Promising, key freshman big man Phillips transferring from LSU men’s basketball

LSU freshman Shawn Phillips stepped up into the limelight when the Tigers needed him most, recording his first career double-double to help lead LSU to an SEC Tournament first round win over Georgia, 72-67, on Wednesday night in Nashville.

You win some, you lose some.

Such is the world of college athletics in this day and age of the transfer portal. The portal giveth, and it taketh away.

One day after LSU basketball coach Matt McMahon reaped the rewards of signing Jordan Wright, a Baton Rouge-native who played a significant role as a scoring guard at Vanderbilt for the past four seasons, the Tigers found out it is losing a key cog in the front court moving forward.

True freshman forward Shawn Phillips, Jr. — a 7-foot former four-star prospect from Dayton, Ohio — became the latest LSU player to put his name in the portal on Thursday.

Phillips, Jr. appeared in 20 games in one season in Baton Rouge, and though he didn’t make any starts, he saw increased playing time late in the season. Phillips’ only double-figure scoring game came against Georgia in the SEC tournament, when he totaled 13 points and had a key block that led to LSU’s victory.

Phillips, Jr. averaged 1.4 points and 2.1 rebounds this season.

Now, LSU must replace yet another key player heading into what will be a pivotal second season for McMahon. The Tigers have lost five players to the portal, including two from its 2022 high school signing class.

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