Alleva: LSU needs to 'revitalize' women's basketball - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Alleva: LSU needs to 'revitalize' women's basketball

Joe Alleva (Source: WAFB) Joe Alleva (Source: WAFB)
BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - LSU women's basketball coach Nikki Caldwell has reached the NCAA Tournament during all four of her years with the Lady Tigers. However, in a recent interview with WAFB-TV, athletic director Joe Alleva sees a need for improvement.

“I'm not saying the product is bad, don't get me wrong,” says Alleva. “But it's not as good as it's been, in some past years, when we were playing in the Final Four.”

From the 2003-04 through the 2007-08 season, LSU reached five straight Final Fours and posted a stellar overall record of 152-29, with a sparkling 61-9 mark in the SEC. Caldwell meanwhile is 83-50 overall, 37-27 in league play and has reached a pair of Sweet 16's. After posting a high mark of 6,273 fans per home game during the 2005-2006 season (superstar guard and local product Seimone Augustus' senior year), the Lady Tigers averaged just 2,839 in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center last year. That's the lowest total since LSU averaged 1,361 back in 2001-02. 

“Women's basketball can make more money, absolutely,” Alleva continues. “Our attendance has actually dwindled over the years. And we need to revitalize that sport, no question.”

So what's the solution to fixing the problem?

“You've got to do a better job marketing. And you've got to improve the product on the court. At the end of the day, I've learned here at LSU, that if you put a good product on the court or on the field, our fans will come.”

LSU FINAL FOUR YEARS – FIVE STRAIGHT TRIPS 

Year                  Overall record               SEC record               Average home attendance

2003-04                 27-8                           10-4                             3,511

2004-05                 33-3                           14-0                             4,020

2005-06                 31-4                           13-1                             6,273

2006-07                 30-8                           10-4                             5,573

2007-08                 31-6                           14-0                             5,367

NIKKI CALDWELL YEARS – FOUR NCAA'S, TWO SWEET 16'S

Year                 Overall record                  SEC record               Average home attendance

2011-12                 23-11                           10-6                           4,315

2012-13                 22-12                           10-6                           3,858

2013-14                 21-13                            7-9                           3,053

2014-15                 17-14                           10-6                           2,839 

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