The LSU men's basketball team and coach Johnny Jones host in-state rival McNeese and Jones' longtime friend Dave Simmons Tuesday night at 7 p.m. at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
LSU guard Charles Carmouche
Both teams are 1-0 on the young season with the Tigers winning, 77-63, over UC Santa Barbara, while McNeese was a 72-54 winner over Louisiana College.
Jones and Simmons both played at DeRidder High in southwest Louisiana with Simmons a senior when Jones was a freshman.
Jones said in his media session Monday that the pair had agreed not to schedule each other because of their close friendship, but the game was already set on the schedule by the previous staff when Jones took the LSU position.
“We would never schedule each other when I was at North Texas and he was at McNeese State because we never really wanted to play each other,” Jones said. “Because this schedule is already set this happens for us. It will be a very interesting game for both of us, and obviously a very emotional time for both of us because we've grown up together and remained the best of friends over the years. It will be a good day for us tomorrow."
This will mark the 21st time that LSU has played McNeese State, dating back to the first meeting when Burton Coliseum opened in 1986. LSU has won all 20 previous meetings, but the last victory in 2010 went to overtime.
Jones also started that forward Johnny O'Bryant III, who had 13 points and eight rebounds in the first 13 minutes of the Santa Barbara game, will be a "longshot" to play on Tuesday after suffering a lower leg injury that forced him to the dressing room.
"He didn't practice with us yesterday (Sunday),” said Jones. “I would think that he possibly wouldn't be going with us (Monday) as well from the position he was in (Sunday). Until my trainer tells me different, it would be tough to say if we would have him available for Tuesday. I think that would be a long shot if that was to happen.”
LSU had three other players in double figures with Charles Carmouche getting 16 and Malik Morgan and Shane Hammink each getting 10. Anthony Hickey had a strong night with six assists, no turnovers and the first seven steal game for LSU since 2009.
“Shavon is one of those guys that can play inside and out for us,” said Jones. “He becomes a matchup problem for a smaller three man if we're out there, and we happen to go what we would consider big at that time. That would be Shavon playing at the three for us. I think he will get most of his time right now in the absence of Johnny (O'Bryant III) at the four spot."
McNeese was led by point guard Dontae Cannon with 21 points, while Jeremie Mitchell had 14 and Adrian Fields 11 in its first outing.
LSU will play Southland Conference schools in back-to-back game as LSU hosts Northwestern State next Tuesday, November 20.
The game will be regionally televised by Cox Sports TV, while the game will be available on the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network (Eagle 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge). Tickets are available at LSUtix.net and beginning one hour prior to tipoff at the upper concourse ticket windows at the PMAC.