LSU to Face Michigan in Maui; Ticket Packages Available
Communications Sr. Associate
BATON ROUGE – Officials of the Maui Jim Maui Invitational announced on Tuesday that the LSU Tigers will face Michigan in their 2017 tournament opening game on Monday, Nov. 20, at the Lahaina Civic Center on the island of Maui in Hawaii.
The game will be the primetime island game at 6:30 p.m. HST, with the telecast in Baton Rouge at 10:30 p.m. CST on ESPNU and the LSU Sports Radio Network.
LSU will make its fourth appearance at the traditional Thanksgiving week tournament and Tiger basketball fans can purchase tickets for the LSU games at the LSU Athletics Ticket Office. This is currently the only way for fans to purchase LSU game tickets without purchasing hotel and air packages.
Tickets for LSU’s three games are available behind the team bench for $420 per seat or general admission seating in other sections of the Civic Center are available for $390 per seat for LSU’s three contests.
Tickets can be purchased through the LSU Athletics Ticket Office at LSUtix.net or by phone at 225-578-2184 or 800-960-8587.
The Tigers and Wolverines will be one of four first-round games announced by the tournament. LSU will also play on Tuesday, Nov. 21, and Wednesday, Nov. 22. All games will be televised on the ESPN family of networks.
LSU will face either Notre Dame or tournament host team Chaminade on Nov. 21 on the second day and one of the other four teams – Wichita State, VCU, California or Marquette – in the Nov. 22 contest.
LSU made its first appearance in the Maui event in 1992 when the tournament was played on Christmas week. The Tigers were also in the 1996 and 2007 editions of the tournament.
For those fans wishing to purchase complete ticket and travel packages can get information on those through the tournament’s travel partner at mauiinvitational.com/travel.
Here are some of the comments of LSU Coach Will Wade from Tuesday's Maui Jim Maui Invitational teleconference with the eight head coaches:
“It’s a great feeling. I’m obviously familiar with most of the teams. Michigan will be a big challenge for us. They’re a perennial national program. They’ve had tremendous teams, tremendous success under Coach (John) Beilein. They return very good players, a big kid in (Moritz) Wagner, and in the guards, they’ve added a graduate transfer in (Jaaron) Simmons, who I know is a very good player, so it’ll be a tough game against a big-time opponent from the Big Ten, and we’ll certainly need to play well to give ourselves an opportunity to get it done. But, we’re excited to be in the Maui Invitational. It’s a phenomenal tournament and it’ll be a phenomenal experience for our players, for our fans, and we’re looking forward to getting out there.”
On importance of early season tournaments…
“With the NCAA placing the new emphasis on road and neutral wins, the tournaments are extremely important to be able to compete with really good teams, and to be able to win against really good teams on a neutral court is important, and so this field gives you multiple opportunities at that, and I think that for most teams, it’s a way to kick-start your season and give you a chance to really add to your resume or get your resume started.”
On Michigan’s success in early season tournaments…
“… Obviously, with Coach Beilein, they’re extremely well coached; they’re going to be extremely skilled; they can shoot the ball well; they’re going to play the game at their pace. So, he’s a phenomenal coach in a phenomenal program, and they’ve got great players. The big kid Wagner, who you were talking about earlier, was testing the waters with the NBA and decided to come back. So, they’ve got some good players, good coaching, and a good system. That’s usually the formula to having a really good team, and that’s what they’ve got. When you have that, and you have kids that get older and grow in the program, I think that puts them a little bit ahead going into these early season tournaments, and they capitalize on that, and have some success.”
On possibility of playing VCU…
“I’m worried about Michigan and our side of the bracket first, but if we met VCU, it would certainly be an odd experience. You coached those kids a year before, you recruited some of them, and you’re playing against them. It would be a different experience, but we’ll play who we play with the way the bracket goes … You never like to play friends. You never like to play people you’re that familiar with, but that’s the way it goes. We’ll prepare our team the best we can.”
On drawing Michigan instead of VCU…
“You never know when the tournaments do these draws, who they’re going to draw, or how they’re going to pair them up. There are a lot of factors that go into that. So, I didn’t know who we were going to play, and I found out this morning from Kent (Lowe) who called me this morning and told me who we were playing. I said ‘alright.’ So, we’ve had so much going on here, with the recruiting, and the roster, and practicing. I haven’t had a whole lot of time to think about the Maui matchups. But it certainly crosses your mind, knowing that VCU was where I was coaching last year, and they’re obviously in the tournament that we could meet. But, it’ll probably hit you a little closer to the tournament.”
On priorities in the first few months at LSU…
“Well we’ve been working hard. My staff has been working hard. We’ve really tried to build the best roster that we can for this year while laying the groundwork for having a very good team in the years to come, and building on a solid foundation. So, it’s been exciting. I think (Wednesday) or Thursday marks four months to the day, somebody was telling me the other day. So, it’s been an exciting four months, we’ve got a lot of opportunity here ahead of us, and we’re excited about what we’ve got going on.”
On preview of LSU’s season…
“We’ve got some good players. Brandon Sampson is a player that we return that averaged about twelve points a game last year. He’s a very good wing player who’s going to make a big jump for us this year. We’ve got a good post player in Duop Reath who averaged about twelve points a game for us last year as well. He’s made some big strides. We have Skylar Mays, who averaged nine points a game as a freshman in the SEC, and he’s certainly gotten better. We have a very good recruiting class in the top twenty or so, and we’ve got some talented freshmen. So, it’ll be interesting to see how we react on that stage, with a younger team and a team that hasn’t played a whole lot, and won’t have played any high-major team until we get to the tournament, but that’s what’s exciting. We’re looking forward to getting out there and testing ourselves against some of the best teams in the country.”