A Letter from Joe Alleva
BATON ROUGE - Below is a letter from LSU Director of Athletics Joe Alleva addressed to Tiger fans in a Thursday afternoon press release:
Dear Tiger Fan,
National Signing Day has generated a tremendous amount of energy and excitement within our football program, and I'd like to congratulate Les Miles and his staff for constructing an incredible class of recruits. Five of these young men are already enrolled here at LSU, and we look forward to welcoming the remaining members of the class to campus in the coming months. The new players are joining a talented, veteran team that will contend for championships this fall.
MARCH MADNESS APPROACHING
We've reached the halfway mark of the SEC men's basketball schedule, and coachJohnny Jones' team has won seven of its first nine conference games, placing the Tigers in strong contention for the league title and berth in the NCAA Tournament.
The second half of SEC play begins at 5 p.m. Saturday, when the Tigers play host to Mississippi State in the Maravich Center. There are only five home games remaining, so I strongly encourage you to purchase tickets and support Coach Jones and his players during the stretch run. In fact, tickets in the 300 Level for the Mississippi State game are only $5, so this is a great opportunity to see National Player of the Year candidate Ben Simmons and his teammates display their up-tempo, dynamic style on the court.
Coach D-D Breaux is now in her 39th season as LSU's gymnastics coach, and she has another superb team capable of contending for the NCAA Championship. The sixth-ranked Tigers face Arkansas at 7:30 p.m. on Friday in the Maravich Center, and we also have home meets against Auburn (Feb. 19) and Alabama (March 4) in the coming weeks.
Our gymnastics meets are highly entertaining, family-friendly events that draw huge crowds to the arena, so make sure to get your tickets early to see these exceptional young ladies compete.
Coach Beth Torina's softball team is No. 3 in the preseason polls, marking the highest preseason ranking in the history of our program. The Tigers seek a second straight Women's College World Series appearance beginning next Friday, Feb. 12, when the Tigers open the season at 5 p.m. against Ohio State in Tiger Park.
Several enhancements have been made in and around Tiger Park to give LSU fans the best collegiate softball experience in the country. Our picturesque outfield berm is now known as the Tiger Park Terrace, and I invite you to check it out, along with all of the other amenities our ball park has to offer.
Coach Paul Mainieri begins his 10th season as our baseball coach, and the Tigers have been ranked as high as No. 5 in the preseason polls. There are a lot of new faces on the field, as eight of our nine everyday players from last season's College World Series lineup have graduated or moved on to pro ball.
However, the Tigers feature a proven pitching staff led by first-team All-American Alex Lange, and Coach Mainieri expects his club to again challenge for a trip to the CWS in Omaha. The season opener is only two weeks away, when LSU meets Cincinnati at 7 p.m. on Feb. 19 in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
SPRING SPORTS UPDATE
I invite you during the spring to see our men' and women's teams play in our brand new Tennis Center on Gourrier Lane directly across from Alex Box Stadium. Our track and field teams will play host to three outdoor meets in April at Bernie Moore Stadium featuring world-class athletes that are contenders for this summer's Olympic Games.
Our women's swimming and diving team is ranked in the Top 25 as it prepares for the postseason, beach volleyball will start in March, and men's and women's golf is underway this month as coach Chuck Winstead and the Tigers seek to defend their2015 NCAA Men's National Championship.
LSU Athletics gives us all so much of which to be proud, and that's due in large part to the support of our extremely devoted fans. I can't emphasize enough how important your support is to the success of our student-athletes and coaches. Thank you so much for your loyalty to LSU and the Fighting Tigers!
Hope to see you in the coming weeks at all of our venues!
As always, we welcome your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org. Unfortunately we cannot answer every e-mail we receive, but please be assured they are all read.
Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics