Unless that first impression comes on the heels of two of the more trying seasons in program history.
LSU got the 2011-12 basketball season started Saturday with a resounding 96-74 triumph against Nicholls State at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center, with seven Tigers scoring in double digits.
Too soon to jump to any long-term conclusions? Yes.
But it's not too quick to assess that the Tigers (1-0) are more talented to begin Trent Johnson's fourth season since his first team and perhaps deeper than any team since the 2006 Final Four unit.
Anchored by freshmen Antony Hickey, John Isaac and Johnny O'Bryant, LSU broke open a back-and-forth tussle midway through the first half with an 18-4 surge on the way to the biggest first-half output (51 points) since 2008-09.
Then in the second half when the Colonels (0-1) closed within 77-67 with 5:53 left in the game, the Tigers blasted to 16 unanswered points to put the game away.
Whether LSU is back as a legitimate contender in the SEC remains to be seen. But the first step couldn't have been better.
"Obviously the kids were looking forward to playing someone else other than themselves," Johnson said. "I thought overall our intensity was very good. The impact of the three freshmen, let alone the returners, in terms of being a cohesive unit, was very impressive."
That cohesion was evident from the get-go.
The Tigers attacked Nicholls from inside-out, with seven 3-pointers in the opening period, three from Hickey and two apiece from Andre Stringer and Ralston Turner.
Center Just Hamilton was a key to the outside attack, serving as an outlet from the circle as LSU ran its motion offense crisply.
"It's a lot easier this year," said Turner, who finished with 12 points despite an off shooting day. "There's a lot more depth inside now. With guys like Johnny (O'Bryant), Justin, Storm (Warren) and Malcolm (White), you notice that we were able to do a lot of kicking it in and out and it gave us a lot of shots.
"There are a lot of opportunities to get open shots in our offense."
That offense also led to a busy day at the foul stripe.
LSU was 25-of-31 from the line, 12-for-12 in the first half.
At the crux of any offensive success were the three freshmen, as Isaac added 13 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists and O'Bryant was a major spark in the first half on his way to 12 points, a team-high 8 rebounds and 2 blocked shots.
With LSU down 6-4 at the first media timeout, Johnson installed five new starters, including O'Bryant. He scored on the Tigers' next four possessions, twice on stickbacks, and blocked a shot on the other end of the floor.
"It was great," O'Bryant said with an ear-to-ear smile. "I wish it would have never ended. I wish it could have stretched out to be 16 or 20 points, but it was great especially it being my first time out on the floor."
Added Johnson, "He came off the bench and made some plays. That's what he's here for. For him it's about sustaining for a long period of time solid play."
Sparked by O'Bryant, LSU went on a sustained blitz to seize command.
Nicholls answers his surge when Dantrell Thomas buried a 3-pointer, Bryan Hammond scored on a drive and Chris Talkington cranked in a trey to put the Colonels in front 16-12.
Isaac hit a putback to close the gap to 16-14 and ignite a 23-4 onslaught over the next 3:57.
Hickey and Stringer banged in 3s to put the Tigers back in front 20-16, Hamilton scored six of his 11 points during the run, Turner scored six in a row and Storm Warren finished the binge when he followed his own miss for a 37-24 cushion at the 7:20 juncture of the first half.
"Our offense, everybody is going to get their own," Hickey said. "As a point guard, you try to get everybody open and make everybody better."
When Nicholls threatened to make the game uncomfortable in the second half, everybody in a purple uniform chipped in.
The Colonels whittled an 18-point deficit to 10, but LSU came at them with everybody as seven players scored down the stretch.
That led to a result Johnson was pleased with, and not surprised because of how hard his team worked for five weeks to prepare.
"I thought the group was ready to go around 8 a.m.," Johnson said. "There was a time when I thought I might need to slow them down. … That's what you want and expect. I think most of them handled it well."
Now the Tigers hit the road for four games, starting Tuesday at the College of Charleston.