VCU Men’s Basketball and LSU will take place at the Siegel Center this upcoming 2019-20 basketball season according to a report from the Times-Picayune in New Orleans.
The Return of Wade
Former VCU Head Coach Will Wade makes his return on November 13th as a visitor alongside the LSU Tigers. Wade’s contract with VCU had a home-and-home clause with his new school if he took another head coaching position. This was part of the $1 million buy-out in Wade’s contract.
LSU had a buyout option estimated around $250,000 on the table. The Tigers decided to play the two games and will host VCU in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center during the 2020-21 season. Wade spent four seasons at VCU as an assistant coach under Shaka Smart from 2009-2013.
A Successful History
Coach Wade brought VCU to two consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances as head coach in 2015-2017. In his first season, Wade led the Rams to their first Atlantic 10 Men’s Basketball regular season crown with a 14-4 conference record. The Rams were co-champions alongside Dayton and Saint Bonaventure. #10 VCU upset #7 Oregon State 75-67 in the 2016 NCAA Tournament.
The 2016 season saw VCU improved to 26-9 overall and finished second in the Atlantic 10 at 14-4. Once again the Rams made a run in the A-10 Tournament and fell to Rhode Island in the Championship game. VCU received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament and were eliminated by Saint Mary’s in the first round.
The Hero Turned Heel
During the off-season, Wade parted ways with VCU and flew to LSU in March 2017. Ram fans took the move as an act of betrayal as Coach Wade’s image molded from baby face to villain overnight. A Lousiana Purchase gone astray so to speak. 📺
At LSU, Coach Wade is 43-20 overall as head coach. Last season was an improvement for the Tigers mixed with controversy. Wade served a suspension over allegations of offering money to a recruit that was recorded on a wiretap. His suspension lasted 5 games including LSU’s three-game run in the NCAA Tournament into the Sweet Sixteen. LSU reinstated Coach Wade as head coach in April.
VCU is 2-1 against former head coaches at the Siegel Center. Jeff Capel brought #17 Oklahoma to the Stu in 2009 and the Rams won 82-69. Anthony Grant returned home in 2012 as Alabama’s head coach and VCU rolled the Tide 73-54. Shaka Smart is the lone man to leave Siegel Center victorious against his former school with a 71-67 win for Texas over VCU in 2017.
Rams vs. Tigers took place in the 5th place game in the Battle 4 Atlantis in 2016. VCU was victorious 85-74 with JeQuan Lewis putting up a team-high 19 points and 9 assists against LSU. This would be the second time VCU would face LSU in school history.