An embarrassing end to a promising season for the LSU men’s basketball team will not cost coach Johnny Jones his job, athletic director Joe Alleva told Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports.
Jones, 54, couldn’t lead the Tigers to the NCAA tournament in 2016, despite the contributions of freshman Ben Simmons, who averaged 19.2 points and 11.8 rebounds in his only season with LSU before entering the 2016 NBA Draft.
Hired in 2012, Jones led LSU to its first NCAA tournament since 2009 with a 22-11 record in 2015, but the Tigers were bounced in the first round by North Carolina State. With the addition of Simmons, LSU entered the 2015-16 season at No. 21 on the preseason AP Poll, but dropped out of the Top 25 after it endured a three-game losing streak in November to Marquette, North Carolina State and Charleston.
After a 71-38 loss to Texas A&M in the SEC Tournament, LSU didn’t qualify for the NCAA tournament and announced it wouldn’t participate in any alternate postseason tournaments, like the NIT.
“We will be able to utilize this time to get better and start preparations for next season,” Jones said in a release at the time. “We fell short of the mark of getting to the NCAA tournament; I take full responsibility for this team, and will do the things necessary to make sure we are able to reach one of our main goals at LSU in the future.”
Before coming to LSU, Jones spent 11 seasons as the coach of North Texas, leading the team to two trips to the NCAA tournament. Jones is an LSU alumnus, who played in the 1981 Final Four as a freshman with the Tigers.