LSU men’s basketball coach Will Wade has said among the immediate voids in replenishing his 2020-21 roster was to get bigger in the frontcourt with an eye toward improved defense.
The Tigers appeared to strike gold in that area Tuesday with a commitment from University of Cincinnati transfer Tari Eason, a 6-foot-8, 215-pounder that landed on the American Athletic Conference’s all-freshman team last season.
Eason, who entered the transfer portal on March 18, announced his commitment to LSU on his Twitter page.
He would become the second transfer to sign with the Tigers, joining guard Xavier Pinson of Missouri.
LSU’s leading rebounder Darius Days declared for the NBA draft on April 9, leaving the Tigers in the market for another post player that could score, rebound and play defense in the paint area.
Eason, who has tremendous length and athleticism, enjoyed a solid season at Cincinnati with eight starts in 23 games where he averaged 7.3 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 19.5 minutes of playing time.
Eason led the Bearcats with 29 blocks, which was fourth in the AAC, and in rebounds which ranked ninth in the league. He also shot 46.2 percent (67 of 145) from the field.
He enjoyed a breakthrough moment in a 91-71 win over Tulane on Feb. 28 with a double-double, scoring a career-high in points (20) with a career best in rebounds (13).
Eason was a highly decorated four-star recruit by Rivals.com and 247Sports.com out of Garfield High in Seattle. The nation’s No. 138 overall prosect, 27th rated power forward and the state’s second-rated prospect, he led Garfield to the Class 3A state championship his senior year with 23 points and eight rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game. He averaged 21 points and 12 rebounds during Garfield’s march in the postseason and was named the Most Valuable Player in the state tournament.
Eason was named the state’s Class 3A Player of the Year by the Associated Press. He played his junior season at Federal Way High where he averaged 19 points, 11 rebounds and 2.5 blocks.
What is going on with the LSU Basketball program? Why did so many players opt to leave the Tigers? These questions are being asked by a lot of LSU fans.
Four players opted to enter the NBA Draft. Two transferred. This isn’t unusual. With lenient NCAA transfer rules, there’s even more massive roster turnover at other schools.