Johnny Jones explains LSU's decision to not play NIT
BATON ROUGE - Calling the 2015-2016 LSU basketball season a disappointment, Tigers head coach Johnny Jones explained to the media Tuesday why the team decided to not accept a potential bid to the NIT, which would have continued LSU's season.
"I've been very familiar with the NIT tournament over the years and know how it's set up, and it's not a neutral site game, you're playing on someone else's floor or a home game and I know the difficulties of it," Jones said.
"I wasn't sure we'd be a true representative of the LSU Tigers, putting ourselves in that position, and we chose to make sure that we put ourselves in position to now really concentrate on several things that we can fulfill, and that's getting better and preparing ourselves for next year, and our guys have had an opportunity to get back here and start focusing in academically and hopefully finishing strong this semester, putting in the time and attention."
Jones noted that Antonio Blakeney would have likely been unavailable, leaving LSU without 2 of their top 3 guards. WBRZ asked Jones whether the decision was strictly about the potential of losing a baskeball game, or if there was any other motive behind ending the season early.
"Well, again, we want to be able to be at our best, putting ourselves in a situation like that," Jones said.
"Again, it's not a neutral site. You were going to play on somebody else's floor possibly with the position we're in, and it makes it a heck of a lot more difficult to be able to do that, and if you're going to do it, you want to make sure that you're doing it all for the right reasons and continue to develop and having guys and continuing to do some things, and we weren't sure if we had that group, especially with Antonio where he was, if, in fact, we would be able to be effective in doing those things in a positive way really for our team."
The Tigers ended with a 19-14 record on the season and finished in a tie for 3rd in the SEC.