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LSU men’s non-conference tickets now on sale

Individual tickets for eight non-conference LSU men’s home basketball games are now on sale at the LSU Athletics Ticket Office and online at LSUtix.net.

The athletic department announced that group tickets, season tickets and mini-plans in the Pick 3 and Pick 5 variety are also still available.

The Tigers will play a Nov. 7 exhibition game against Morehouse at 7 p.m. that will be free and open to the public the night before the LSU-Alabama football game. The first non-conference game is the regular-season opener against Gardner Webb on Nov. 15 at noon.

Individual game tickets for eight SEC games will be available starting Dec. 8. Tickets for the Feb. 10 game with Kentucky go on sale Jan. 12.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the Website at www.LSUtix.net or call (225) 578-2184 or (800) 960-8587.

LSU has six former players on NBA rosters

The NBA opened its 2014-15 season Tuesday night with six former LSU players on rosters of the 30 teams.

Four of the six are Baton Rouge natives: Brandon Bass (Capitol) and Marcus Thornton (Tara) are now teammates with the Boston Celtics, while Garrett Temple and Glen Davis (University High) are with the Washington Wizards and Los Angeles Clippers, respectively.

Also making Opening Day rosters were Justin Hamilton with the Miami Heat and Johnny O’Bryant III with the Milwaukee Bucks.

O’Bryant, a second-round pick of the Bucks in June, starts the season on the injured list after suffering a sprained knee earlier this month.

LSU coach Johnny Jones to host first Tipoff Luncheon of season

LSU men’s basketball coach Johnny Jones will begin his third season of monthly Tipoff Luncheons on Tuesday at the L’Auberge Resort in Baton Rouge.

Fans are invited to attend the luncheon, which is held in the Bon Temps Buffet inside the resort’s casino area. Lunch, which costs $14.99 per person, begins at 11:30 a.m. with Jones starting the program at 12:10 p.m.

Tuesday’s luncheon, which will also cover the month of November, will include a look at his team from Jones as well as a segment with Lady Tigers coach Nikki Caldwell. The two will take questions from media and fans during the session.

Jones will host his next luncheon on Dec. 9.

LSU men’s coach Johnny Jones gets extension, raise

The LSU Board of Supervisors on Friday approved a two-year contract extension and pay raise for LSU men’s basketball coach Johnny Jones.

Jones, who is entering his third season as the Tigers’ head coach, has won 39 games in his first two seasons – the most by any men’s basketball head coach in his first two years in program history.

The two-year extension will take Jones, who played at LSU from 1981 to 1984 and later served as an assistant coach under Dale Brown, through the 2018-19 season.

His new deal calls for a $400,000 annual bump in salary, which will be included in the TV/Multimedia/Radio portion of his contact, bringing his total compensation to $1.5 million per year There is no change in any of the bonus agreements in the original contract and the buyouts remain as stated in the original contract.

“Johnny has our men’s basketball program heading in the right direction,” athletic director Joe Alleva said in a university news release. “On the court, his up-tempo style and the energy in which his teams play is something that is appealing to our fans and is attractive to recruits.

“Off the floor, Johnny and his staff have done a great job of making academics and community involvement a priority. We look forward to having coach Jones lead our men’s basketball team for many years to come.”

Jones thanked Alleva and university president F. King Alexander for the confidence they’ve shown in himself and his staff.

“This commitment by the university will allow us to continue to move the program forward as we strive for excellence on the court, in the classroom and the community,” Jones said. “My family and I are very grateful.”

LSU’s Mickey named All-SEC; Tigers picked to finish fourth

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — LSU forward Jordan Mickey was named a first-team preseason All-Southeastern Conference pick and the Tigers were chosen to finish fourth in the league race when media days came to a close Wednesday.

Mickey, a 6-foot-8 sophomore, was a second-team All-SEC pick as a freshman after he averaged 12.7 points, 7.9 rebounds and led the league with 3.1 blocked shots a game. He also ranked ninth nationally in blocks.

Mickey was joined on the first team Wednesday by Kentucky guard Aaron Harrison, Arkansas forward Bobby Portis, Ole Miss guard Jarvis Summers and Florida guard Michael Frazier II.

Harrison was named player of the year by a select media panel from the SEC and nation. Mickey and LSU teammate Jarell Martin, a sophomore, were among several others who received votes for player of the year.

Kentucky dominated the second team with four of the five picks: guard Andrew Harrison, Aaron Harrison’s twin, and forwards Willie Cauley-Stein, Karl-Anthony Towns and Alex Poythress. Georgia guard Charles Mann landed the other second-team spot.

Kentucky received all 20 first-place votes cast and finished with 280 points to easily finish ahead of Florida (258). Arkansas (226), LSU (223), Georgia (204), Ole Miss (168) and Missouri (123) rounded out the top half of the league.

The second half was made up of Auburn (113), Texas A&M (111), Alabama (109), Vanderbilt (89), South Carolina (86), Tennessee (75) and Mississippi State (35).

SEC PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH

(first-place votes in parentheses)

1. Kentucky (20), 280 points

2. Florida, 258

3. Arkansas, 226

4. LSU, 223

5. Georgia, 204

6. Ole Miss, 168

7, Missouri, 123

8. Auburn, 113

9. Texas A&M, 111

10. Alabama, 109

11. Vanderbilt, 89

12. South Carolina, 86

13. Tennessee, 75

14. Mississippi State, 35

PRESEASON ALL-SEC

First team

G Michael Frazier II, Florida, Jr.

G Aaron Harrison, Kentucky, So.

F Jordan Mickey, LSU, So.

F Bobby Portis, Arkansas, So.

G Jarvis Summers, Ole Miss, Sr.

Second team

F Willie Cauley-Stein, Kentucky, Jr.

G Andrew Harrison, Kentucky, So.

G Charles Mann, Georgia, Jr.

F Alex Poythress, Kentucky, Jr.

F Karl-Anthony Towns, Kentucky, Fr.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Aaron Harrison, Kentucky

Follow Sheldon Mickles on Twitter @MicklesAdvocate.

LSU women’s team picked to finish seventh in SEC

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The LSU women’s basketball team has been picked to finish seventh in the Southeastern Conference by a select media panel from around the league and the nation.

The results of the poll were announced Tuesday as SEC Tipoff ’15, the league’s media days, got underway. Women’s coaches and players took center stage on the first day Tuesday with the men to follow on Wednesday.

LSU, which has reached the Sweet 16 in the NCAA women’s tournament the past two seasons under fourth-year coach Nikki Caldwell, was tabbed to finish right in the middle of the 14-team conference race.

The Lady Tigers tallied 122 points, putting them behind preseason favorite South Carolina (210), Tennessee (191), Texas A&M (179), Kentucky (154), Vanderbilt (150) and Georgia (132).

The second half had MississippiState (108), Florida (96), Auburn (83), Arkansas and Missouri (77), Alabama (74) and Ole Miss (21). Points are awarded on a 14-13-12-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis from each ballot cast.

South Carolina returns all five starters from a 29-5 season a year ago, including preseason player of the year Tiffany Mitchell, and the Gamecocks’ 2014 recruiting class was ranked second in the nation.

Joining Mitchell on the preseason all-league team are teammate Aleighsa Welch and Tennessee’s Isabelle Harrison, who also received player of the year votes, Mississippi State’s Martha Atwal and Texas A&M’s Courtney Walker.

The men’s poll and preseason all-conference team will be announced Wednesday.

SEC PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH

1. South Carolina, 210 points

2. Tennessee, 191

3. Texas A&M, 179

4. Kentucky, 154

5. Vanderbilt, 150

6. Georgia, 132

7. LSU, 122

8. Mississippi St., 108

9. Florida, 96

10. Auburn, 83

t11. Arkansas, 77

t11. Missouri, 77

13. Alabama, 74

14. Ole Miss, 21

PRESEASON ALL-SEC

Martha Atwal, MississippiState

Tiffany Mitchell, South Carolina

Aleighsa Welch, South Carolina

Isabelle Harrison, Tennessee

Courtney Walker, Texas A&M

PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Tiffany Mitchell, South Carolina

Follow Sheldon Mickles on Twitter @MicklesAdvocate

LSU coaches, players to take part in SEC Tipoff ’15

The Southeastern Conference begins the countdown to the start of the college basketball season Tuesday and Wednesday with men’s and women’s coaches and players from all 14 schools taking part in SEC Tipoff ’15 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The two-day SEC Basketball Media Days event was moved from Birmingham, Alabama, this year in part because of the proximity to SEC Network studios in Charlotte.

First up Tuesday are the women, which will include LSU coach Nikki Caldwell, forward Sheila Boykin and guard Raigyne Moncrief.

While there will be no live television coverage Tuesday, portions of the women’s Media Day will be shown on the SEC Network’s daily “SEC Now” show from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

On Wednesday, LSU men’s coach Johnny Jones and forwards Jordan Mickey and Jarell Martin will be in the spotlight along with coaches and players from the other 13 schools.

ESPNU will televise a one-hour Media Day special from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday featuring interviews with men’s coaches and players, while “SEC Now” will have selected clips from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Preseason All-SEC teams and the predicted order of finish for the women will be announced during lunch Tuesday with the men following Wednesday.

LSU men’s basketball tabbed as a “team on the rise”

On the day of its first preseason practice, the LSU men’s basketball program was listed as a “team on the rise” by writer Terrance Payne of the NBC Sports’ College Basketball Talk website.

The Tigers will hold their first practice on Wednesday afternoon as they continue preparing for the Nov. 15 regular-season opener against Gardner Webb in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

LSU, which was 20-14 last season and reached the second round of the National Invitation Tournament, has two starters returning in sophomore forwards Jordan Mickey and Jarell Martin, as well as three highly-regarded freshmen in guard Jalyn Patterson, center Elbert Robinson III and forward Aaron Epps.

They also have a pair of top newcomers in guards Keith Hornsby and Josh Gray.

Payne wrote: “With Jarrell Martin and Jordan Mickey — joined by Elbert Robinson III — the Tigers will have no shortage of size on the frontline. The back court will be new with JUCO point guard Josh Gray and 6-foot-4 transfer Keith Hornsby.

“LSU is one of several SEC teams looking to join Kentucky and Florida in the Big Dance.”

LSU basketball teams to host ‘Bayou Madness’ on Oct. 17

With the opening of their seasons just more than a month away, the LSU men’s and women’s basketball teams continue down “The Road to Tipoff” with an appearance at the second annual Bayou Madness on Oct. 17.

Members of the men’s and women’s teams will meet and greet fans both inside and outside the Pete Maravich Assembly Center as they continue to get ready for the upcoming season. Admission is free.

Events on the floor of the Maravich Center will begin at 7:30 p.m. with doors opening at 7 p.m. Outside, a pep rally for the two teams will start at 6:45 p.m. on the south side of the arena.

There will be a lights-out introduction of the players from both teams followed by remarks from head coaches Johnny Jones and Nikki Caldwell.

Fans will get their first look at the teams in a 3-point shootout, a scrimmage and a slam dunk contest by the men’s team. Also, one LSU student will win a $1,000 cash prize.

Fans will also have a chance to meet the LSU cheerleaders and Tiger Girls and children 13 and under will have an opportunity to take part in an LSU cheer clinic hosted by members of the LSU Spirit squad.

For more information or to sign up for the clinic, call the LSU Marketing and Promotions office at (225) 578-6884 or email promotions@lsu.edu.

LSU basketball gets more TV assignments, game times

Television networks and start times for 10 more LSU men’s basketball games for the upcoming season were announced Wednesday by the Southeastern Conference office.

While most of the nonconference games and league schedule were announced in August, broadcast arrangements and tipoff times still had to be worked out for several games.

In addition to games announced in August, the networks picked up five more SEC matchups — including road contests at Vanderbilt on Jan. 24 (ESPNU, 5 p.m.), Mississippi State on Jan. 31 (SEC Network, 1 p.m.) and Tennessee on Feb. 14 (SEC Network, 3 p.m.).

Other league home games picked up on Wednesday were against Ole Miss on Feb. 28 (Fox Sports Network, 1 p.m.) and Tennessee on March 4 (SEC Network, 6 p.m.).

The only conference starting time that hasn’t been decided is the March 7 regular-season finale at Arkansas, but the game will be televised on either ESPN or ESPN2.

The SEC Network also picked up five non-conference games at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center — UMass on Dec. 2 (6 p.m.), Sam Houston State on Dec. 13 (6 p.m.), College of Charleston on Dec. 22 (8 p.m.), Southern Miss on Dec. 29 (6 p.m.) and Savannah State on Jan. 3 (6 p.m.).

In addition, three home games will air over SEC Network+ via WatchESPN.com. Those games are an exhibition contest with Morehouse on Nov. 7 (7 p.m.), the regular-season opener against Gardner-Webb on Nov. 15 (noon) and McNeese State on Nov. 29 (7 p.m.).

The only nonconference games awaiting a tip time are the Tigers’ final two games in the Nov. 21-24 Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands, which depends on the outcome of their first game, and a Dec. 18 game at UAB.

Follow Sheldon Mickles on Twitter @MicklesAdvocate.