With the news that LSU wouldn't be a part of the field of 68 for March Madness, the program issued the following statement regarding any other postseason possibilities:
BATON ROUGE - LSU men's basketball coach Johnny Jones announced late Sunday afternoon that the Tigers will not participate in a postseason tournament this year.
"We will be able to utilize this time to get better and start preparations for next season. We fell short of the mark of getting to the NCAA Tournament; I take full responsibility for this team, and will do the things necessary to make sure we are able to reach one of our main goals at LSU in the future," said LSU Head Coach Johnny Jones.
Jones consulted with his staff and met with the team earlier on Sunday before announcing his decision.
The Tigers would have gone into the post-season without the services of senior leader Keith Hornsby, who had season-ending surgery on Tuesday after reaggravating an internal injury suffered in November that caused him to miss the entire first month of the season. Freshman guard Antonio Blakeney played the two SEC Tournament games under the weather and would have been listed as questionable at best for any games this coming week.
"That also factored into our decision, but it is primarily now my responsibility to begin working and preparing our players for the prospects that lie ahead," said Jones.
The Tigers finished 19-14 on the year, 11-7 and in a tie for third in the Southeastern Conference for the second-straight year. LSU advanced to the semifinals of the conference tournament and played on the final day of the regular season with a chance to tie for the regular season title.
Honestly, I can't say that I blame anybody for just wanting this whole ordeal over, although it's certainly sad to see somebody like Ben Simmons come through here, do the things he was able to do and not get a chance to see the big stage for his sport.
This team might not have made the NIT anyway given the other SEC teams that would have been in contention for spots. Frankly, I'm not sure how much anybody really even wanted to keep playing.
As for the future, I'll leave that to our hoops team to speculate. Jones had some very powerful hands pick him for this job a long time ago, to say nothing of following up the failure of Trent Johnson. Those powers aren't likely to give up now. I guess we'll see what happens.