BATON ROUGE – “The ball is tipped and there you are …”
The ball goes up Tuesday night just after 7 p.m. for the start of the 2021-22 season of LSU Basketball as the Tigers begin the second 50 years in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center with five games in 14 days.
ULM is the opponent for opening night and Chris Blair, the “Voice of the Tigers” and former LSU head coach John Brady will call the game on the LSU Sports Radio Network (Flagship Eagle 98.1 FM of Guaranty Media in Baton Rouge) and also courtside will be Lyn Rollins and Victor Howell for the streaming videocast on SECN+.
General admission tickets for $5 are available throughout the day on Tuesday at LSUTix.net and the box office at the Maravich Center will open at 6 p.m. for ticket sales on game night.
Fans arriving early will have a chance to take part in Happy Hour activities from 6-6:30 p.m. when many concession items including alcoholic beverages will be available for half off.
LSU students as always are admitted free of charge with their LSU ID and the first 500 students entering the game will receive free food from Raising Cane’s.
The Tigers and Warhawks were supposed to meet to open last season but the start of the 2020-21 season was pushed back so the teams will renew their series Tuesday night. LSU, under fifth year Coach Will Wade, posted a 19-10 record a season ago and advanced to the round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament.
LSU in the past three seasons has won a league best 39 SEC regular season contests and is the only team in the league to finish in the top three each of the past three seasons.
The LSU team is led by senior Darius Days, who is back for his fourth year in the program. Days averaged 11.6 points and 7.8 rebounds a game. LSU was 19-1 a year ago when Days scored in double figures. He will open the season as the active leader in career double doubles with 16.
LSU has also brought talent from the transfer portal with three-year Missouri guard Xavier Pinson. Pinson averaged 13.6 points a year ago at Missouri and has played in 88 games there over three seasons. He enters the 2021-22 campaign just 97 points shy of 1,000 career points for his college career.
Tari Eason joined the team from Cincinnati and was able to showcase his talents in the charity exhibition on Oct. 23 against Nicholls when he went for 22 points and 15 rebounds as several players received lots of extra minutes because of player injuries.
With some big men in the middle, a blend of experience and youth, Coach Will Wade last week in his press conference said of his squad: “We’ve got better cohesion, we’ve got better rhythm, we’re just scrappier and more competitive in some places. “It’s just different. When you leave here Tuesday, you’re going to say, ‘That’s very, very different.’”
But expect the Tigers to still score as they have the last three years when they averaged in the 80s.
ULM, under Baton Rouge native and former LSU assistant coach Keith Richard, is coming in off a 7-19 campaign a year ago but with a veteran roster that returns the top five scorers for the Warhawks from a year ago.
The Tigers will be busy early at home with Texas State coming in on Friday, Liberty on Nov. 15, McNeese State on Nov. 18 and Belmont on Nov. 22 before the team’s first road excursion on Nov. 26-27 to the Emerald Coast Classic in Niceville, Florida.
Follow updates on LSU men’s basketball on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/LSUBasketball and on Twitter and Instagram @LSUBasketball.
(Release via LSU Athletics)