The Advocate Blog Network

Banner image

LSU men’s basketball to participate in 2017 Maui Invitational

LSU is one of eight men’s basketball teams that have been chosen to take part in the 2017 Maui Jim Maui Invitational set for Nov. 20-22 in Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii.

Officials revealed Thursday the eight teams that will participate in the Championship Round of the 34th annual Maui Jim Maui Invitational, which is billed as the nation’s premier early-season tournament.

The other seven teams that will join LSU for the tournament at the Lahaina Civic Center are host Chaminade, California, Marquette, Michigan, Notre Dame, VCU and Wichita State.

The 2017 event features six teams that are ranked or are receiving votes in the preseason polls. Five of those teams — including No. 21 LSU — are ranked in the top 25.

Over the last five seasons, the 2017 field has combined for six appearances in the NCAA Elite Eight and three berths in the Final Four.

“Year after year, the Maui Jim Maui Invitational showcases the nation’s best players and coaches, and the 2017 field continues that tradition,” tournament chairman Dave Odom said in a news release.

Since the inception of the Maui Jim Maui Invitational in 1984, 108 schools representing 26 conferences and 40 states have competed in the event.


LSU’s Simmons, Quarterman on coaches All-SEC team

LSU freshman Ben Simmons and junior guard Tim Quarterman were chosen to the coaches preseason All-Southeastern Conference basketball team that was announced Thursday.

Simmons was a first-team pick by the league’s 14 head coaches, who pick a minimum of eight players for the first and second teams. Ties are not broken, which resulted in nine players on the first unit.

Quarterman was among the eight players who made the second team.

Simmons was a first-team pick and Quarterman was tabbed as a second-team selection on the media’s All-SEC squad that was announced at SEC Tipoff ’16 last month.

Also on the coaches first team is Vanderbilt junior center Damian Jones, a Scotlandville High School graduate. Jones was on the media’s preseason All-SEC team as well.

Simmons was also the media’s pick as the preseason player of the year in the conference. Coaches do not pick a player of the year.


(players listed in alphabetical order by school)

First team

F Dorian Finney-Smith, Florida, Sr.

G Kenny Gaines, Georgia, Sr.

G Charles Mann, Georgia, Sr.

F Skal Labissiere, Kentucky, Fr.

G Tyler Ulis, Kentucky, So.

F Ben Simmons, LSU, Fr.

G Stefan Moody, Ole Miss, Sr.

G Danuel House, Texas A&M, Sr.

C Damian Jones, Vanderbilt, Jr.

Second team

G Jamal Murray, Kentucky, Fr.

F Alex Poythress, Kentucky, Sr.

G Tim Quarterman, LSU, Jr.

G Malik Newman, Mississippi State, Fr.

G Craig Sword, Mississippi State, Sr.

G Sindarius Thornwell, South Carolina, Jr.

G Alex Caruso, Texas A&M, Sr.

G Riley LaChance, Vanderbilt, So.


LSU men’s basketball picks up fifth commitment

The LSU basketball coaching staff picked up another commitment Saturday for the early signing period that begins Wednesday.

After getting pledges at midweek from guard Branden Jenkins and forward Duop Reath, junior college teammates from Lee College in Baytown, Texas, LSU received another commitment from guard Kieran Hayward of Sydney, Australia.

The addition of Hayward gives coach Johnny Jones and his staff a total of five recruits in the Class of 2016. The Tigers received verbal commitments this summer from University High forward Wayde Sims and former U-High guard Skylar Mays, who is playing his senior season at Findlay Prep in Las Vegas.

The early signing period for basketball begins Wednesday and runs through Nov. 18.

Hayward, a 6-foot-5 combo guard, made an official visit to the LSU campus and watched the Tigers roll to a 98-72 exhibition victory Friday night over Southwest Baptist.

Around noon Saturday, Hayward, who played AAU ball this summer with an AUSA Hoops Tour, took to Twitter to announce he would be playing for the Tigers.

Hayward tweeted: “Extremely ecstatic to announce my commitment to LSU!!! Thanks to everyone involved in the process!!! @AUSA Hoops.” Hayward’s cover photo on his Twitter account shows him with Jones and assistant coaches David Patrick and Brendan Suhr.

LSU will lose senior guards Keith Hornsby and Josh Gray after this season and freshman forward Ben Simmons will likely jump to the NBA after one season.

Junior guard Tim Quarterman and freshman guard Antonio Blakeney could also make the leap to the NBA based on early draft projections.


LSU coach Johnny Jones to host first Tipoff Luncheon on Tuesday

The fourth season of monthly Tipoff Luncheons with LSU men’s coach Johnny Jones begins Tuesday at the L’Auberge Hotel and Casino.

The monthly gatherings, which will be held throughout the course of the 2015-16 basketball season, are presented again this year by Hub International.

Each luncheon, Jones will speak about his team and answer questions from the media and audience. Most months, Jones will be joined by a guest who’ll speak to the crowd and take questions.

As is the tradition for the opening luncheon, Lady Tigers coach Nikki Fargas will be on hand to discuss her team as it prepares for the upcoming season.

The luncheons will be held in the Bon Temps Buffet, which is located on the ground floor of the resort in the casino area.

The buffet, which costs $14.99 per person,  is available at 11:30 a.m. and the program begins at 12:10 p.m.


LSU single-game tickets go on sale Monday morning

Tickets for eight of the LSU basketball team’s nonconference games as well as mini-plans and group sales will begin Monday at 8 a.m. at the LSU ticket office and online at

All nonconference games, with the exception of the Jan. 30 Oklahoma game, will be available for single-game purchase, the LSU Athletic Department announced Sunday.

Pick 3 and Pick 5 mini-plans will go on sale as well. The Pick 3 Plan includes one ticket to three home games of choice (with the exception of the Kentucky and Oklahoma games) for $39.

The Kentucky and Oklahoma games will be available in the Pick 5 Plan. That plans includes one ticket to five home games of choice starting at $60; all games are $12 per seat, except Kentucky ($28) and Oklahoma ($24).

Group tickets for groups of 10 or more will also go on sale for all games except the Kentucky and Oklahoma games. Single-game tickets for those games will be available Nov. 30.

Season tickets are still available with tickets starting at $100.

LSU will play an exhibition game on Nov. 6 against Southwest Baptist, for which there is no admission charge, then open the regular season a week later on Nov. 13 against McNeese State.

LSU women’s basketball picked to tie for ninth in SEC race

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The LSU women’s basketball team was picked to finish in a tie for ninth place in the Southeastern Conference’s annual media preseason poll released Tuesday.

LSU and Georgia tied for ninth place after receiving 128 points each from the media panel, which awards points on a 14-13-12-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis for the 14-team league.

South Carolina, the defending SEC tournament champion and a Final Four participant, was picked to win the league title with 265 points, while Tennessee was close behind with 248 points.

Mississippi State (215), Texas A&M (207) and Kentucky (205) rounded out the top five.

Each media member also voted for a five-player preseason all-conference team and named South Carolina’s Tiffany Mitchell the player of the year. LSU did not have a representative on the five-player All-SEC preseason team.

The release of the media poll is held in conjunction with the SEC Tipoff ’16 event, which the Lady Tigers will participate in on Thursday at the SEC Network/ESPNU Studios in Charlotte, North Carolina.

LSU coach Nikki Caldwell and two student-athletes will participate in various walkthroughs, demonstrations and interviews that will be used in telecasts during the upcoming season.

The SEC women’s coaches poll will be released next month before the start of the regular season.

LSU will host Union University in an exhibition game on Nov. 4 and open the season on Nov. 13 when the Lady Tigers travel to Winston-Salem, North Carolina, to take on Wake Forest.

Women’s SEC Media Poll

(Predicted order of finish)

1. South Carolina, 265 points

2. Tennessee, 248

3. Mississippi State, 215

4. Texas A&M, 207

5. Kentucky, 205

6. Ole Miss, 169

7. Missouri, 165

8. Arkansas, 138

9. LSU, 128

tie, Georgia, 128

11. Vanderbilt, 80

12. Florida, 78

13. Auburn, 65

14. Alabama, 34

Preseason All-SEC

Alaina Coates, South Carolina

Diamond DeShields, Tennessee

Mykala Epps, Kentucky

Tiffany Mitchell, South Carolina

Victoria Vivians, Mississippi State

A’ja Wilson, South Carolina

Player of the Year

Tiffany Mitchell, South Carolina


LSU gets 38th spot in preseason rankings of all 351 D-I teams has come out with its preseason rankings of all 351 Division I basketball teams — from No. 1 North Carolina to No. 351 Grambling State — and LSU checks in at No. 38.

LSU, which went 22-11 last season and earned a berth in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2009 after tying for third in the Southeastern Conference, was ranked as the fourth-highest league school in CBS’ rankings.

Of LSU, the site said: With Ben Simmons in tow, the Tigers will certainly be relevant all year. The key will be the production they get around him from guys like Tim Quarterman, Antonio Blakeney and Jalyn Patterson. If they play well, LSU can be a top-25 team. If not, there will be plenty of questions laid at the feet of coach Johnny Jones.

Kentucky was the top SEC school at No. 2, followed by No. 22 Vanderbilt, No. 27 Texas A&M, No. 38 LSU, No. 47 Georgia, No. 55 Florida, No. 68 Ole Miss, No. 72 South Carolina, No. 81 Auburn, No. 84 Arkansas, No. 104 Tennessee, No. 114 Mississippi State, No. 146 Alabama and No. 155 Missouri.

Southern is No. 220 as the second-highest member of the Southwestern Athletic Conference behind No. 208 Texas Southern.

UL-Lafayette is the top Louisiana school other than LSU with the Ragin’ Cajuns sitting 92nd. The others are Louisiana Tech (No. 153), Northwestern State (No. 154), UL-Monroe (No. 169), Southern (No. 220), Tulane (No. 259), New Orleans (No. 269), McNeese State (No. 306), Southeastern (No. 329), Nicholls State (No. 333) and Grambling (No. 351).

LSU will open the regular season on Nov. 13 against McNeese State in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.


LSU practice for NBA scouts to be streamed online Tuesday

The first of two days of LSU basketball practices open to NBA scouts and team officials will be live streamed online via the SEC Network-Plus package Tuesday at 3:30 p.m.

The one-hour broadcast will spotlight some of the drills the team is doing as well as the scrimmage work from the first day of the two-day event, which continues Wednesday afternoon at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

The broadcast can be seen on SEC Network-Plus, which can be found online at and on the WatchESPN app.

The second day will also be open to credentialed media attending the annual media day on Wednesday.

The SEC Network will be on hand for both Tuesday and Wednesday’s sessions with reporter Laura Rutledge on the coverage. She will have reports on SEC Now on Tuesday at 7 p.m. and Wednesday at 10 p.m.



LSU forward Simmons named preseason All-American by

The writers, columnists and analysts at have named LSU freshman forward Ben Simmons a first-team pick on its preseason All-America team.

Columnist Gary Parrish noted that none of the players on the All-American team  named after the 2014-15 season return this year, so the criteria included picking players by position — not just the five best players in the country.

“In other words, we decided, each group of five had to be a group that could theoretically take a court together,” Parrish wrote.

Simmons is joined on the CBSSports’ All-American team by guards Kris Dunn of Providence and Buddy Hield of Oklahoma, and forwards Kyle Wiltjer of Gonzaga and Skal Labissiere of Kentucky.

Wiltjer was tabbed as the preseason player of the year.

Of Simmons, Parish wrote: ”Simmons is a uniquely talented prospect who projects as a top-five pick in the NBA draft. The 6-foot-10 forward should be a star in what will likely be his only season of college basketball. He averaged 20.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 3.6 steals and 2.2 blocks during LSU’s five-game tour of Australia this preseason.”

Simmons is expected to rejoin the Tigers’ preseason workouts any day now after the coaching staff held him out of practice the first couple of days because of a sore leg.


LSU guard Shortess named Rucks Fellow

LSU basketball player Henry Shortess has been named as one of the 2015-16 inductees into the “Society of Rucks Fellows” by the E. J. Ourso College of Business for his academic achievements in the college.

Shortess, a walk-on guard, is beginning his third year with the LSU program. He was selected to the SEC Academic Honor Roll this past year and at LSU’s football game with Auburn was honored on the field as one of the student-athletes recognized for a 3.0 GPA.

Ten students are recognized each year as Rucks Fellows, thanks to a gift from William and Catherine Rucks. Selected by the faculty, Rucks Fellows represent the highest level of academic achievement among senior management majors.

To qualify for recognition as a Rucks Fellow, a senior management major in any of the department’s concentrations — management, entrepreneurship, or human resources — must have a grade point average in the top 10 of all graduating seniors in the management curriculum.

“Being named a Rucks Fellow is an honor only a select group of people enjoy,” said Richard White Jr., dean of the Ourso College of Business. “To accomplish such a thing as not only a student, but a student-athlete, is a remarkable feat.”

Shortess is a Baton Rouge native and graduate of University High, where he was a member of the National Honor Society.