It’s May and the LSU men’s basketball schedule for the 2015-16 season is beginning to come into better focus — sort of.
A handful of games have already been confirmed — including the school’s participation in the Legends Classic at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn — but the nonconference part of the schedule is weeks away from being completed, LSU associate athletic director Eddie Nunez said Thursday.
“We still have some openings that we’re trying to finalize at this point,” said Nunez, who handles scheduling for men’s basketball. “We hope to have the entire nonconference schedule finished in the next three weeks. That’s our goal, so we can send it off to the SEC office.”
Nunez acknowledged a series with the University of Houston is one that’s in the talking stages although it was reported online Thursday that a four-year home-and-home with Houston has already been set.
Citing a source, Jon Rothstein of CBSSports.com tweeted that LSU and Houston agreed on a four-year series with the first meeting to take place on Dec. 13, 2015 in Houston.
But Nunez told The Advocate the school isn’t interested in a four-year deal.
“We have had conversations, and are having active conversations, with the University of Houston,” Nunez said. “But we’re not looking at a four-year agreement at this time.”
It’s more likely the schools would enter into a two-year home-and-home agreement and then possibly sign off on another two-year deal.
LSU, which went 22-11 last season and earned a spot in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2009, will be in the spotlight a lot this year with one of the nation’s top recruiting classes — including five-star prospects Benny Simmons and Antonio Blakeney — joining a solid group of returnees.
One of the highlights of LSU’s schedule is a date in the four-team Legends Classic to be played Nov. 23-24 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The games will be played the Monday and Tuesday of Thanksgiving week.
The Tigers’ first opponent hasn’t been announced, but Marquette, Arizona State and North Carolina State, which eliminated LSU from the NCAA tournament in March, will also be in the tournament.
Also, two games that are technically part of the Legends Classic will be played earlier in November in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center against teams to be determined.
LSU will also play Wake Forest in the PMAC this season. It will be the first game of a two-year home-and-home with the Demon Deacons, with the Tigers traveling to Winston-Salem, North Carolina, in the fall of 2016.
Considering its high profile, LSU is also expected to participate in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge for the third year in a row. If selected, the Tigers could be slotted for a home game this season after traveling to West Virginia last December and Texas Tech in 2013.
Nunez said LSU will also have home games against Gardner-Webb and McNeese State — both for the second year in a row.
The Tigers will travel to Charleston, South Carolina, to meet the College of Charleston in the second game of a two-for-one that began last December in the PMAC. The teams will complete the series in the fall of 2016 in Baton Rouge.