LSU basketball coach Will Wade set social media ablaze Monday evening during his radio show when he said that he pitched an idea that would have had the Tigers playing a throwback game in the John M. Parker Agricultural Coliseum, more lovingly known as the “Cow Palace” among LSU fans.
The building where such LSU greats as “Pistol” Pete Maravich laced up his sneakers has not seen action in the form of a basketball game since 1971 when the Tigers played their last season in the building before moving to their current home of the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
Ok, so apparently Will Wade tried to get a game in the Cow Palace last year. He wanted throwback jerseys and everything.
Apparently it logistically couldn't work at the time, but it seems he definitely wants it to happen while he's here.#LSU
— Tyler Nunez (@ByTylerNunez) December 4, 2018
But Wade was told that it would be a logistical nightmare to pull the game off, both due to seating concerns and the fact that many of the building’s facilities are, frankly, outdated.
“I got out of practice (Tuesday morning), and I had four text messages from our administration saying ‘What in the world did you say about the Cow Palace?'” Wade said during his monthly Tip-Off Luncheon at L’Auberge Hotel and Casino. “I think it’s something that we’ll certainly look at. There are some major logistical issues.”
One of the primary issues is that LSU has more season ticket holders than the 6,756 arena can hold, meaning the administration would have to find a way to sell tickets separately without disappointing those ticket owners.
But it’s a fun idea to kick around. The building has plenty of history. Fans from across the country take a trip to the former basketball arena due to its history, and Wade himself takes prospective recruits when they’re on their official visits.
It may be a long shot, but if LSU can ever find a way to make it happen, that would certainly be a special night on campus.
Naz Reid still growing
Some have become worried about LSU freshman phenom Naz Reid and his development as he’s seen his role on the team shrink back a bit in recent weeks.
First, a foot injury limited his production for a few games, then Wade took him out of the starting lineup in favor of the duo of Kavell Bigby-Williams and Darius Days in the Tigers’ most recent game against Grambling.
Reid is averaging 11.6 points and 4.6 rebounds per game, which are respectable statistics, but not what he or fans were expecting when Wade confidently said he would be a first-round pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
But Wade said Reid is coming along just fine. The transition from high school basketball to the college game is tough on a lot of players, including some of the most highly-anticipated of each recruiting class.
He pointed to UNC’s Nassir Little, a kid who was expected to compete for the Naismith Award that now comes off the bench for the Tar Heels as a prime example.
“Reid’s going to be fine,” Wade said. “For some of these freshmen it’s just different. … One thing about Naz that gets totally overlooked: he leads our team in charges taken. When you can get a McDonald’s All-American to take a charge… He got on the floor for a loose ball against UNC-Greensboro.”
Wade said he had a 30-to-40-minute sit down with Reid earlier this week to talk about his progress, and he gave him a positive review on his performance thus far this season.
“You’re doing all the little things that are helping us win,” Wade told Reid in the meeting. “You keep focusing on that stuff, and the offense will come.
“He’s coming. By the time we get to SEC play, he’s going to be a problem.”
Daryl Edwards update:
A leg injury that kept Edwards out of the game against Grambling apparently won’t get any better as the season progresses, Wade said.
Wade remained somewhat vague on the specifics of the injury, but characterized it as something that will keep him out of games intermittently throughout the season.
“It’s one of those deals where the more rest we can get him, the better he’ll be able to function,” Wade said. “There’s no cure for it. We’re trying to stimulate his bone growth. There’s a bunch of scientific terms I could give you, but, it’s going to be one of those deals where he may play two games in a row, sit two games in a row, play a game, sit a game. We’re going to have to go by what his body and leg feel and how he feels.”
Edwards had just begun to find his stride this season prior to the season-altering injury, averaging 7.8 points 1.5 assists per game off the bench in his last four games played.