NEW ORLEANS, La. – Tulane University will tip-off its 95th men's basketball season on Friday evening in Baton Rouge, battling LSU in first round action of the Louisiana Basketball Classic at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. Tulane and LSU tip-off at 8 p.m. while the first game of the all-Louisiana tourney, UL-Lafayette vs. Louisiana Tech, is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.
The consolation and championship games will be played on Sunday at 12:30 and 3 p.m., respectively. All four games of the tournament will be broadcast live throughout the state on Cox Sports TV.
All Tulane men's basketball games are broadcast by the Tulane ISP Radio Network, which includes WTIX AM 690 in New Orleans and WJSH FM 104.7 on the Northshore. Season tickets and single-game tickets for all home games are available by calling 504-861-WAVE.
Despite having played LSU 204 times in school history, this will be just the third time that Tulane has opened a season against the Tigers, with LSU winning both of those games (1910 and 1976). It is also just the second time since World War II that Tulane has opened its season against an SEC opponent.
"It's going to be a big challenge going on the road and opening up with a quality team like LSU," Tulane head coach Shawn Finney said. "I think Coach Brady has the most talented team since he's been there. They're still young, but we're going to have to match their intensity. We have to go on the road and counter their athleticism and handle their shooters. It's a great test right off the bat to see where our program is at this current stage. It's going to be a fun weekend; we're ready to travel across I-10 to get the season started."
Finney has been excited about the depth on the Green Wave roster, as he has 13 players all vying for playing time at this point of the season. However, two starting positions have been secured by point guard Marcus Kinzer and center Quincy Davis. Kinzer was one of five players in Conference USA to average 10 points, three assists and 3.5 rebounds per game last year, while Davis was the Wave's leading scorer with 10.6 points per game while blocking a school-record 67 shots in 2003-04.
Expected to join those two in the starting lineup will be 6-3 guard Vincent Camper and seven-foot forward Ivan Pjevcevic. Camper offers the Wave a second ball-handler against the expected LSU pressure, while Pjevcevic is returning from a knee injury suffered in the season-opener last season. He is Tulane's all-time leader in three-point percentage at 43.9 percent.
The fifth starting slot battle for Friday is an on-going competition between shooters Ben Benfield and Chris Moore. Benfield is a senior who led the Wave with 36 three-pointers last year while Moore is a 6-5 sophomore who gained excellent experience as a rookie last year.
"We have to defend, we have to value the basketball, and we have to play as a team," Finney said. "We are going to play to our strengths as a team and not rely upon individual players. We have to go in and approach this as a team and play together – us against them mentality."
LSU will offer a tough test as the Tigers are coming off a 19-11 season in which they advanced to the NIT Tournament. Returning for LSU is last year's SEC Freshman of the Year, 6-8, 252-pound Brandon Bass. Junior Darrel Mitchell is a deadly shooter who tallied 19 points in last year's victory over Tulane. A new face for the Tigers is Baton Rouge native Glen Davis, a mountain of a player at 6-9 and 310 pounds.
Following this weekend's tournament, the Green Wave will open its home schedule on Saturday, Nov. 27 against Prairire View A&M at Fogelman Arena.
Tulane Battles LSU Friday In Season Opener
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