VICE CHANCELLOR AND DIRECTOR OF ATHLETICS JOE ALLEVA
Opening statement …
“Thank you all for being here. I think it’s appropriate before we get started and I would like to ask to take a moment of silence to pay respect to the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff Deputy Shawn Anderson, who was killed in the line of duty Saturday. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and members of law enforcement at this time. Let’s take a moment of silence just to reflect … Thank you all.
“Before I get started, I want to thank Dr. (F. King) Alexander for all of his support in this process, all of the board members, the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Scott Ballard, Stephen Perry and Blake Chatelain. All were instrumental in this process. I’d also like to thank my interim basketball coach Eddie Nunez for all of his support. Eddie, great job in the interim. http://www.scout.com/college/lsu/story/1765000-lsu-s-will-wade-introduct...
“As you all know, I was fortunate enough to spend five years on the NCAA Basketball Committee, which just ended last year. During that process, I got to watch coaches first-hand. I got to watch them practice. I got to watch them interview. I got to see them in stressful situations. I was part of discussions about teams and coaches. Through that process, Will Wade was always in my mind. I got to watch him first hand. We are extremely, extremely honored, and it’s a pleasure to have him join the LSU team. Will is extremely bright, smart and driven, and when you combine smart and driven, you have a real success story. It’s my pleasure to introduce to you our new basketball coach here, Will Wade.”
HEAD COACH WILL WADE
Opening statement …
“Thank you guys. Thank you everybody for coming out today. I guess it beats class for the students. We appreciate you guys coming out.
“It’s a new day for LSU basketball. It’s a new day for LSU basketball. First off, I want to thank, Dr. (F. King) Alexander. I have had some great conversations with him. He absolutely loves basketball. I am very, very thankful to be the leader of his basketball program. I’d like to thank Joe Alleva, Eddie (Nunez). Eddie is the only undefeated coach, by the way, in LSU basketball history in his 10-day stint. I want to thank Eddie and other members of the board for entrusting this program to me. I also want to thank my wife Lauren, who’s here. She’s my best recruit, and my parents came from Nashville today, and I wouldn’t be here without them.
“I am so excited to be here. As Lauren and I were weighing out the options, and weighing things out for LSU—my wife is big at making lists. We make a lot of lists on things. We do positives and negatives and try to figure out what we are going to do. The only negative we could come up with LSU and Baton Rouge was that I was going to put on a lot of weight from all of the good food. I had dinner with some fine folks last night, and I definitely think I’m going to have to kick up my running a notch to make sure I don’t put on too much weight.
“I am so excited about the opportunity to lead this program and LSU Basketball back to the top of the SEC and back to regular, consistent NCAA Tournament appearances. We have been to four Final Fours. We have been to 20 NCAA Tournaments. We have 10 SEC Championships, and we are going to add to all three of those categories over our tenure here. Before I get started about our culture and how we are going to play, I also want to thank all of my former players, all of my former administrators both at Chattanooga and VCU. I wouldn’t be here today without those guys—the players who laid it out on the line for us, sacrificed for us to be able to win and the administration that made that possible. I want to thank all of those folks because they had a huge impact on my life. Hopefully, I’ve been able to give something back to them, and they will be able to take something with them in their life.
“As you go through coaching, you’re always looking for spots. Why haven’t they been able to do things consistently there? Why are things a certain way? Long ago, I identified LSU as somewhere that was just an absolute sleeping giant. LSU has everything it needs to be successful. If we could just get it all going in the right direction, we could make it work. We could make it work. That was kind of my through process going in. When Eddie and Joe flew up to Richmond to see me, I left that meeting knowing that LSU basketball can be successful and will be successful. I’m not going out on a limb by saying this. I don’t think at any time in LSU’s history has everything been in such alignment as it is now. From the athletic director, the athletic department to the commitment to the resources, to our President Dr. Alexander, everybody is in alignment to get this program turned around. I’m going to be the conduit to make that happen, and it’s going to be a total team effort from everybody—our fans, our students, the administration. Everybody is in line. Everybody is in line. We are going to make it happen. We are going to make it happen. Listen to me now; there is no option to fail. There is no option to fail. We are going to get it done. We are going to get it done, but it’s going to take everybody. It’s going to take everybody. We are going to find a way. http://www.scout.com/college/lsu/story/1765025-two-elite-offensive-linem...
“We are going to build a consistent, sustainable winner here. We are going to build something that the whole state of Louisiana can be proud of, the whole LSU family can be proud of. We are going to do that on a culture based on acting the right way. That’s what we talk about. Acting, for us, means that we are going to be aggressive, we are going to be committed and we are going to be thankful every day. Every day. When you get out of the bed in the morning, we are going to attack the day. We are going to attack the day. We are going to be an attacking basketball team on both ends of the court. We are going to attack the weight room. Everything that we do is going to be aggressive. Have you ever heard the saying ‘Good things come to those who wait?’ Not true. Only the scraps from he who hustles. You have to go after it. You have to go after it. That’s Abraham Lincoln, not me. I’m not that smart. If you look at my résumé, I coached at Harvard. I didn’t go to Harvard.
“We are going to be aggressive. We are going to be committed to putting the best product on the floor for the state of Louisiana, the best product on the floor with LSU. We are going to have players, staff members, everyone in our program is going to be committed to doing what it takes to make LSU the best basketball program that it can be. We are going to have unwavering commitment to put the team first, to put the state first, to put our school first to represent all of these folks in a first-class fashion. We are going to be a hardworking team that represents this great university that represents this great state.
“We are going to be thankful. We are going to be appreciative of the opportunity to represent LSU. This is an honor for me to be the basketball coach here. I’m highly appreciative of this opportunity, highly thankful to be the basketball coach here. We are going to make sure our players, make sure everybody feels the same way and understands that this is a privilege to be here. It’s not a right to be here. There are a lot of people who would kill to be at LSU. We are the lucky few. There are a lot of people who would kill to be here.
“On the court, we are going to absolutely empty our tanks every night. When we get done playing that thing is going to be on E. It’s going to be on empty because we are going to empty it out. We are going to be all out all of the time with great discipline about what we do. Offensively, we are going to fly up and down the court. We are going to play fast. We are going to get up and down the court, and we are going to attack the rim. We are going to move that ball from side to side, get it in the paint for some great shots. We are going play inside out for some threes. We are going to get on the offensive glass. We are going to attack the rim. We are going to be an aggressive, aggressive offensive team.
“Defensively, we are going to be even more aggressive. We are going to guard every floorboard. We are going to guard every floorboard for 94 feet. We are going to disrupt other teams’ offenses with our aggression. We are going to disrupt other teams’ offenses with our aggression. We are going to be an aggressive team on both ends of the court. That’s what it’s all about. People are going to be reacting to us. We are not reacting to them. That’s what we do. We are going to change our defenses. We are going to play man, we are going to play zone and do a bunch of different things, but all of them are going to be on the basis of being the aggressive team and being the most aggressive team at all times. http://www.scout.com/college/basketball/recruiting/story/1761119-how-doe...
“In our preparation and in everything that we do, we are going to leave no stone unturned. No detail is too small. Absolutely no detail is too small. All lines will be touched in conditioning. All weights will be met each week when we have weigh-ins. All classes will be attended. All of the little things, that’s what adds up to winning. That’s what adds up to winning. Every detail will be accounted for. No stone will be left unturned in our preparation to make sure that we give ourselves the best opportunity to win. Hey, everybody wants to win the SEC. Everybody wants to go to the NCAA Tournament, but there is only a select few who do that. We have to have the separation by doing all of the details, doing all of those little things to make it happen. That’s what we are going to do. We are going to be great, and in special teams 40 percent of basketball comes out of the huddle—free throws, timeouts, all of that stuff. We are going to be well prepared. We are going to be able to execute in those situations.
“I can’t wait to get going. Today is kind of the first official day. I look forward to getting out and meeting people. We are going to be aggressive in recruiting. We are going to be aggressive in recruiting players to LSU. We are going to be aggressive in recruiting students to the stands. One thing, and I’ll address this now. I know one thing about LSU: LSU likes a winner. Everyone will support a winner. We are going to deliver a winner. When you put a winner on the court, there is going to be 14,000 people in the PMAC ready to rock and roll. I know that it’s going to be led by our great students and our great student section. We are going to aggressively recruit everybody. We are going to recruit student-athletes to come play for us. We are going to recruit fans. We are going to recruit the students, and we are going to put a product on the court that’s hard working that everyone will be proud of. You may beat us, but it’s going to be a fight. You are going to know that you are in for a 10-round fight and that it took everything you had to knock us out because we are going to be an extremely, extremely tough out. That’s going to be our identity. That’s going to be who we are. I know our fans will enjoy that. I know our fans will love that, and we are going to have a lot of fun making that happen.
“In closing, I am honored to be your coach. I’m honored to be the coach here at LSU. Lauren and I can’t wait to be a part of the Baton Rouge community. We are expecting here soon, and we are excited to have our daughter here in Baton Rouge. We are going to move here quickly so that we can put roots here and really get going. I couldn’t be more excited. I look forward to meeting everybody. We are ready to rock and roll. Thank you guys for coming today. This is a great crowd, and we expect to see you at the first home game just like this. Thank you guys so much. It’s a great day to be a Tiger.”