Assuming you clicked on this article on purpose and don’t have your thumb on CTRL with your finger inching near the W key, let’s get started!
2015-16 was a big disappointment for the program and every LSU Basketball fan. This shouldn’t be news. You already know LSU had a top 10 recruiting class with the #1 prospect in Ben Simmons. You already know the team started the season ranked in the Top 25, only for that ranking to disappear after a 3-3 start. You already know the season ended on a 71-38 trouncing by Texas A&M in the SEC Tournament, cementing LSU’s place squarely on the couch come time for the NCAA Tournament. You already know that’s not how it was supposed to go.
We were trending upward with Johnny Jones. His first season went relatively well, posting a 19-12 record while breaking even in conference. Next season, NIT. Third season, LSU’s first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since Trent Johnson stumbled upon a John Brady-recruited Marcus Thornton. Take that upward trend and pair it with 2015’s recruiting class? It’d be hard to be pleased with anything less than a Sweet 16 appearance.
Ben Simmons came, he saw, he did just enough to get drafted #1 overall. His debut for the 76ers has still yet to happen due to injury, but I’m sure he has a long, bright career ahead of him. I hate how last season ended up, but I’m honestly not going to hold any of those shortcomings against him. I know what’s been said and how everything played out, but I’m finding it hard to blame a team’s hardships on someone who averaged 19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 4.8 assists.
That said, it’s over, and it’s time for the 2016-17 edition of LSU Basketball.
Throughout the week, we’ll issue more preview posts discussing tonight’s exhibition against the Reinhardt University Eagles, how that game calms or heavily frightens us, players who left/graduated, new players, projected Starting 5, and expectations for the entire season. For a small taste, we’ve got a pair of really exciting Baton Rouge Freshmen in Skylar Mays and Wayde Sims, and I really doubt we’re staring at as bad of a season as some other members of the media predict.
The regular season officially tips off this Saturday, November 12th against the Wofford Terriers at 1pm, so go out and support the team before you make it to your LSU Football watching headquarters for the weekend! I know the players are excited to start the season, and a solid crowd is the least they deserve.