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July 2, 2011

Different type of non-conference schedule

LSU has not released its 2011-12 basketball schedule, but the non-conference opponents have been determined.

In his fourth year as Tigers coach, Trent Johnson has made a definite change in the scheduling philosophy prior to the start of Southeastern Conference play.

For many years, LSU has faced a number of Louisiana schools in non-conference play. This past season, the Tigers played five in-state schools. In fact, LSU has taken on at least five Louisiana teams every year beginning with the 2000-01 campaign.

That trend will come to an end during the upcoming season.

There are just two in-state schools on the Tigers' schedule - Grambling and Nicholls State. The last season in which LSU played fewer than two Louisiana teams was 1998-99 when McNeese State was the only in-state opponent.

There will be at least three teams from BCS conferences on this season's non-league schedule - Marquette, Rutgers and Virginia. The Tigers will play host to Marquette and Virginia, while they will play at Rutgers as part of the SEC/Big East Challenge.

LSU will travel to Milwaukee to take on Marquette in 2012-13. The Tigers will have a home game in the 2012-13 SEC/Big East Challenge. The game against Virginia is the second half of a home-and-home series.

LSU's other three home non-conference opponents are Boise State, Cal Irvine and South Alabama. The Tigers will make return trips to Boise and Irvine the following season. LSU played at South Alabama last season.

Besides the game at Rutgers, LSU will play road games against Coastal Carolina, Houston and North Texas. All three of those teams visited the PMAC last season.

The Tigers will appear in the Charleston Classic the weekend before Thanksgiving. The tournament field consists of Georgia Tech, LSU, Northwestern, St. Joseph's, Seton Hall, Tulsa, Virginia Commonwealth and Western Kentucky. The tournament schedule has not been announced. Each team will play three games.

The Tigers could play their most non-conference BCS opponents in four years. In 2007-08, LSU faced six non-conference BCS opponents - Oklahoma State, Arizona State, Villanova, Oregon State, Washington and Texas A&M. The Tigers lost to each of those teams except for Oregon State.

The SEC has not yet released next season's conference schedule. LSU will play home-and-home games against Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Ole Miss and Mississippi State. Georgia, Kentucky and Tennessee will visit the PMAC. The Tigers will travel for games against Florida, South Carolina and Vanderbilt.

Here are LSU's non-conference opponents for 2011-12 with their record and final RPI from last season.

Home non-conference opponents

Boise State (22-13, 114)
Cal Irvine (13-19, 297)
Grambling (12-21, 321)
Marquette (22-15, 64)
Nicholls State (14-14, 241)
South Alabama (12-16, 277)
Virginia (16-15, 141)

Road non-conference opponents

Coastal Carolina (28-6, 104)
Houston (12-18, 239)
North Texas (22-11, 133)
Rutgers (15-17, 121)

Potential opponents in Charleston (S.C.) Classic

Georgia Tech (13-18, 168)
Northwestern (20-14, 87)
St. Joseph's (11-22, 164)
Seton Hall (13-18, 102)
Tulsa (19-13, 81)
Virginia Commonwealth (28-12, 49)
Western Kentucky (16-16, 196)



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