Going to the Siegel Center for a VCU basketball game is an experience.
The Rams' fan base is arguably one of the rowdiest in the entire country. They're in your face, unrelenting, intense and most importantly loud.
Fittingly, they match the spirit of their team on the court.
Nobody perhaps knows that better than former VCU head coach Will Wade.
Wade, for the first time leading LSU, is on the opposite end of the VCU rowdiness. On Wednesday the No. 23 LSU Tigers traveled to Richmond, Virginia to face the Rams in a contest among undefeated teams.
And the fans did not hold back on their former coach.
As a part of Will Wade's buyout from VCU, Wade's new team is forced to schedule a home-and-home series with VCU. In his third season with the Tigers, this is the first contest of that agreement.
Wade was the head coach of the Rams for two seasons, leading them to the NCAA Tournament both years. He also was a long-time assistant when Shaka Smart led the team during their Cinderella runs in the NCAA Tournament.
The fans came well prepared but also stepped up their troll game to include Wade's FBI investigation. Wade was caught on an FBI wiretap using phrases such as “rookie minimum” and "strong-a** deal" to suggest the payment of then-recruit Javonte Smart. Wade was immediately suspended and missed LSU's run in the NCAA Tournament last year. He was reinstated before the start of this season.
Continue bringing the havoc Rams' fans.
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Always the bridesmaid, never the bride.
For the second time this transfer cycle, Maryland found themselves near the top of the list of finalists for an elite, instant-impact transfer point guard to replace the graduating Anthony Cowan Jr. in the Terps backcourt. For the second time this transfer cycle, they fell just short.
Bryce Aiken, the dynamic point guard from Harvard who scored 33 points against Maryland in November, announced Thursday afternoon that he would be staying local to play for his hometown Seton Hall Pirates.
Maryland was in Aiken's final four schools and could have really used his added scoring punch, but ultimately he was swayed by the idea of staying home. According to basketball writer Adam Zagoria, Aiken was torn between Maryland and Seton Hall right up until the very end, but decided to go elsewhere.
The Terps are set to return a strong core of veteran wing players in Eric Ayala, Aaron Wiggins, Darryl Morsell and Donta Scott, but they are still looking to replace Jalen Smith in the frontcourt and Cowan in the backcourt. They are currently involved with Yale graduate transfer Jordan Bruner, who named the Terps in his final three schools and would fill Smith's spot as the top big man on the market. He is expected to announce his decision soon.
Head coach Mark Turgeon is also pursuing Michigan transfer David DeJulius, who has a connection to the Terps in his former assistant coach and current Maryland assistant DeAndre Haynes. It's unclear if DeJulius will receive immediate eligibility, potentially still leaving the Terps without an obvious replacement at guard beyond Ayala and incoming freshmen Marcus Dockery and Aquan Smart.
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George Mason got a mix of good news and bad news on Wednesday. Their senior Justin Kier was granted a fifth year of eligibility after missing the majority of the season due to injury. However, on the same day, Kier announced that he is entering the transfer portal.
"I'm blessed to have been given this season back so I can play another year of college basketball. After a lot of prayer and discussion with my family, I've decided to enter the transfer portal," Kier said in his post.
Kier also said that he has not ruled out the option of returning to the Patriots next year.
The 6-foot-4 guard will immediately eligible to play for whichever team he plays on for the 2020-21 season. Had it not been for an injury-filled senior year, he would have been a four-year starter for George Mason.
Two injuries to his right foot limited Kier to only playing nine games. A big loss for Mason that struggled to find consistency without him on the floor. Just the year prior he was named the Atlantic 10's Most Improved Player and made the Second Team.
Kier's fifth season was never for certain. A waiver to earn a medical redshirt for the year was a long shot given that he had returned from the initial injury and played nearly a third of the season.
With his ball-handling, attacking nature, and all-around defensive skill set, there will be teams interested in Kier. Through his collegiate career, Kier has played both as a point guard and as a two-guard. Since he has left the option open to return for Mason, he would likely want to go somewhere that would allow him to start and contend for a postseason tournament.
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