BATON ROUGE - The tweet from LSU Coach Trent Johnson's Twitter message arrived on computers and phones just after 10:15 a.m. Friday It said all that it needed to say in 140 characters about what this day means to the long-time veteran of the college game.
"October 15 like a holiday for me, "the Tweet read. "1st official day of basketball practice. Let's get this party started!!!"
LSU's third-year head coach blew his whistle just after 5 p.m. to begin the official countdown to the opening game on Nov. 12 against Northwestern State in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. It was also the first official men's practice in the new practice gymnasium, free of distractions the way Coach Johnson likes it - players, managers, trainers and coaches all doing what they need to do to get the team ready to play down the road.
"The intensity was really good," Johnson said after the practice. "Obviously, we threw a lot at them and we've got a lot to learn before we can be in a situation where we play anybody and play well. From a standpoint of our intensity, from a standpoint of their willingness to listen and learn it was really good. The first day is the first day. Lot of enthusiasm and a lot of intensity."
The team will practice twice on Saturday, once in the morning in the gymnasium, the second from 3-4 p.m. on the floor of the PMAC as part of the TAF pre-game party. Basketball 6th Man Club members and Alumni Association members are also welcome to attend by entering up the Southwest ramp of the building.
Prior to that, the team will sign autographs for the public from 1:45-2:45 p.m. in the practice gymnasium. Fans can enter through the gym doors on the Bernie Moore track side of the facility (Northwest corner). The team's new poster and schedule cards will be distributed at that time.