Will Wade took shots at the LSU Tigers during his introductory press conference with McNeese State. His comments are a reminder of why the LSU men’s team struggled mightily in 2022-23.
McNeese State introduced Will Wade as their new head coach on Monday. Moreover, the former LSU Tigers head coach did not resist the opportunity to take subtle jabs at his former employer.
"“We’re not talking about some major rebuild or any of that stuff. We expect to win and compete at the top of the Southland [conference] next year. Point blank, period, that’s what we’re going to do.” – Will Wade"
It’s fair to assume Wade directed his comments at the LSU Tigers and current head coach Matt McMahon. Nearly a year ago, McMahon stressed process and building during his first press conference as men’s basketball head coach. Such occurred after LSU fired Wade amid federal investigations into paying basketball recruits in March 2022.
Conversely, some fans might receive Wade’s comments as having nothing to do with LSU. In such case, those fans must watch the video of Wade’s press conference at McNeese State. The former LSU head coach projected an unfavorable attitude and smugness while delivering his remarks. Also, it remains evident that Wade doesn’t believe he did anything wrong while leading the Tigers.
Will Wade is why the 2022-23 LSU Tigers men’s basketball season stunk.
Wade’s dismissal left the LSU Tigers scrambling to hire a new basketball head coach. LSU’s 2022 recruiting class immediately fell apart as players decommitted due to program uncertainty. One might also assume some players decommitted because they were no longer obligated to play for LSU despite monies passed under the table.
Either way, LSU hired McMahon away from Murray State on March 21. McMahon scraped together the best recruiting class possible and dove into the transfer portal. As a result, the Tigers’ 2022-23 men’s basketball roster resembled nothing like the previous season. McMahon’s team took the floor as a disjointed unit without time and continuity and finished last in the SEC.
There’s a pocket of LSU Tigers fans that think Will Wade should still be in Baton Rouge. When LSU fired Wade, the program was 105-51 under his leadership and a No. 6 seed in the 2022 NCAA tournament. However, during a federal investigation of collegiate ‘pay for play’ schemes, the NCAA pegged Wade for numerous recruiting violations.
The LSU Tigers fired Will Wade after allegations that he arranged significant financial compensation to recruits in exchange for their commitment. Federal wiretaps caught Wade on audio, bragging about substantial cash compensation offers levied through player agents. Wade’s comments were made public in September 2017. Thus, most of his time leading LSU was under a cloud of investigation.