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LSU guard Marlon Taylor (14) lies on the floor during a time out called just after after he scored his 30th point against Georgia late in the second half, congratulated by teammates Trendon Watford (2), left, and Emmitt Williams (5), Saturday, March 7, 2020 at Pete Maravich Assembly Center. LSU won 94-64, and Taylor finished with 30, besting his career-high game at LSU by nine points.

2020-21 LSU men's basketball roster

0 • Mwani Wilkerson • F • 6-5 • 215 • Fr. • Las Vegas

Four-star prospect averaged 19 points, 10 rebounds as a senior for national power Bishop Gorman.

1 • Javonte Smart • G • 6-4 • 205 • Jr. • Baton Rouge

Point guard led SEC in assists to turnover ratio in league play, averaging 12.5 points, 4.2 assists.

2 • Trendon Watford • F • 6-9 • 240 • So. • Birmingham, Ala.

Preseason first-team All-SEC pick averaged 13.6 points and team-high 7.2 rebounds in LSU debut.

3 • Jalen Cook • G • 6-0 • 205 • Fr. • Walker

Led Walker to Class 5A state title in 2018 and averaged 29.5 points and 29.8 points last two seasons.

4 • Darius Days • F • 6-7 • 245 • Jr. • Raleigh, Fla.

Accurate shooter from close range, he averaged 11.1 points and 6.8 rebounds in solid sophomore season.

5 • Parker Edwards • G • 6-2 • 185 • So. • Covington

Southeastern transfer redshirted as a walk-on last year, but averaged 23.6 ppg as a senior at St. Paul’s.

10 • Brandon Egemo •G • 6-0 • 175 • Fr. • Los Angeles

Walk-on point guard averaged 8.0 points, 3.3 assists, 2.0 steals for University High in Los Angeles.

11 • Josh LeBlanc • F • 6-7 • 230 • Jr. • Baton Rouge

Known for his defense, Georgetown transfer averaged 8.8 points, 6.6 rebounds in 39 games for Hoyas.

15 • Aundre Hyatt • G • 6-6 • 225 • So. • Bronx, N.Y.

Still hobbled by a knee injury, he provided good minutes off the bench and averaged 1.9 points a game.

21 • Charles Manning • G • 6-5 • 205 • Sr. • Riverhead, N.Y.

Ace defender fractured his right foot and then his left; but still averaged 7.9 points per game.

22 • Bryan Penn-Johnson • C • 7-0 • 260 • So. • Long Beach, Calif.

Washington transfer with 7-foot-7 wingspan and 9-7 standing reach may be rim protector LSU needs.

24 • Cameron Thomas • G • 6-4 • 210 • Fr. • Chesapeake, Va.

Nation’s No. 5 shooting guard averaged 31.5 ppg last season for powerhouse Oak Hill Academy.

25 • Eric Gaines • G • 6-2 • 155 • Fr. • Lithonia, Ga.

Wiry combo guard shot 56% overall from the field, including an impressive 44% from 3-point range.

32 • Shareef O’Neal • F • 6-10 • 225 • So. • Los Angeles

Son of LSU great Shaquille O’Neal averaged 2.2 points, 2.9 rebounds in 13 games for UCLA last year.

34 • Josh Gray • C • 6-11 • 255 • Fr. • Brooklyn, N.Y.

Averaged 9.8 points, 8.9 rebounds and 2.1 blocks for Putnam Science Academy in Connecticut.

LSU 2020-21 schedule

Tip times, TV networks TBA

Subject to change

November

Thu., 26 — SIU-Edwardsville

Billiken Classic, St. Louis

Sat., 28 — Saint Louis

Billiken Classic, St. Louis

Mon., 30 — Southeastern

December

Sun., 6 — Louisiana Tech

Sat., 12 — South Florida

Holiday Hoopsgiving, Atlanta

Wed., 16 — UNO

Sat., 19 — North Texas

Tue., 22 — VCU

Tue., 29 — Texas A&M*

January

Sat., 2 — at Florida*

Wed., 6 — Georgia*

Sat., 9 — at Missouri*

Wed., 13 — Arkansas*

Sat., 16 — South Carolina*

Tue., 19 — Alabama*

Sat., 23 — at Kentucky*

Tue., 26 — at Texas A&M*

Sat., 30 — Texas Tech

Big 12/SEC Challenge

February

Wed., 3 — at Alabama*

Sat., 6 — Florida*

Wed., 10 — at Mississippi State*

Sat., 13 — Tennessee*

Wed., 17 — at Ole Miss*

Sat., 20 — Auburn*

Tue., 23 — at Georgia*

Sat., 27 — at Arkansas*

March

Tue., 2 — Vanderbilt*

10-14 — SEC tournament

Nashville, Tenn. (Bridgestone Arena)

* SEC game

LSU key dates

Nov. 26: vs. SIU-Edwardsville (regular-season opener)

at Billiken Classic, St. Louis

Dec. 6: vs. Louisiana Tech

Home opener (PMAC)

Dec. 29: vs. Texas A&M

SEC opener (PMAC)

Jan. 30: vs. Texas Tech

Big 12/SEC Challenge

March 10-14: SEC tournament

Nashville, Tenn. (Bridgestone Arena)

SEC Starting Five

Preseason favorite

It’s been a while, but Kentucky wasn’t picked to win the league by a media panel even though the ’Cats are loaded — again. Kentucky was the choice the past nine seasons, but Tennessee gets the nod this year. Veterans Yves Pons and John Fulkerson return to go with the nation’s No. 4 recruiting class topped by two five-stars — guard Jaden Springer and forward Keon Johnson.

Player of the year candidates

While the media’s player of the year is Florida’s Keyontae Johnson, a 6-foot-5 junior who led the Gators in scoring last season with 14.0 points and was second with 7.1 rebounds, there are others who bear watching. Also receiving player of the year votes were Alabama’s John Petty, LSU’s Trendon Watford, Fulkerson and Pons, who are all known to SEC fans, and Kentucky newcomers Brandon Boston and Olivier Sarr.

Sleeper team

Under first-year coach Nate Oats, Alabama turned heads last season even though the Tide finished ninth in the league. Oats, whose team is picked to finish fifth, lost star point guard Kira Lewis to the New Orleans Pelicans in the NBA draft, but returns four of his top six scorers — including John Petty, Jaden Shackelford and Herbert Jones — and welcomes Villanova transfer Jahvon Quinerly, a five-star point guard who sat out last season.

Making the Big Dance?

The SEC had a record eight teams in the 2018 NCAA tournament and seven more the following season, but would have come up well short of that if the 2020 tournament had not been canceled with only four locks. Look for Tennessee, Kentucky, LSU and Florida to earn spots in the 68-team field with Alabama and Arkansas knocking on the door to get one of those coveted spots on the dance floor.

Freshmen to watch

The talent pool is deep. Six of the top 25 players in the 247 Sports composite landed at SEC schools, topped by Kentucky shooting guards Brandon Boston (No. 5) and Terrence Clarke (No. 8). The top 25 also includes Tennessee combo guard Jaden Springer (No. 16), Tennessee shooting guard Keon Johnson (No. 19), Auburn point guard Sharife Cooper (No. 24) and LSU shooting guard Cam Thomas (No. 25).

Email Sheldon Mickles at smickles@theadvocate.com