(BATON ROUGE, La.) — The 2016-2017 LSU Tigers basketball team finished with an embarrassing 10-21 overall record and a 2-16 conference record, which tied Missouri for dead last in the SEC. Following the Tigers’ last game, which was a loss to Mississippi State in the 2017 SEC Tournament, head coach Johnny Jones was fired. Jones was fired after five seasons with the Tigers along with a 90-72 overall record and only one NCAA Tournament appearance.
“This season was very hard for me to watch,” St. Paul’s student and LSU Basketball fan Colin Quinlan said. “I believe that Johnny Jones was the reason we didn’t make the tournament last year, and that he was the reason we went 2-16 this year in the SEC. I’m glad they fired him, and I’m excited to see what the new coach can do.”
Fans had high hopes for Jones after he was first hired from North Texas. Jones had already been an assistant at LSU under legendary Dale Brown from ‘84-’97. Jones was also known for his excellent recruiting skills, and during his time at LSU, landed several huge prospects. This included first overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, Ben Simmons. Even with the #1 player in the country on his squad, however, Jones was unable to get an NCAA tournament bid. Many LSU Basketball fans consider that to be the biggest failure in program history.
This Monday, Will Wade was hired as the new head coach of LSU Basketball. Wade was previously the head coach at Virginia Commonwealth University. Wade led his VCU Rams squad to two straight tournament appearances, and upon leaving the Rams, he became the fourth straight head coach from VCU to leave for a Power 5 conference team.
Wade, only 33 years old, has been an assistant at Clemson (his Alma Mater), Harvard and VCU. He was the head coach at the University of Chattanooga from 2013-2015 and has been the head coach at VCU for the past two years. His overall record as the head coach at VCU was 51-20 (.718).
“I really like the hire of Will Wade,” SPS Basketball Coach Stephen Dale said. “I think he’s going to bring back a ton of energy and enthusiasm to the program. I think his style of play, which is very aggressive and up-tempo, fits with the type of recruits that he can bring to LSU, and fits with the overall style of play in the SEC.”
Will Wade is regarded as an extremely qualified coach who has the opportunity to turn this team around quickly. Wade should take into consideration that Tiger fans are tired of the disappointment, they are tired of not watching the Tigers celebrate on selection Sunday, and they are tired of seeing the P-Mac barren and empty. The program is more than ready for Coach Wade to rebuild the program before the Tigers become the annual laughing stock of the SEC.