Questions and answers from LSU coach Johnny Jones _lowres

Advocate file photo by CATHERINE THRELKELD -- LSU coach Johnny Jones directs players during a Jan. 21 game against Missouri at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

On the day of its first preseason practice, the LSU men’s basketball program was listed as a “team on the rise” by writer Terrance Payne of the NBC Sports’ College Basketball Talk website.

The Tigers will hold its first practice on Wednesday afternoon as they continue their preparations for the Nov. 15 regular-season opener against Gardner Webb in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

LSU, which was 20-14 last season and reached the second round of the National Invitation Tournament, has two starters returning in sophomore forwards Jordan Mickey and Jarell Martin, as well as three highly-regarded freshmen in guard Jalyn Patterson, center Elbert Robinson III and forward Aaron Epps. They also have a pair of top newcomers in guards Keith Hornsby and Josh Gray.

Payne wrote: “With Jarrell Martin and Jordan Mickey — joined by Elbert Robinson III — the Tigers will have no shortage of size on the frontline. The back court will be new with JUCO point guard Josh Gray and 6-foot-4 transfer Keith Hornsby. LSU is one of several SEC teams looking to join Kentucky and Florida in the Big Dance.