places LSU basketball at No. 38 in preseason rankings, sees Top 25 potential _lowres

LSU sports information photo by STEVE FRANZ -- LSU men's basketball coach Johnny Jones directs his players during the team's first practice of the preseason Monday, Oct. 5, 2015. has come out with its preseason rankings of all 351 Division I basketball teams — from No. 1 North Carolina to No. 351 Grambling State — and LSU checks in at No. 38.

LSU, which went 22-11 last season and earned a berth in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2009 after tying for third in the Southeastern Conference, was ranked as the fourth-highest league school in CBS’ rankings.

Of LSU, the site said: With Ben Simmons in tow, the Tigers will certainly be relevant all year. The key will be the production they get around him from guys like Tim Quarterman, Antonio Blakeney and Jalyn Patterson. If they play well, LSU can be a top-25 team. If not, there will be plenty of questions laid at the feet of coach Johnny Jones.

Kentucky was the top SEC school at No. 2, followed by No. 22 Vanderbilt, No. 27 Texas A&M, No. 38 LSU, No. 47 Georgia, No. 55 Florida, No. 68 Ole Miss, No. 72 South Carolina, No. 81 Auburn, No. 84 Arkansas, No. 104 Tennessee, No. 114 Mississippi State, No. 146 Alabama and No. 155 Missouri.

Southern is No. 220 as the second-highest member of the Southwestern Athletic Conference behind No. 208 Texas Southern.

UL-Lafayette is the top Louisiana school other than LSU with the Ragin’ Cajuns sitting 92nd. The others are Louisiana Tech (No. 153), Northwestern State (No. 154), UL-Monroe (No. 169), Southern (No. 220), Tulane (No. 259), New Orleans (No. 269), McNeese State (No. 306), Southeastern (No. 329), Nicholls State (No. 333) and Grambling (No. 351).

LSU will open the regular season on Nov. 13 against McNeese State in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.