|LSU Tigers men's basketball|
|University||Louisiana State University|
|Founded||1909 (114 years ago)|
|Head coach||Matt McMahon (2nd season)|
|Location||Baton Rouge, Louisiana|
|Arena||Pete Maravich Assembly Center |
|Colors||Purple and gold|
|NCAA tournament Final Four|
|1953, 1981, 1986, 2006|
|NCAA tournament Elite Eight|
|1953, 1980, 1981, 1986, 1987, 2006|
|NCAA tournament Sweet Sixteen|
|1953, 1954, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1986, 1987, 2000, 2006, 2019|
|NCAA tournament round of 32|
|1979, 1980, 1981, 1986, 1987, 1990, 1992, 2000, 2006, 2009, 2019, 2021|
|NCAA tournament appearances|
|1953, 1954, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2015, 2019, 2021, 2022|
|Conference tournament champions|
|Conference regular season champions|
|1935, 1953, 1954, 1979, 1981, 1985, 1991, 2000, 2006, 2009, 2019|
The LSU Tigers men's basketball team (aka. The Louisiana State University Tigers team) represents Louisiana State University in NCAA Division I men's college basketball. The Tigers are currently coached by Matt McMahon, after previous coach Will Wade was dismissed on March 12, 2022. They play their home games in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center located on the LSU campus in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The team participates in the Southeastern Conference.
Early history (1909–1957)
The first season of LSU men's basketball was the 1908–09 basketball season. The first game in program history was a 35–20 away game victory versus Dixon Academy. The first home game in program history was an 18–12 victory over Mississippi State.
The 1934–1935 Tigers – coached by Harry Rabenhorst, and keyed by the play of first LSU All-American Sparky Wade – finished the season at 14–1, defeating a Pittsburgh Panthers team that shared the Eastern Intercollegiate Conference championship and finished with an 18–6 overall record in the American Legion Bowl by a score of 41–37 in their final game of the season. LSU's lone defeat came to the Southwest Conference co-champion Rice Owls by a score of 56–47 in Houston in one of LSU's three road games. LSU has claimed a national championship for the 1935 season (pre-NCAA tournament), but not on the basis of any determination by an external selector. (LSU is the only school that officially claims a national championship on the basis of a win in the American Legion Bowl, an event that made no claim to determine a national champion. The Helms Athletic Foundation retroactively named the 19–1 NYU Violets its national champion for the 1934–35 season. The retroactive Premo-Porretta Power Poll also ranked the Violets as its 1935 national champion. The Premo-Porretta poll ranked LSU fifth, behind second-ranked Richmond (20–0), third-ranked Duquesne (18–1), and fourth-ranked Kentucky (19–2); the poll ranked Pittsburgh—LSU's final opponent–16th nationally.)
Rabenhorst also led the Tigers to the 1953 Final Four with a team that finished 22–3 overall and 13–0 in conference play, and which included future NBA Hall of Famer Bob Pettit. Rabenhorst's 1953–54 Tigers repeated as SEC champions—again finishing undefeated in conference play at 14–0, and at 20–5 overall—and played in the Sweet Sixteen game of the 1954 NCAA tournament, falling 78–70 to eventual national third-place Penn State.
Tough times (1957–1966)
Maravich era (1966–1972)
Press Maravich was head basketball coach from 1966 to 1972. He had an overall record of 76–86 at LSU. He led the team to three winning seasons, but did not win an SEC championship or make an NCAA tournament appearance. His 1969–70 team advanced to the NIT Final Four. This era is best known for the exploits of Press Maravich's son, "Pistol" Pete Maravich whom he coached from 1967 to 1970. Pete dominated at the collegiate level averaging 44.2 points per game and was named National Player of the Year in 1970.
Collis Temple Jr. of Kentwood became LSU's first African-American varsity athlete during Press' final season of 1971–1972. The 1971–1972 season was also the Tigers' first playing in the LSU Assembly Center.
Dale Brown era (1972–1997)
Dale Brown was head LSU basketball coach for 25 years from 1972 to 1997. During his time at LSU, he led the basketball team to two Final Fours, four Elite Eights, five Sweet Sixteens, and thirteen NCAA Tournament appearances. He also led the Tigers to four regular season SEC championships and one SEC Tournament championship.
In 1996–97, Dale Brown signed Baton Rouge high school phenom Lester Earl, who led Glen Oaks High School to three consecutive Louisiana High School Athletic Association state championships (two in Class 4A, one in Class 5A, the highest classification), with all championship games played at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. Earl played just 11 games at LSU before he was suspended and transferred to the University of Kansas soon afterward (ironically, Earl played for LSU in an 82-53 loss to Kansas in that season's Maui Invitational). While at Kansas, Earl said that an LSU assistant coach gave him money when he was at LSU. The NCAA quickly began an investigation. It found no evidence that Brown or his assistants paid Earl. However, it did find that a former booster paid Earl about $5,000 while he was attending LSU. The basketball team was placed on probation in 1998.
In September 2007, Lester Earl issued an apology to Brown, then-assistant head coach Johnny Jones, and LSU in general for his role in the NCAA investigation. Earl now has altered his original claims that the NCAA pressured him into making false claims against Dale Brown or else he would lose years of NCAA eligibility. Earl said, "I was pressured into telling them SOMETHING. I was 19 years old at that time. The NCAA intimidated me, manipulated me into making up things, and basically encouraged me to lie, in order to be able to finish my playing career at Kansas. They told me if we don't find any dirt on Coach Brown you won't be allowed to play but one more year at Kansas. I caused great harm, heartache and difficulties for so many people. I feel sorriest for hurting Coach Brown. Coach Brown, I apologize to you for tarnishing your magnificent career at LSU."
The NCAA has declined any new comments on the situation. However, Brown says that he has forgiven Earl. "The most interesting journey that a person can make is discovering himself. I believe Lester has done that, and I forgive him."
John Brady era (1997–2008)
In 1997, John Brady replaced the legendary Dale Brown as head coach at LSU. When Brady arrived, the program was under probation and stinging from a recruiting scandal. Brady's first two years were rough.
In 2000, the Tigers broke through, posting a 28–6 record and an NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 appearance. However, due to the loss of Stromile Swift and Jabari Smith to the 2000 NBA draft, the Tigers could not carry their momentum to the next year, going 13–16 in 2001.
Brady's team entered the 2005–06 season unranked, but were coming off a solid season in which they went 20–10 and made the NCAA tournament. Led by Glen "Big Baby" Davis and Tyrus Thomas, the Tigers won their first outright SEC regular season championship since 1985, and earned a #4 seed in the NCAA tournament. After wins over Iona and Texas A&M, LSU defeated the #1 seed Duke and #2 seed Texas to make it to their first Final Four since 1986. Set at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, Indiana, the 2006 Final Four was the first since 1980 to feature no #1 seeds (LSU, #2 UCLA, #3 Florida and #11 George Mason). Facing the #2 seed Bruins in the national semifinals, the Tigers were unable to solve UCLA's defense, losing 59–45, dropping LSU to 0–6 all-time in the men's Final Four (and 0–11 in all Final Four games, including an 0–5 mark in the women's Final Four). Despite the loss, the 2005–06 season will be remembered as one of the most successful in LSU men's basketball history.
John Brady was fired in the middle of his 11th season as LSU's head basketball coach and just two seasons after the Tigers' latest Final Four appearance.
On February 8, 2008, Brady was fired from LSU. Earlier news reports stated that he would coach the Tennessee game on February 9, but LSU officials stated that his termination is immediate. Brady's assistant coach, Butch Pierre, took over as the interim head coach.
In ten and a half seasons at LSU, Brady compiled a 192–139 record, including two SEC titles and four NCAA tournament appearances. He currently serves as the color analyst on LSU men's basketball radio broadcasts.
Trent Johnson years (2009–2012)
On April 10, 2008, Trent Johnson was officially named the 20th head coach of the LSU Tigers men's basketball team. With the hiring, Johnson became the first African-American head coach of a men's sports team at LSU. In his first season at LSU, Johnson led the Tigers to 27 wins, tied for the third most wins in a season in LSU history. The Tigers won the SEC regular season championship with a record of 13–3. LSU returned to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2006. In the opening round, LSU defeated nationally ranked Butler one year prior to the Bulldogs starting their run of two straight trips to the NCAA Championship game. They advanced to the second round before falling, 84–70, to North Carolina. LSU had a second-half lead on the Tar Heels and the game was still in the balance entering the final eight minutes. The Tar Heels went on to capture the national championship, their second under Roy Williams and fifth overall.
Johnson was named the 2009 consensus SEC Coach of the Year and was a finalist for four national coach of the year honors as he became the first LSU men's basketball coach to win the league title and take the team to post-season play in his first year at the school. The next two seasons were not nearly as successful, as the Tigers won a combined 5 conference games and went 11–20 in consecutive years.
LSU improved to 18–15 in 2011–12 and earned a berth to the NIT, losing 96–76 in the first round at Oregon. Johnson resigned as LSU coach on April 8, 2012, in expectation of taking the same position at TCU.
Johnny Jones era (2012–2017)
On April 13, 2012, Johnny Jones was officially named the 21st head coach of the LSU Tigers men's basketball team. He had an overall record of 90–72 in five seasons at LSU. In the 2014–15 season, Jones led LSU to its first appearance in the NCAA tournament since the 2008–09 season, where the Tigers fell to North Carolina State in their opening game, 66–65. In the 2015–16 season, Jones led the Tigers to a disappointing 19–14 overall record, including 11–7 in conference play. LSU was ranked 21st in the AP and 19th in the USA Today Coaches poll to start the season. Much of the hype was centered around a top 10 recruiting class which included the No. 1 overall recruit, Ben Simmons. LSU failed to earn a bid to the NCAA tournament, and declined to participate in any postseason play. Following the season, Simmons announced he would leave for the NBA draft.
The Tigers started the 2016–17 season 8–2, but finished the season with a 1–17 slide, ending 2–16 in SEC play and 10–21 overall. Jones was fired at the end of the season.
Will Wade era (2017–2022)
On March 20, 2017, Will Wade was officially named the 22nd head coach of the LSU Tigers men's basketball team. During his second season, Wade coached the 2018–19 team to an outright Southeastern Conference regular season championship, LSU's 11th on record. However, the LSU Athletic Department suspended Wade before the conference tournament, after he refused to meet with university officials to discuss his role in conversations he is alleged to have had with a federally convicted college hoops middleman. LSU named Tony Benford interim head coach during Wade's suspension, and he coached the Tigers to the Sweet Sixteen of the 2019 NCAA basketball tournament. Wade was reinstated after the season, having met with university officials, answered their questions, and denied wrongdoing.
During the 2021–22 season, the NCAA gave LSU a notice of allegations with regard to those recruiting violations, following a multi-year investigation. Wade is accused of five Level I and two Level II recruiting violations in the notice, and was fired for cause days later. Kevin Nickelberry was named as interim head coach, as the Tigers were eliminated in the first round of the 2022 NCAA basketball tournament.
Matt McMahon era (2022–present)
Murray State head coach Matt McMahon was announced as Wade's permanent successor, signing a 7-year deal. In the first month of his tenure, all 11 scholarship players who were set to return instead chose to enter the transfer portal, a situation Jeff Borzello of ESPN described as "fairly unprecedented."
The Tigers struggled in McMahon's inaugural season, suffering through a 15-game losing streak in January and February before ending it by defeating Vanderbilt. LSU finished 14-19 overall and last in the SEC at 2-16.
|1934–35||Harry Rabenhorst||14–1||LSU 41 Pittsburgh Panthers 37 (American Legion Bowl)|
|Total national championships: 1|
LSU claims a national championship for the 1934–35 season, but not on the basis of any determination by an external selector or outcome of any contest purporting to determine a national champion.
LSU has played in four Final Fours in the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship tournament. The Tigers are 0-6 all-time in the Final Four, losing the third place game in 1953 and 1981. The third place game was discontinued after LSU's 78-74 loss to Virginia in 1981.
|Total Final Fours: 4|
LSU has won a total of 11 conference championships and one conference tournament championship since becoming a founding member of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) in 1933.
|Year||Conference||Coach||Overall Record||Conference Record|
|1979–80||SEC tournament||Dale Brown||26–6||14–4|
|Total conference championships: 12|
A group of 72 members selected from the ranks of the band constitute the Bengal Brass Basketball Band, often simply referred to as Bengal Brass. This group of musicians (and percussionist on a drum set) is often split into two squads—purple and gold—and performs at LSU select home volleyball matches, many home gymnastics meets, all home men's basketball, and all home women's basketball games in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. Bengal Brass also travels with the men's and women's basketball teams during postseason play. The group is led by assistant director of bands, Dr. Cliff Croomes.
The LSU cheerleaders consist of both male and female cheerleaders that perform at men's and women's basketball games. The cheerleaders lead the crowd in numerous cheers during game play and breaks. The cheerleaders are located along the baseline for home basketball games. LSU's cheerleaders also compete against other universities cheerleading squads in competitions sanctioned by the Universal Cheerleaders Association (UCA). The 1989 Tiger cheerleaders won the UCA National Championship.
LSU Tiger Girls
The LSU Tiger Girls were established as a danceline for the LSU men's and women's basketball teams. The all-female squad performs during all home games and other university and non-university sponsored functions. The Tiger Girls also compete against other universities dance teams in competitions sanctioned by the Universal Dance Association (UDA).
NCAA Tournament history & seeds
The Tigers have appeared in the NCAA tournament 24 times. Their combined record is 27–27.
National 3rd Place Game
Regional 3rd Place Game
|1979||No. 3 (Mideast)||Round of 32
|No. 6 Appalachian State
No. 2 Michigan State
|1980||No. 1 (Midwest)||Round of 32
|No. 8 Alcorn State
No. 5 Missouri
No. 2 Louisville
|1981||No. 1 (Midwest)||Round of 32
National 3rd Place Game
|No. 8 Lamar
No. 5 Arkansas
No. 6 Wichita State
No. 1 Indiana
No. 1 Virginia
|1984||No. 7 (West)||Round of 48||No. 10 Dayton||L 66–74|
|1985||No. 4 (Southeast)||Round of 64||No. 13 Navy||L 55–78|
|1986||No. 11 (Southeast)||Round of 64
Round of 32
|No. 6 Purdue
No. 3 Memphis State
No. 2 Georgia Tech
No. 1 Kentucky
No. 2 Louisville
|W 94–87 2OT|
|1987||No. 10 (Midwest)||Round of 64
Round of 32
|No. 7 Georgia Tech
No. 2 Temple
No. 3 DePaul
No. 1 Indiana
|1988||No. 9 (East)||Round of 64||No. 8 Georgetown||L 63–66|
|1989||No. 10 (West)||Round of 64||No. 7 UTEP||L 74–85|
|1990||No. 5 (Southeast)||Round of 64
Round of 32
|No. 12 Villanova
No. 4 Georgia Tech
|1991||No. 6 (Midwest)||Round of 64||No. 11 Connecticut||L 62–79|
|1992||No. 7 (West)||Round of 64
Round of 32
|No. 10 BYU
No. 2 Indiana
|1993||No. 11 (Midwest)||Round of 64||No. 6 California||L 64–66|
|2000||No. 4 (West)||Round of 64
Round of 32
|No. 13 SW Missouri State
No. 5 Texas
No. 8 Wisconsin
|2003||No. 8 (South)||Round of 64||No. 9 Purdue||L 56–80|
|2005||No. 6 (Midwest)||Round of 64||No. 11 UAB||L 68–82|
|2006||No. 4 (South)||Round of 64
Round of 32
|No. 13 Iona
No. 12 Texas A&M
No. 1 Duke
No. 2 Texas
No. 2 UCLA
W 70–60 OT
|2009||No. 8 (South)||Round of 64
Round of 32
|No. 9 Butler
No. 1 North Carolina
|2015||No. 9 (East)||Round of 64||No. 8 NC State||L 65–66|
|2019||No. 3 (East)||Round of 64
Round of 32
|No. 14 Yale
No. 6 Maryland
No. 2 Michigan State
|2021||No. 8 (East)||Round of 64
Round of 32
|No. 9 St. Bonaventure
No. 1 Michigan
|2022||No. 6 (Midwest)||First Round||No. 11 Iowa State||L 54–59|
Prior to seeding LSU appeared in the 1953 and 1954 NCAA Tournaments.
The Tigers have appeared in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) eight times. Their combined record is 5–9.
3rd Place Game
|1982||First Round||Tulane||L 72–83|
|1983||First Round||New Orleans||L 94–99|
|2004||First Round||Oklahoma||L 61–70|
|2012||First Round||Oregon||L 76–96|
National award winners
National Player of the Year
National Coach of the Year
|1981||Dale Brown||Head Coach|
National Freshman of the Year
Prominent players and coaches
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductees
National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame inductees
|Dale Brown||Head Coach||1972–1997||2014|
LSU has retired five jersey numbers:
|LSU Tigers retired numbers|
SEC Player of the Year
|Pete Maravich||1968, 1969, 1970|
|Chris Jackson||1989, 1990|
|Shaquille O'Neal||1991, 1992|
SEC Freshman of the Year
|Malcolm "Sparky" Wade||Guard||1935†||Converse Yearbook|
|Bobby Lowther||Forward||1946†||Helms Athletic Foundation|
|Bob Pettit (3)||Forward||1952, 1953†, 1954†||Converse Yearbook, Helms Athletic Foundation, Associated Press, UPI, NABC, International News Service, Look Magazine,
Colliers (Basketball coaches), Newspapers Enterprise Association, Tempo Magazine
|Roger Sigler||Forward||1956||Helms Athletic Foundation|
|"Pistol Pete" Maravich (3)||Guard||1968†, 1969†, 1970†||Converse Yearbook, Helms Athletic Foundation, Associated Press, UPI, NABC, International News Service, Sporting News, Newspapers Enterprise Association, United States Writers Basketball Association|
|Al Green||Guard||1979||Converse Yearbook|
|Durand "Rudy" Macklin (2)||Forward||1980†, 1981†||Converse Yearbook, Sporting News, United States Writers Basketball Association, UPI, Basketball Times, John R. Wooden Award|
|Ethan Martin||Guard||1981||Converse Yearbook|
|Howard Carter||Guard||1982, 1983||Converse Yearbook|
|Chris Jackson (2)||Guard||1989†, 1990†||United States Basketball Writers Association, Associated Press, UPI, Sporting News, Basketball Times, NABC, John R. Wooden Award|
|Shaquille O'Neal (2)||Center||1991†, 1992†||United States Basketball Writers Association, Associated Press, UPI, Sporting News, Basketball Times, NABC, John R. Wooden Award|
|Stromile Swift||Forward||2000||United States Basketball Writers Association, Basketball Times, NABC|
|Glen Davis||Forward||2006†||Associated Press, John R. Wooden Award, CollegeBasketballInsider.com|
|Ben Simmons||Forward||2016†||Sporting News, United States Basketball Writers Association|
|Source:2013-14 LSU Men's Basketball Media Guide 
†: First-team All-American
National team members
|Player||Position||Years at LSU||Country||Year|
|Zoran Jovanović||C||1984–87||Yugoslavia||1990, 1991|
|Shaquille O'Neal||C||1989–92||United States||1994, 1996|
LSU and the NBA
LSU Tigers players drafted in first round of NBA draft
- Bold indicates first overall pick in NBA draft
International professional players from LSU
- Antonio Blakeney (born 1996), basketball player for Hapoel Be'er Sheva of the Israeli Basketball Premier League
- Anthony Hickey (born 1992), basketball player for Hapoel Haifa in the Israeli Basketball Premier League
- Jarell Martin (born 1994), basketball player for Maccabi Tel Aviv of the Israeli Basketball Premier League
- Brandon Sampson (born 1997), basketball player for Hapoel Be'er Sheva of the Israeli Basketball Premier League
Pete Maravich Assembly Center
The Pete Maravich Assembly Center is a 13,215-seat multi-purpose arena in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The arena opened in 1972 and is home of the LSU Tigers basketball team. It was originally known as the LSU Assembly Center, but was renamed in honor of Pete Maravich, a Tiger basketball legend, shortly after his death in 1988. The Maravich Center is known to locals as "The PMAC" or "The Palace that Pete Built", or by its more nationally known nickname, "The Deaf Dome", coined by Dick Vitale.
The slightly oval building is located directly to the north of Tiger Stadium, and its bright-white roof can be seen in many telecasts of that stadium. The arena concourse is divided into four quadrants: Pete Maravich Pass, The Walk of Champions, Heroes Hall and Midway of Memories. The quadrants highlight former LSU Tiger athletes, individual and team awards and memorabilia pertaining to the history of LSU Tigers and LSU Lady Tigers basketball teams.
John M. Parker Agricultural Coliseum
The John M. Parker Agricultural Coliseum or John M. Parker Agricultural Center opened in 1937 and was home of the LSU Tigers Basketball team from its opening until 1971. The arena sat 12,000 people for basketball. The Coliseum was host to the Pete Maravich-led teams of the late 1960s, and it was his prominence that led to the construction of the LSU Assembly Center which now bears his name.
The LSU Gym/Armory was completed in 1930 and was the home gymnasium of the LSU basketball team until 1937 when the John M Parker Agricultural Coliseum was completed, though for several years both the Gym/Armory and the coliseum were used for LSU's basketball games. The main floor was the gymnasium and the lower floor was the armory. Both floors were located on ground level. The gymnasium had a stage at one end and could be converted into an auditorium. When not set up as an auditorium, it provided an open space for basketball games and other events. The second floor provided space for locker rooms and a trophy room.
State Field was the home court for the LSU basketball team from 1908 to 1924. The court was located outside on a grass surface built on the old downtown campus of LSU. It was located south of the Pentagon Barracks and slightly southwest of the site of the current Louisiana State Capitol Building adjacent to the Hill Memorial Library and George Peabody Hall. The field was later moved to a site with bleachers that was north of the campuses experimental garden, and next to the old armory building. The field was known on the campus simply as the "athletic field" and was also used for LSU's baseball and football teams.
Practice and Training facilities
LSU Basketball Practice Facility
The LSU Basketball Practice Facility is the practice facility for the LSU Tigers basketball and LSU Lady Tigers basketball teams. The facility is connected to the Pete Maravich Assembly Center through the Northwest portal. The facility features separate, full-size duplicate gyms for the women's and men's basketball teams. They include a regulation NCAA court in length with two regulation high school courts in the opposition direction. The courts are exact replicas of the Maravich Center game court and have two portable goals and four retractable goals. The gymnasiums are equipped with a scoreboard, video filming balcony and scorer's table with video and data connection. The facility also houses team locker rooms, a team lounge, training rooms, a coach's locker room and coach's offices.
The building also includes a two-story lobby and staircase that ascends to the second level where a club room is used for pre-game and post-game events and is connected to the Pete Maravich Assembly Center concourse. The lobby includes team displays and graphics, trophy cases and memorabilia of LSU basketball. A 900-pound bronze statue of LSU legend Shaquille O'Neal is located in front of the facility.
LSU Strength and Conditioning facility
The LSU Tigers basketball strength training and conditioning facility is located in the LSU Strength and Conditioning facility. Built in 1997, it is located adjacent to Tiger Stadium. Measuring 10,000-square feet with a flat surface, it has 28 multi-purpose power stations, 36 assorted selectorized machines and 10 dumbbell stations along with a plyometric specific area, medicine balls, hurdles, plyometric boxes and assorted speed and agility equipment. It also features 2 treadmills, 4 stationary bikes, 2 elliptical cross trainers, a stepper and stepmill.
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