Tigers, Cajuns at Maravich Center Wednesday in NIT Game
Communications Sr. Associate
BATON ROUGE – Time for the talk to be replaced by a bouncing basketball as the first-round of the National Invitation Tournament gets underway Wednesday night at 6 p.m. here on the LSU campus at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
The Tigers of LSU (17-14) and the Ragin' Cajuns of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (27-6) will meet for the first time since 2009 for the right to advance to the second round of the NIT.
The Tigers are the No. 3 seed in the pod of eight schools while the Cajuns are the No. 6 seed. The winner of the game will meet the winner between second-seed Utah and seventh-seeded UC Davis, which meet at 8 p.m. CT Wednesday.
Admission is free for full-time LSU students in good standing.
Live: Watch, Listen
The game will be video streamed on ESPN3 and WatchESPN.com with Drew Fellios and Bob Valvano on the call of the game. The LSU Sports Radio Network will also have the broadcast on www.LSUsports.net/live and its affiliates, with Chris Blair and former LSU basketball coach John Brady on the call (Eagle 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge, the flagship).
LSU makes its eighth appearance in the NIT (1970, 1982, 1983, 2002, 2004, 2012, 2014, 2018) with a record of 4-8. In 2014, the team split games, winning the opening round at San Francisco, 71-63, before losing at SMU, 80-67. For UL-Lafayette, this is their sixth appearance in the NIT and their first since 2003.
The Tigers are led by freshman point guard Tremont Waters who is averaging over 22 points a game in the last five while standing second in the Southeastern Conference in assists average at 5.9 and No. 1 in steals average at 2.0. For the season, Waters is averaging 16.0 points per game as he tries to become the first Tiger guard to finish averaging over 15 points and five assists a game.
Skylar Mays is averaging 11.2 points per game and 3.1 assists at the second point-guard position in Will Wade's offense and either Randy Onwuasor (grad student, 4.5 points per game), Daryl Edwards (junior, 6.9 points per game) or Brandon Rachal (freshman, 4.4 points for season, 7.5 last five games) should get the third spot.
Senior forwards Duop Reath (12.2 points per game) and Aaron Epps (9.5 points per game) will need to be on the top of their games on a court featuring an expanded experimental lane that will hopefully open up the area to the goal.
For Coach Will Wade of LSU, he becomes just the second LSU coach to take his team to a post-season tournament in his first year as the LSU coach (joining Trent Johnson in 2009). He also continues a run of taking his first team at each site to post-season in his five years as a head coach at Chattanooga, VCU and now LSU.
The Tigers improved seven games from last year in overall wins and upped its conference win total from two to eight.
UL-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns
The Cajuns counter with a two senior, three junior lineup that features guard Frank Bartley who averaged 17.7 points and 3.6 rebounds a game and forward JaKeenan Gant at 13.8 and 2.3 blocks a game which earned him Sun Belt Conference defensive and newcomer of the year honors. Forward Bruce Washington averages a double double (10.5 points, 10.6 rebounds) and Marcus Stroman comes in averaging 6.4 assists a game.
Follow updates on the Tigers and the game at www.Facebook.com/LSUBasketball and on Twitter @LSUBasketball.
2018 National Invitation Tournament Schedule
(all times Central)
Tuesday, March 13
No. 1 Baylor 80, No. 8 Wagner 59
No. 2 Louisville 66, No. 7 Northern Kentucky 58
No. 3 Middle Tennessee 91, No. 6 Vermont 64
No. 4 Western Kentucky 79, No. 5 Boston College 62
No. 2 Oklahoma State 80, No. 7 Florida Gulf Coast 68
No. 1 Notre Dame 84, No. 8 Hampton 63
No. 1 Saint Mary’s 89, No. 8 SE Louisiana 45
No. 3 Oregon 99, No. 6 Rider 86
No. 1 USC 82, No. 8 UNC Asheville 77
Wednesday, March 14
No. 3 LSU vs. No. 6 UL-Lafayette | 6 p.m. | ESPN3
No. 2 Marquette vs. No. 7 Harvard | 6 p.m. | ESPN2
No. 4 Penn State vs. No. 5 Temple | 7 p.m. | ESPNU
No. 4 Mississippi State vs. No. 5 Nebraska | 8 p.m. | ESPN2
No. 2 Utah vs. No. 7 UC Davis | 8 p.m. | ESPN3
No. 3 Stanford vs. No. 6 BYU | 9 p.m. | ESPNU
No. 5 Washington vs. No. 4 Boise State | 9 p.m. | ESPN3