It wasn’t exactly a surprise that LSU decided to part ways with fifth-year basketball coach Will Wade.
Most of his tenure has been spent under investigation by the NCAA, and the program received a Notice of Allegations citing Wade for multiple Level I violations just days before he was fired on Saturday.
A disappointing 2021-22 season in which the team started 12-0 but finished 22-11 with an exit from the SEC Tournament in the quarterfinals didn’t exactly help Wade’s cause either. Still, the timing of the move on the eve of Selection Sunday, where the Tigers expected to find themselves comfortably inside the NCAA Tournament field, was certainly a bit jarring.
With LSU about to embark on another coaching search, ESPN’s Jeff Borzello discussed several names he hopes will turn up in the search for athletic director Scott Woodward. He note that this quest is only one day old and surely many things will change in the coming weeks.
Here’s the Borzello breakdown.
At the top of the list could be the one from Baylor scott drew. He’s been linked to Louisville’s vacancy this spring, though it seems unlikely he’ll leave Baylor a year after winning the national championship. Woodward could also make a career out of the likes of Illinois’ brad underwood, who has proven his recruiting skills to compete in the SEC. Could Woodward go back to Texas A&M and hire buzz williams? The Aggies have played in the NCAA tournament this week. Arkansas’ eric musselmann he could be a target, given his name recognition and what he’s done with the Razorbacks. But Musselman seems to enjoy Fayetteville and has two top-10 recruits entering the program next season. Another name could be Florida mike whitewho spent four seasons as head coach at Louisiana Tech and has been mentioned as someone who might be looking to make a move.
If NCAA cloud forces LSU away from high-profile candidates, keep an eye on Baylor assistant Jerome TangNorth Texas’ mccasland grantMurray State matt mc mahon and the UAB Andy Kennedy.
As Borzello points out elsewhere in his article, this is an attractive job for a myriad of reasons despite the looming cloud of potential NCAA sanctions, and Woodward has made high-profile head coaching hires his trademark. . Flashy options are certainly represented on this list.
Drew is coming off a national championship at Baylor last season, while Underwood also runs one of the best and most consistent programs in the nation. However, there are certainly arguments that both would have higher ceilings in a program with LSU’s resources.
Musselman, who has quickly established himself among the SEC’s coaching class, would also be an obvious target, assuming Woodward can get him out of a comfortable situation in Arkansas.
White is another potential option Woodward could steal from the SEC. His Florida teams have been a bit underperforming, especially in the postseason, but he has put together a lot of consistency in Gainesville. He hasn’t finished with a losing record since Year 1, though his team missed the NCAA Tournament for the first time since that first season.
Woodward will almost certainly focus the search on experienced and proven candidates for the power conference, at least initially, which means Tang, McCasland and McMahon will likely be backup candidates. Kennedy has experience in the SEC, although the track record of success isn’t quite there.
There are plenty of options for LSU, though the NCAA indictments may make the search a bit more difficult. Still, you can expect a wide-ranging (and potentially devious) approach to replacing Wade.
Potential candidates to replace Will Wade at LSU
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