LSU hoops again to take part in Tip-Off Marathon

Kent Lowe
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The LSU men’s basketball team, coming off a 20-win NIT season, will play for the second straight year in the 24-hour ESPN College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon on Nov. 18.

LSU lost a late-morning game at UMass 93-91 to open its 2013-14 season in one of the most exciting games of the Marathon.

This time, the Tigers will host at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center in what is expected to be LSU’s second game of the 2014-15 season. Instead of an early morning contest, LSU will play a primetime game on ESPN2 at 8:30 p.m. CST against Texas Tech.

This will be the back half of the home-and-home series with LSU and Texas Tech that started last season as LSU scored a 71-69 victory at United Spirit Arena in Lubbock in December 2013.

“We are excited that the LSU basketball program will be featured again during this year’s Tip-Off Marathon,” said LSU Coach Johnny Jones. “The event has become a November showcase of college basketball, and we look forward to hosting one of the Marathon games at the Maravich Center in primetime against a talented Texas Tech team. This will be a tough challenge in preparation for our trip to the Virgin Islands where we begin play on Nov. 21.”

The Marathon has become a hoops fan's dream over the years, and this year will feature 19 games over 29 hours, beginning on Monday, Nov. 17. In all, six Southeastern Conference teams will be featured: Florida (at home vs. Miami); Auburn (at Colorado); South Carolina (at home vs. Baylor); Kentucky (vs. Kansas at Indianapolis); LSU (at home vs. Texas Tech) and the Kentucky women (at home vs. Baylor). The six teams is the highest total for any league selected for this year’s Marathon.

A total of 26 teams with a 2014 post-season NCAA or NIT appearance are in this year’s Marathon – 19 from last year’s NCAA field and seven from the 2014 NIT, including LSU.

Coach Jones is in his third season as head coach at LSU with the most wins in his first two years (39) as any head coach in the history of the program. The Tigers return frontcourt sophomore stars Jordan Mickey and Jarell Martin along with another strong group of newcomers who will make their LSU debuts. Mickey earned All-SEC and All-SEC freshman honors, while Martin was named to the league freshman team. LSU was 9-9 in the Southeastern Conference and in winning 20 games, defeated San Francisco on the road in the first round of the NIT before falling to eventual finalist SMU.

Texas Tech was 14-18 a year ago and 6-12 in the Big 12 under first-year head coach Tubby Smith.