LSU basketball coach Will Wade made one thing crystal clear after the Tigers dismantled Arkansas on Wednesday night at the usually rowdy Bud Walton Arena.
Wade wants a packed house of his own Saturday night when Alabama comes to the Maravich Center.
"We need people hanging from the catwalks Saturday night," Wade said in a postgame interview on the LSU Sports Radio Network. "I mean, we need to try to sell this thing out if we can because our guys deserve it."
After LSU fell short against Kentucky before a raucous PMAC crowd to open Southeastern Conference play on Jan. 3, the Tigers (11-4, 2-1 SEC) have snagged back-to-back impressive road wins against Texas A&M and the Razorbacks.
"We've positioned ourselves now, if we can take care of our home court, to really make a move," Wade said.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — This time, the LSU basketball team didn’t need any last-second heroics to pull out a huge road win.
Healthy home crowds haven't been an issue for LSU in Wade's first season. LSU has averaged just more than 9,000 tickets distributed in its first nine home games. Compare that to an average of about 7,000 last season in 16 games.
There have already been two crowds of more than 11,000 this season: LSU drew 11,856 in its season opener vs. Alcorn State, followed by 11,952 vs. Kentucky. LSU's largest announced crowd last season was 8,419 in a loss to Alabama on Jan. 14, 2017.
The Maravich Center's capacity is listed as 13,215. Judging by that figure, the Tigers haven't had a sellout crowd since Feb. 27, 2016, when the announced attendance was 13,468 for a 96-91 win vs. Florida. That was one of four sellouts in a season that featured then-future No. 1 overall draft pick Ben Simmons.
LSU and Alabama (10-6, 2-2) tip off at 7:30 p.m. Saturday on the SEC Network.