The literal makeover of LSU’s basketball team from last season’s NCAA second-round team now has a true center piece.
Tigers head coach Will Wade has added seven new players – albeit high school signees or through the NCAA transfer portal – but was still in pursuit of a player with great size that could score around the basket, rebound and defend the rim.
Wade believes he found all three traits in his latest addition to the program when LSU landed a signing Sunday from 7-foot, 240-pound Efton Reid – a five-star prospect from IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. – which the school released later the same day.
“Before all else I, wanna thank God for everything that he has done for me and all that he is going to do for me,” Reid posted on his Instagram account. “I want to thank my Circle for giving me the support and guidance during this journey. All I got to say is I’m Ready to get to Work #Bootup.”
Reid, a native of Richmond, Va., chose LSU over Florida State, Pittsburgh, Virginia, North Carolina and Ohio State. He also had scholarships from Division I basketball powers such as Kansas and Louisville.
“Efton will make an immediate impact for us on both ends of the court,” Wade said. “He is very skilled on the offensive end. Efton has tremendous touch and footwork around the rim to pair with an expanding perimeter game. Defensively, his size and length will give us the rim protection that we need.”
Reid is ranked the nation’s No. 28 overall prospect and No. 4 according to 247Sports.com. He’s also the fourth-rated prospect in Florida where he averaged 16 points and 11 rebounds for IMG where he roomed with LSU signee Brandon Murray.
He helped push LSU’s national recruiting ranking in the Class of 2021 from 26th to 13th and third best in the Southeastern Conference behind Tennessee and Alabama.
Murray is part of a four-member high school signing class along with Murray, 6-9 center Jerrell Colbert of Germantown, Texas and four-star forward Alex Fudge, who enrolled for the spring semester but redshirted and was able to practice with the team.
“He can play 4 or 5,” Reid’s former coach at the Steward School, Curt Kassab, told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “He’s very versatile. He can face up and shoot the three. He’s got incredible post skills. His footwork is really, really good. I tell a lot of people I feel like he’s the best post player in the country coming out. He’s gonna be a definite impact player coming out for somebody.”
Lafayette native Seneca Knight, a 6-6 shooting guard, transferred to LSU after the Christmas break from San Jose State. He has subsequently been joined by three NCAA transfer portal acquisitions — point guards Xavier Pinson of Missouri and Adam Miller of Illinois and also forward Tari Eason of Cincinnati.
“Efton is a super skilled big that is capable of scoring on the block and stepping out and making jump shots,” IMG basketball coach Chad Myers said. “He does a great job of making good decisions with the basketball both on the block and the perimeter. He has done a great job this year of gaining strength and athleticism while honing these skills at IMG. Efton will be able to step in right away and make an immediate impact at the next level.”
Reid averaged 19 points, 12 rebounds and 2 blocks at the Steward School in Richmond before transferring to IMG for a postgraduate season.