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GAMETHREAD: Men’s Basketball vs. Alcorn State, 7pm, SEC Network+

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The Will Wade Era is finally here

NCAA Basketball: SEC Basketball Tipoff Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

From Coach Wade’s arrival to yesterday’s announcement of two four star signings, the LSU basketball program has gone through one of the more busy offseasons in recent memory, made very apparent by the fact that of fourteen eligible players on the roster, seven were on last year’s team, and only five of those are scholarship players. To me, Coach Wade has one of the toughest tasks in basketball today: turn a 10-21 flop of a team into something that’ll put asses in seats. Especially when said asses care a good bit more right now about the other LSU Tigers across North Stadium Road.

As far as what to expect from this year’s Basketball Tigers, I’ve honestly got nothing material for now. With next season’s class, I’m expecting a Tournament invitation. But this year? No clue. We could possibly finish 12th or 3rd in the SEC, this team is just that hard to predict. Either way, the time for prediction is over. Let’s squeak some damn shoes.

The Alcorn State Braves visit the PMAC having finished second in the SWAC last season with an 18-14 (13-5) record. This looks like somewhat of a decent challenge at first, but they did post a 3-8 out of conference record, those three wins coming against Selma University, Blue Mountain College, and Rust College. I didn’t make up any of those. As a matter of fact, Alcorn State hasn’t won an out of conference game against a Division I opponent since November 22, 2012, a 69-65 victory over LSU’s next challenge, Samford.

Despite not starting a single game last season, Alcorn State forward Reginal Johnson was named the SWAC Preseason Player of the Year. He led the Braves in scoring last season with an average of 15.6 points. Coach Wade has expressed concerns over the forwards’ defense coming into the season, and Johnson will serve as a perfect test to get Duop Reath and Aaron Epps some defensive reps to learn from.

The Tigers and Braves tip off at 7pm CST in the PMAC. Watch this game in person for ONE DOLLAR, on the internet via SECN+, or listen in on 98.1 FM. Follow along in the comments below, or on Twitter @marq113.