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NCAA Tournament | LSU moving on without Wade

Posted at 8:34 PM, Mar 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-20 21:55:34-04

JACKSONVILLE, Florida (AP) – LSU players are moving on without coach Will Wade. They don’t have much choice.

University officials won’t allow Wade to resume his duties unless he speaks with the school about the reports of an FBI wiretap that resulted in his suspension. LSU (26-6) lost to Florida last week in its first game in the Southeastern Conference Tournament. But the third-seeded Tigers feel like they’re starting to find their footing under interim coach Tony Benford, just in time for Thursday’s game against 14th-seeded Yale.

“The ideal family is when one person is down, the other person has to pick them up,” guard Skylar Mays said.

Yale (22-7) is back in the tournament for the first time since 2016, when the 12th-seeded Bulldogs upset Baylor in the opening round and gave Duke a scare in the second round. Alex Copeland, Trey Phills, Blake Reynolds and Thomas Ryans were freshmen on that team and they believe the experience could pay dividends in their return trip.

“As much as I enjoyed that, I think I have vivid memories of being on the bus leaving March Madness and saying, ‘OK, I’ve got to try to get back here before I graduate,'” Copeland said.