LSU men's basketball schedule set

LSU released its 2011-12 men’s basketball schedule Thursday as the Southeastern Conference unveiled the league schedule for all 12 teams.

Highlights of LSU’s home schedule include games against Boise State, coach Trent Johnson’s alma mater, Marquette and Virginia in non-conference and Kentucky and Tennessee in the 16-game SEC schedule.

LSU will have 15 home games.

The SEC tournament is March 8-11 in New Orleans.

Visit SECSports.com to view the full SEC schedule complete with dates and times and TV coverage.

2011-12 LSU Men’s Basketball Schedule

(Subject to approval of the LSU Athletic Council)

HOME GAME IN ALL CAPS      *SEC GAMES

ALL TIMES CST
November

SAT. 12/NICHOLLS STATE/TBA

Tues. 15/ At Coastal Carolina/TBA

Charleston Classic

Thurs. 17/Vs. Northwestern (ESPNU)/2 p.m.

Fri. 18/Vs. Tulsa or Western Ky./Noon or 2:30 p.m.

Sun. 20/TBA/TBA

WED.  23/SOUTH ALABAMA/TBA

Tues. 29/At Houston/TBA

December

Big East/SEC Challenge

Sat. 3/At Rutgers (ESPNU)/6 p.m.

SAT. 10/BOISE STATE/TBA
THURS. 15/UC-IRVINE/TBA
MON. 19/MARQUETTE/TBA

Thurs. 22/At North Texas/TBA

THURS. 29/GRAMBLING STATE/TBA

January

MON. 2/VIRGINIA/TBA

SAT. 7/*OLE MISS (SEC Network)/12:30 p.m.

Wed. 11/*At Alabama (CSS/CST)/8 p.m.

Sat. 14/*At Arkansas (FSN)/8 p.m.

TUES. 17/*AUBURN (ESPNU)/6 p.m.

Sat. 21/*At Florida (FSN)/5 p.m.

Wed. 25/*At Miss. State (SEC Network)/7 p.m.

SAT. 28/*KENTUCKY (SEC Network)/3 p.m.

February

SAT. 4/*ARKANSAS (SEC Network)/12:30 p.m.

Wed. 8/*At Vanderbilt (CSS/CST)/8 p.m.

SAT. 11/*ALABAMA (ESPN2)/TBA

TUES. 14/*MISS. STATE (ESPNU)/8 p.m.

Sat. 18/*At South Carolina (SEC Network)/12:30 p.m.

WED.  22/*GEORGIA (SEC Network)/7 p.m.

Sat. 25/*At Ole Miss (SEC Network)/12:30 p.m.

WED. 29/*TENNESSEE (CSS/CST)/8 p.m.

March

Sat. 3/*At Auburn (CBS Sports)/1 p.m.

8-11/SEC Tournament (New Orleans)/TBA

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LSU basketball gets Morgan's commitment

The LSU basketball team got its first commitment for 2012 when John Curtis shooting guard Malik Morgan gave coach Trent Johnson his pledge Wednesday night.
 
Morgan averaged 28 points, seven rebounds and five assists for Curtis last year, leading the Patriots to Class 2A’s quarterfinals.
 
“I think LSU was always No. 1 on his list,” Curtis coach Mike Krajcer said. “I think he’s wanted to go there since he’s been a little boy.”
 
Morgan’s commitment comes on the heels of Riverside Academy forward Ricardo Gathers and St. Augustine point guard Javan Felix, the state’s top two prospects, choosing to leave state. Gathers committed to St. John’s and Felix picked Texas.
 
Krajcer said Arizona, Boston College, Georgia Tech and Miami were other schools in the mix for Morgan.
 
“He’s a scorer,” Krajcer said. “He’s the kind of guy that can create his own shot, he can shoot the 3-pointer with NBA range, and he can take it to the goal with the best of them.”
 
Morgan, 6-foot-4, is listed by Rivals.com as the nation’s No. 93 overall prospect and No. 17 shooting guard. Krojcer said LSU and Tulane were the first schools to show interest.

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LSU to face Northwestern in Charleston Classic opener

When the LSU basketball team opens the Charleston Classic to be played Nov. 17, 18 and 20 at Carolina First Arena in Charleston, S.C., the Tigers will face a Northwestern team that won 20 games last year and advanced to the NIT’s quarterfinal round.

ESPN announced Wednesday the matchups for the eight-team event, a highlight of LSU’s early season schedule.

The Tigers will play the Wildcats at 2 p.m. CST on Thursday, Nov. 17 in a contest to be televised by ESPNU. The other game on LSU’s side of the bracket has Tulsa meeting Western Kentucky at 11:30 a.m. 

Matchups of Virginia Commonwealth-Seton Hall and Georgia Tech-St. Joseph’s complete the first-day schedule.

Four games Friday, Nov. 18 will match the four winners in two games and thef losers. After a day off, teams will return to Nov. 20 compete the tournament with games at 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

The championship game is at 7:30 and the third-place game at 5.

Northwestern tied a school record with 20 wins last year, finishing 20-14 overall and 7-11 in the Big Ten. The Wildcats advanced to the NIT for the third straight year, coming within an overtime loss at Washington State from reaching the semifinals.

Senior forward John Shurna, a third-team All-Big Ten selection, leads a list of four returning starters. Shurna initially declared for the NBA Draft without hiring an agent but announced in May he would return for his senior year. 

Georgetown beat North Carolina State last year to win the Charleston Classic, joining Clemson (2008) and Miami (2009) as tournament champions.

Fans can purchase tickets to all six sessions (12 games) for $90 each, or single-session (two games) for $20 each. “Booster tickets” are available for $50, allowing entrance to all three sessions (six games) involving the pre-designated team of your choice. Tickets are available at www. CharlestonClassi.com or by calling the Carolina First Arena Box Office at 843-953-2632.

Fans can purchase official hotel accommodations and game tickets by going to www.anthonytravel.com (search Charleston Classic) or by calling 1-888-632-6951. For more information about the tournament, visit www. CharlestonClassic.com, follow on Twitter @CharlestonClsc and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Charlestonclassic.

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St. Aug star Felix taking time with college decision

The commitment of Riverside Academy forward Ricardo Gathers, Mr. Basketball in Louisiana, to St. John’s leaves St. Augustine point guard Javan Felix as the top prospect in the state who has yet to announce his college choice.

Felix said Tuesday that announcement will come later rather than sooner.

“I think I’m a little ways off,” Felix said. “I’m still trying to figure out what schools I’m going to take visits to.”

Felix said he made unofficial visits to Texas A&M and Baylor in June, but he has five official visits he can take once school starts. He was vague when asked about LSU’s position in his recruitment.

“I’m not really set on any schools yet,” he said. “I’m just taking it all in right now. I’ve been talking to LSU. I’ve been talking to other schools as well.”

Felix, listed by ESPNU as the nation’s 18th-best point guard, said he plans to sign in November during the early signing period.

As a junior at St. Augustine, the 5-foot-11, 180-pounder averaged only 12.8 points, but that, combined with 5 assists and 4.5 steals per game, was enough to earn Felix the state’s Class 5A player of the year award. The well-balanced Knights finished the season 31-6 after blasting Scotlandville 67-43 in the state final.

Felix, who received a scholarship offer from LSU late in the 2010-11 season, said he wasn’t surprised his friend Gathers chose to leave home.

Gathers is considered the top prospect to come out of Louisiana in four years.

“He told me the morning he committed he was going to do it,” Felix said. “I kind of knew about it before anybody else.”
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LSU women gain Ballard, men lose Gathers on recruiting trail

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The LSU women pulled in one of the South’s top basketball recruits this weekend when Memphis Central guard Danielle Ballard committed to the Lady Tigers. 

On the men’s side, it appears Riverside Academy star Ricardo Gathers is headed out of state.

Memphis Central coach Niki Bray said Monday that Ballard, ranked by ESPNU/HoopGurlz as the Class of 2012’s No. 24 prospect, nearly committed to Nikki Caldwell when Caldwell was coaching UCLA last season. After watching Caldwell leave the West Coast for Baton Rouge in the spring, Ballard became interested in LSU. 

“Everybody in the country has been recruiting Danielle,” Bray said. “I mean everybody. I think she was torn between LSU and Auburn for a while.”

The commitment of Ballard continues a nice early run for Caldwell on the recruiting front. California prospect Sheila Boykin, a former UCLA signee, signed with LSU last month and will be eligible to play for the Lady Tigers this fall.

LSU men’s coach Trent Johnson, meanwhile, hoped to add Gathers after signing McDonald’s All-American Johnny O’Bryant and Kentucky Mr. Basketball Anthony Hickey this past year.

But according to several recruiting websites, Gathers has committed to St. John’s. LSU, Syracuse, Texas and Arizona were among the 6-foot-6 forward’s other finalists.

“I can’t wait to play in New York,” Gathers told ESPN.com. “Watching the movie ‘He Got Game’ got me really excited about playing there.”

Gathers has led Riverside to the Class 2A state title the past two years. He is considered the top prospect to come out of Louisiana since Class of 2008 star Greg Monroe, who chose Georgetown coming out of Helen Cox.
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