Tiger Basketball Squad Travels To Bahamas; First Exhibition Game Monday
BATON ROUGE – The LSU men’s basketball team completed its tenth and final practice on Saturday morning and Sunday traveled to Paradise Island in the Bahamas to begin a seven day, three-game exhibition tour.
The first game is set for Monday afternoon against a club squad from Puerto Rico starting at 3 p.m. ET at the Imperial Ballroom of the Atlantis Resort. The Tigers will also play a squad from the Bahamas at 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday and then the final game will be Thursday at 2 p.m. ET against Obras Sanitarias team from Argentina.
LSU last played in the Bahamas in the November 2016 Battle for Atlantis at the same location.
There will be no live over-the-air TV, streaming or broadcast of the LSU exhibition games.
Under NCAA rules, a team is allowed 10 practices prior to the beginning of the tour which LSU conducted over the past 13 days.
“I think the ten days have been great to get a head start on the season and really spend a lot of time with our players, not only on the court but off,” said LSU second-year head basketball coach Matt McMahon. “We have five returners and eight newcomers, getting to play different combinations together and getting to know more about each other is going to be really important for us on this trip.”
There are dozens of teams taking trips at this time of the year and several of them will be in the Bahamas finishing up visits when the Tigers arrive or arriving for a similar schedule of games this week. All looking for something during these visits.
“I guess all coaches are probably different. To me, the value in it is the ten days of practice and the opportunity to build your team. I’m not overly concerned about the games. I want the trip to just be a great experience for our players. Now we want to go over there and play extremely hard and be unselfish and do all those things, but my focus is more on building the foundation of our team in the ten practices and then the team-building opportunity that spending a week in the Bahamas presents.”
This will be the sixth of these summer trips that LSU has taken dating back to August of 2000 when Coach John Brady took the Tigers to Italy for five games. He also took his 2007-08 team to Canada on Labor Day Weekend of 2007 for three games. Coach Trent Johnson took the Tigers to Italy for six games in May of 2011, while Coach Johnny Jones took LSU to Australia prior to the 2015-16. The most recent trip came in August of 2019 when Coach Will Wade took the Tigers to Spain.
For Coach McMahon, while this will be his first time taking the Tigers on an exhibition tour, he has also been involved with some trips during his time at Murray State and other schools.
“I have been to Canada on two different occasions. I believe this will be our second time going to the Bahamas for this trip,” he said. “I really enjoy the days off on the trip. We are going to take the players on a catamaran trip over to an island and spend an afternoon there. The players get to enjoy the time together at the water park and the beach and the team meals that we are able to have, I think those are a very rewarding part of coaching.”
A trip like this can have long lasting effects leading into the preseason when the players return from the short break before the start of the fall semester on the LSU campus. Most notably, there will be team video that will be broken down to allow the coaching staff and the players a chance to see their every move.
“I think the beauty of it being an exhibition trip is you are able to play a lot of different combinations. We will start a different lineup every game,” Coach McMahon said. “Then, when the players get back from their break you have 120 minutes of film that you can study and use for teaching, celebrating the good, and making the corrections. It also gives you a feel for saying ‘We need to guard this ball screen differently’ or ‘This offensive system fits our personal better.’ It gives you an early look and an opportunity to make some adjustments as we head into fall preseason.”
Updates during the games will be available on XPro/Twitter site @LSUBasketball. Recaps of the game will be available at LSUsports.net.