"This year's basketball schedule marks an overall improvement in the quality of our opponents based on the RPI ratings compared to a year ago," said Brady, who enters his seventh season as the head coach at LSU. "We have worked extremely hard to make the schedule enjoyable for our fans and at the same time provide opportunities for our team to experience success and also challenges as it prepares to compete in the toughest basketball league in the country, the SEC.
"We are playing 10 teams which were involved in postseason play a year ago. We were able to schedule the University of Utah to play us in Baton Rouge that will be nationally televised on ESPN or ESPN2.
We have Southern Mississippi of Conference USA along with Tulane coming to Baton Rouge for the first time since 1982 for basketball. We also are continuing our relation with the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans along with the opportunities we give our state schools to play."
The Tigers and Southern Miss are scheduled for a 3 p.m. game on Dec. 20 with the Wave coming in for a 7 p.m. game on Dec. 23. This year's Nokia Sugar Bowl Basketball Classic is on Saturday, Dec. 27, with the Tigers meeting Alabama-Birmingham at 6 p.m. Mississippi State and Tulane meet in the first game that day at 3:30 p.m. The Tigers will play six Louisiana schools this season including a trip to Bossier City to play Centenary in the new Century Tel Center on Jan. 3 and a Jan. 12 game at the University of New Orleans.
The Tigers will be featured on several television networks covering the SEC this year including ESPN, CBS, JP Sports and Fox Sports Net's SEC-TV package. In addition, Cox Sports Television in its agreement with LSU will televise five basketball games still to be determined.
"An indication of the excitement surrounding our team is the number of television appearances already scheduled by the various networks. We are involved already with 16 television time slots including nine of our 16 SEC games already scheduled to be shown. This is a direct reflection on the improvement we have made and are continuing to make with the basketball program," Brady said.
LSU's league schedule opens at Arkansas on Tuesday, Jan. 6, in the first Super Tuesday SEC game of the season on ESPN.
"Hopefully our fans will also be excited about the upcoming season and support our team in a big way because they are important to our continued growth and success," Brady said.
Practice for the 2003-04 season begins on Oct. 18.
For the complete 2003-04 schedule http://www.lsusports.net/schedule.cfm?groupcode=2003-04&title=LSU+Men's+Basketball+Schedule&sporttype=MB