BATON ROUGE, La. — LSU has released its 2017 nonconference men’s basketball schedule, which is highlighted by a trip to the Maui Invitational.
The Will Wade Era officially tips off on Nov. 10 — also known as the night before the Arkansas football game — against Alcorn State at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
The Tigers also have a Nov. 16 home game against Samford before making the trek to Hawaii for the Maui Invitational, where they are scheduled to play Michigan in the opening round and either Notre Dame or host Chaminade in the following game.
Once LSU returns from Maui, it gets six straight home games — Tennessee-Martin, North Carolina-Wilmington, Houston, Stephen F. Austin, Sam Houston State and North Florida. The Tigers don’t play a true road game until they wrap up the nonconference schedule at Memphis on Dec. 28.
Based on last year’s results, the schedule should give Wade a chance to get his LSU tenure started on the right foot. Outside of the Maui Invitational, UNC-Wilmington is the only NCAA Tournament team on the slate.
Though most of their opponents are punching in a lower weight class, very few of them are pushovers. With the exception of North Florida, every team on LSU’s nonconference schedule finished with a winning record last season.
North Florida was one of LSU’s few victims in a 10-21 season that resulted in Johnny Jones’ firing and replacement by Wade. Wade led Virginia Commonwealth to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances before coming to LSU.
For the second straight year, LSU has no in-state opponents on its schedule. Last season marked the first time that scheduling quirk occurred since 1996-97 — Dale Brown’s last year as head coach.
LSU basketball 2017-18 nonconference schedule
Nov. 10: Alcorn State
Nov. 16: Samford
Nov. 20: Michigan*
Nov. 21: Notre Dame or Chaminade*
Nov. 22: TBA*
Nov. 29: UT-Martin
Dec. 10: UNC-Wilmington
Dec. 13: Houston
Dec. 16: Stephen F. Austin
Dec. 19: Sam Houston State
Dec. 22: North Florida
Dec. 28: at Memphis
*= Maui Invitational — Lahaina Civic Center, Lahaina, Hawaii