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This article is an overview of Louisiana State Basketball: its history, player accomplishments, and current level of success. One thing a number of Best Sports Blog users have asked for is biographies on major NCAA basketball programs-LSU among them-so this is one of a series of articles designed to meet that need. So, without further ado, let's take a look at the history of Tigers basketball:
Louisiana State basketball has an old and illustrious history. The program is one of the oldest in the SEC conference and was a powerhouse in its earliest years. Indeed, the Tiger's only NCAA championship comes from the pre-tournament era; LSU won it all in 1935. The team also had several other dominant seasons in the first half of the 20th century: in 1916-17 the team went 20-2 under coach C.C. Stroud, the team went 19-2 in 1919-20, and 14-1 in 1935. Indeed, this era was likely the true golden age of Tigers basketball.
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However, despite not winning an NCAA title since 1935, the Tigers have been a consistent force on the national stage and have recruited some of the best players ever to play in college or the NBA. Power forward Bob Pettit played at LSU from 1950-4 and the led the Tigers to the 1953 Final Four. After graduation, Pettit went on to become an NBA Hall of Famer. After two decades of relative dormancy, LSU hired coach Press Maravich to coach the team and Press brought his son Pete along for the ride. 'Pistol' Pete Maravich became a phenomenon at LSU and was famous for averaging over thirty points per game without a three point line. However, the Tigers were not a strong team overall and, despite Pete's amazing dominance, the team never made the NCAA tournament.
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LSU built up its national profile in the late 1970s under coach Dale Brown. Brown became a legend at LSU and led the Tigers to ten twenty plus win seasons and 1981 and 1986 trips to the NCAA Final Four. However, Brown's lack of success with phenomenon recruit Shaquille O'Neal, another future NBA Hall of Famer, and his last two years at the program were marked by an NCAA investigation. But coach John Brady rebuilt the program from the ashes and LSU reached its third NCAA Final Four in 2006.
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Looking forward, LSU enjoyed an excellent season in 2010; the first under new head coach Trent Johnson. Despite a setback in 2011, LSU seems poised to continue its success and remain one of the top programs in the sport.
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