By CODY WORSHAM | Tiger Rag Editor
LSU’s roster for the 2017-18 season is set.
The program announced it had officially added Oregon transfer Kavell Bigby-Williams to the squad, capping off an offseason full of changes.
Bigby-Williams will sit the 2017-18 season due to NCAA transfer rules, but he will return with one season of eligible remaining in 2018-19, giving Will Wade’s second team a former NJCAA Division 1 National Player of the Year to man the paint.
At Oregon, Bigby-Williams averaged 3.0 points and 2.8 rebounds in 9.8 minutes per game in 37 appearances, earning one start. He arrived in Eugene from Gillette (Wyo.) College, where he was named the 2015-16 Spalding NJCAA Division I Player of the Year and an NJCAA All-American. He averaged 16.8 points, 13.6 rebounds, and 5.6 blocks per game on 59.2 percent shooting as a sophomore.
“I am pleased to welcome Kavell to Baton Rouge,” Wade said in a statement. “He’s a very talented frontcourt player and a young man I know is going to work hard for us and make a tremendous impact once he’s eligible next season.”
His arrival to LSU comes after an unusual offseason, in which he was reported to have been accused of – but never charged with – sexual assault while he was an Oregon player. Police reviewed the case but never pursued charges, and Bigby-Williams played all last season, the accusations unknown to the Oregon coaches.
According to the release, “the university conducted a responsible and comprehensive review before approving the transfer, including close coordination with Title IX officials, multiple discussions with Gillette and Oregon officials and a thorough examination of available public records.”
“This is an issue we all take seriously and we made absolutely sure we did our due diligence before considering moving forward,” Wade said. “Kavell understands that and has made clear to me that he’s going to repay our confidence by representing LSU with his very best on and off the court.”
The addition of Bigby-Williams wraps up a summer of overhaul for the LSU basketball program. Wade, hired to replace the fired Johnny Jones in March, brought back just five scholarship players and two walk-ons from a squad that went 10-21 (2-16 SEC) in 2015-16. He added eight players to the roster in the last five months: four transfers and four freshmen.
LSU begins the season Nov. 10 against Alcorn State.