New LSU coach McMahon unfazed by sanctions scare

Baton Rouge, La. (AP) — New LSU coach Matt McMahon shrugged off fears of potential NCAA sanctions for the program he agreed to handle this week, or his hope to build on his already formidable career coaching record. How can it affect capacity?

“I couldn’t tell you anything about my career record. That’s why I’m not a coach,” McMahon insisted on his formal introduction to LSU on Wednesday. “I train to make an impact on people … young people to serve. That’s what I’ll continue to do, and we’ll get a lot of victories along the way. ,

McMahon, who led 154–67 during the last seven seasons at Murray State, said that his admiration for LSU’s basketball history and the university’s overall high profile in major college sports gave the Tigers a “once in a lifetime opportunity”. “Proposed to provide. For me.”

“There’s a lot to be done, and I’m in it for the long haul,” he said.

McMahon, 43, fills the vacancy created by the March 12 firing of Will Wade, who led LSU to the last three NCAA tournaments but who is facing charges of major recruitment violations. Depending on the results of the ongoing NCAA investigation, LSU could eventually face penalties such as a scholarship cut or even a temporary postseason ban.

That’s why athletic director Scott Woodward and LSU president William F. Tate seized the opportunity to hire a relatively young, up-and-coming coach from a mid-major conference instead of wooing a top, power conference coach to Baton Rouge, as did football coach Brian Kelly, Baylor, from Notre Dame. With the hiring of women’s basketball coach Kim Mulkey from Arizona and baseball coach Jay Johnson from Arizona.

Again, several SEC schools have recently seen merit in hiring candidates similar to McMahon. Florida hired Todd Golden, 36, based out of San Francisco. Missouri hired Dennis Gates, 42, of Cleveland State. And South Carolina hired Lamont Paris, 47, from Chattanooga.

Tate called McMahon a “transformational genius”, noting how he was able to recruit a player like Jay Morant to Murray State, the Ohio Valley Conference school in Murray, Kentucky, and help prepare him for NBA stardom. used to do.

Woodward, who had previously lamented the “tiring shroud of negativity” hanging over LSU basketball during Wade’s tenure, said that he and Tate were prepared to hire “a person of character who had worked for an institution.” shared our vision and our values.”

This season, Murray State went 31-3 and won their fourth regular-season conference title in five years. 7 seed in the East Zone at this year’s NCAA Tournament and defeated 10th seed San Francisco in overtime in the first round.

Murray State has appeared in three of the last four NCAA tournaments in 2018, 2019 and 2022. There was no NCAA tournament in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The racers also won the first round game in 2019.

McMahon now handles an LSU team that went 22–12 this season, losing to Iowa State 59–54 in a first-round NCAA Tournament.

McMahon said he has spoken personally with some of the players since his appointment but plans to have a full team meeting soon.

“I want people who want to be here,” McMahon said. “We’re going to do things the right way, and we’re going to make sure we’re developing young men, not just on the court.

“I know everyone wants to play in the NBA,” McMahon continued. “But the average career is three-and-a-half years, so it’s going to be a broad program.”

McMahon also said that his plan is a fast-paced plan that will “enable elite players to come here and develop into NBA players.”

“I always laugh,” McMahon continued. “Sometimes, people say they want to be a pro and then they go to a school where they get the ball up the court and try to win games 48-46. That’s not very conducive to the NBA. Is.”

McMahon grew up in Tennessee and played college basketball at Appalachian State. His wife, Mary, played for Furman in college. They have two daughters aged 13 and 9 and a son aged 11, youth basketball players.

McMahon said that he has admired LSU’s basketball tradition since his youth and watched them play individually as a child, when Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, better known as Chris Jackson, played for the Tigers. Starred for – and scored 49 points in a win over Tennessee. Knoxville.

McMahon said he used to have an Abdul-Rauf Denver Nuggets jersey. He also mentioned late Hall of Fame player Pete Maravich, for whom LSU’s basketball field is named, as well as former LSU and NBA star Shaquille O’Neill.

McMahon said, “Everybody who comes here has done their bit to get the opportunity to play at LSU, to wear that jersey, to play at Pete Maravich’s house, to walk past the Shaq statue to the arena.” Worked my whole life.” “It’s an incredible place. Why wouldn’t you enjoy it?”

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