LSU adds a Saturday men’s basketball game against former Tigers’ coach Johnny Jones

Former LSU head coach Johnny Jones, seen here talking to forward Ben Simmons (25) during the second half of a 2016 game against Arkansas, will return to the Pete Maravich Assembly Center on Saturday when his Texas Southern team takes on the Tigers. Photo by Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

After cancelling three straight home games because of COVID-19 protocol, LSU men’s basketball coach Will Wade turned to a familiar face to quickly schedule a game before the Tigers start SEC play.

Texas Southern, coached by Wade’s LSU predecessor Johnny Jones, will play the Tigers on Saturday at 4 p.m. in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

LSU has canceled consecutive home dates against New Orleans, North Texas and VCU, and needed a game leading into the Dec. 29 SEC opener vs. Texas A&M in the PMAC.

TSU is 2-4 heading into a Monday night game at BYU. It had a Wednesday game at USC cancelled, creating a spot from LSU.

Jones, 59, a native of DeRidder, La., spent 22 years of his basketball career associated with LSU and took part in almost 700 games on the court with the Tigers.

He was a player for four seasons (1980-84) under Dale Brown, and then spent 13 seasons (1984-97) as an assistant on Brown’s staff. He returned to LSU as head coach for five seasons from (1984-97) and went 90-72, the 90 wins the most by any LSU head coach in their first five years on the job.

Also, the 90 wins made him the fourth-winningest coach in LSU basketball history behind only the three coaches who coached double-digit seasons and took LSU to NCAA Final Fours – Dale Brown (448 wins, 25 seasons), Harry Rabenhorst (340 wins, 29 seasons), John Brady (192 wins, 11 seasons).

A lack of post-season appearances led to Jones being fired after a 10-21 season in 2016-17 in which the Tigers were 2-16 in the SEC. LSU appeared once each in the NIT and NCAA tourney under Jones, going 1-1 in the 2014 NIT and losing a 2015 opening round NCAA tournament game to North Carolina State on a last-second tip-in.

Jones is in his third season at TSU and is 42-34.

Saturday’s game will be broadcast on the LSU Sports Radio Network and televised on the SEC Network. LSU season ticket holders will receive a new mobile ticket for the game through their normal email outlets and normal parking passes will be used for the game. Gates will open at 3 p.m.

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Ron Higgins

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