LSU basketball adds final piece to puzzle with signing of 7-footer Phillips

First-year LSU men’s basketball Matt McMahon closed the Class of 2022 recruiting process with a bang, four days after convincing guard Adam Miller to remain with the program, the Tigers filled out their roster with four-star 7-foot center Shawn Phillips.

Phillips, a one-time commitment to North Carolina State, committed to LSU on Tuesday on his social media account over Georgetown, Kansas State, Miami and Overtime Elite. The school later announced he had signed with the Tigers, becoming the 13th scholarship player for McMahon, who was hired April 26 and dealt with a roster without any players after the school fired head coach Will Wade for alleged NCAA recruiting violations.

“LSU just gave me that feeling,” Phillips said to On3. “The coaching staff was cool, and people on campus were cool. It was just a vibe and they made me believe in them to get me better every day.”

The 7-foot, 250-pound Phillips is a product of Dayton, Ohio who played at Ypsi Prep in Ypsilanti, Michigan in 2021 and Belmont High in his hometown of Dayton. He moved to Glendale, Arizona to play this season for Dream City Christian where he shot 62% from the field, averaged 15.9 points, 14.7 rebounds and 3.4 blocks per game.

Phillips is rated as the nation’s 111 overall prospect, No. 20 center and No. 10 in Arizona and would become the fourth high school signee for McMahon to go with five-star 6-7 forward Tyrell Ward of Hyattsville, Maryland, four-star forward/center Jalen Reed of Jackson, Mississippi and four-star 6-9 forward Corneilous Williams of Meridian, Mississippi.

“We are excited to welcome 7-foot forward Shawn Phillips to the LSU family,” McMahon said. “Shawn is a physical, tough, and competitive addition to our front court. He is a shot-blocking rim protector and active rebounder on the defensive end of the court. With his size and mobility, he is a strong finisher around the rim. We love the development in his game over the last two years and look forward to coaching him in Baton Rouge.”

McMahon also signed six players from the NCAA transfer portal and retain three players from last year’s team, the most recent being Miller who joined Justice Williams and Mwani Wilkinson.

Phillips, nicknamed ‘Baby Shaq’ for his overpowering presence inside, committed to N.C. State last year before backing away from that pledge in April. LSU was one of the first schools to contact Phillips and set up an official visit three weeks ago which landed the Tigers on his list of five finalists.

LSU’s class also experienced a jump in the national rankings to No. 13 overall and No. 3 in the SEC according to 247 Sports.

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William Weathers

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