LSU guard Skylar Mays (4) averaged 8.3 points and 3.6 assists per game as a freshman for the Tigers a year ago.(File Photo by John Paul Van Wert)

John Paul Van Wert

Opening Tip is posted about five hours before each game.

General Info

• What: Alcorn State (0-0) at LSU (0-0)

• When: 7 p.m. Friday

• Where: Pete Maravich Assembly Center

• All-time series: LSU leads 3-0

• Last meeting: LSU 77, Alcorn State 45 (Nov. 20, 2008 in Baton Rouge)

• TV: None

• Online: SEC Network+ (Lyn Rollins, play-by-play; Victor Howell, analyst)

• Radio: WDGL-FM, 98.1; WWWL-AM, 1350; KLWB-FM, 103.7 (Chris Blair, play-by-play; John Brady, analyst)

• In game Twitter updates: @MicklesAdvocate

• Up next: LSU will host Samford on Thursday at 7 p.m. (SEC Network+)

Starting Five

• FOR OPENERS: LSU is 89-20 all-time in basketball season openers, winning 20 of the last 21 dating to the 1996-97 season. The only loss in that stretch was a 92-90 setback at Massachusetts in 2013.

• WHERE THERE’S A WILL: Beginning his fifth year as a college head coach, LSU’s Will Wade has never lost a season opener. He was 2-0 at Tennessee-Chattanooga, then was 2-0 after going to VCU.

• THEY’RE BACK: After going 10-21, LSU’s roster has undergone a major transformation. Only five scholarship players are back — Skylar Mays, Brandon Sampson, Wayde Sims, Duop Reath and Aaron Epps.

• ON THE TIGERS: After having one of the youngest teams in Division I a year ago, LSU’s 2017-18 roster has a little more seasoning with two grad students, three seniors, two juniors, three sophomores and four freshmen.

• SCOUTING THE BRAVES: Alcorn State was 18-14 overall and 13-5 in the Southwestern Athletic Conference a year ago under third-year coach Montez Robinson, who garnered coach of the year honors in the league.

Players to watch

• Alcorn State: F Reginal Johnson. A Monroe native, the 6-foot-5 Johnson was tabbed Southwestern Athletic Conference’s preseason player of the year after averaging 15.6 points and 7.1 rebounds per game last season. Despite not starting a single game, he scored in double figures in 31 of 32 contests, averaging 25.1 minutes per game for the Braves.

• LSU: F Duop Reath. After adding 20 pounds to his 6-foot-11 frame during the offseason, Reath goes into his senior season with an eye on being more of an intimidating figure in the middle — particularly on the defensive end. Reath is LSU’s top returning scorer and rebounder from last season when he averaged 12.0 points and 6.2 rebounds a game.

The Lineups

(stats from 2016-17 season)

Alcorn State Braves (0-0)

Probable Starters

• G A.J. Mosby, 6-3, Sr., 10.4 ppg, 2.7 apg

• G Avery Patterson, 6-2, Sr., 4.4 ppg, 1.7 rpg

• G Maurice Howard, 6-1, So., 6.8 ppg, 2.2 rpg

• F Reginal Johnson, 6-5, Sr., 15.6 ppg, 7.1 rpg

• F Yalen Reed, 6-7, So., 2.2 ppg, 1.9 rpg

Key reserves

• F Tyler Carter, 6-7, So., 1.2 ppg, 0.8 rpg

• G Juwan Henderson, 5-7, Sr., 1.0 ppg, 1.6 apg

• F Ty’Quaylon Smith, 6-8, Jr., 0.6 ppg, 0.4 rpg

LSU Tigers (0-0)

Probable starters

• G Tremont Waters, 5-11, Fr., NA, NA

• G Skylar Mays, 6-4, So., 8.3 ppg, 3.6 apg

• G Brandon Sampson, 6-5, Jr., 11.6 ppg, 3.1 rpg

• F Wayde Sims, 6-6, So., 6.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg

• F Duop Reath, 6-11, Sr., 12.0 ppg, 6.2 rpg

Key reserves

• F Jeremy Combs, 6-7, Gr., 10.2 ppg, 6.4 rpg

• G Randy Onwuasor, 6-3, Gr., 23.6 ppg, 6.6 rpg

• G Brandon Rachal, 6-5, Fr., NA, NA

Sheldon Mickles

Follow Sheldon Mickles on Twitter, @MicklesAdvocate.