
    Louisiana-Lafayette has three high-scoring players who have been out of the lineup. Their status for Saturday’s game is not known. They combine to average more than 26 points per game.