LSU head coach Matt McMahon is hoping for significant improvement from his team in his second season.
The Tigers posted a 14-19 record overall and 2-16 mark in Southeastern Conference play in 2022-23. They open the new season against Mississippi Valley State on Monday night in Baton Rouge, La.
McMahon knows what happens in the early season can be misleading as far as what's going to occur in the SEC.
Last season LSU went 11-1 before starting SEC play, but won only three more games.
McMahon used the transfer portal to try and upgrade the roster.
"It was important for us to use the transfer portal to really bring some stability to our roster," McMahon said. "I think we were able to bring in guys who have proven they can play at a high level. All came from winning programs where they were really well-coached."
The Tigers likely will start the season without one of their top transfers - point guard Jalen Cook. Cook began his career at LSU, transferred to Tulane and came back to Baton Rouge.
But the NCAA on Wednesday denied Cook's request for immediate eligibility as a two-time transfer. LSU submitted more information to the NCAA in hopes of getting a favorable ruling.
Meanwhile the Tigers routed visiting Louisiana Christian 132-44 on Monday in their only exhibition game.
LSU was picked to finish 13th in the SEC preseason poll.
MVSU, like LSU, is hoping for significant improvement in the wake of a poor season and low preseason expectations.
Second-year coach George Ivory, one of the top players in Delta Devils' history, said his team plans on "trying to compete for a SWAC championship."
"We've got some expectations," Ivory said. "We're trying to lead the league in defense. We're trying to cut back on our turnovers."
MVSU (5-27, 4-14 last season) finished second to last in the SWAC in scoring defense and turnover margin. It was picked to finish last this season in the SWAC preseason poll.
--Field Level Media
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