Reid, Gaines become latest members of LSU basketball team to enter NCAA transfer portal

PHOTO BY: Jonathan Mailhes

The LSU basketball program lost another player to the NCAA transfer portal on Thursday, and he’s a big one.

   Starting center Efton Reid III has entered the portal, according 247Sports and ESPN reports. He was reportedly joined later in the day by sophomore Eric Gaines, according to Matt Zenith of On3.com.

Reid, a 7-footer from Richmond, Virginia, was the only Tiger to start all 34 games last season.

   He averaged 6.3 points and 4.3 rebounds while logging 19.9 minutes per game and scored in double figures seven times, including a season-high 16 points in a season-opening win over UL Monroe and a 15-point, 10-rebound double-double in a Dec. 14 win over Northwestern State.

The 6-foot-2 Gaines, a former four-star, Top 100 prospect out of Lithonia, Ga., started in eight of 30 games for LSU last season. He averaged 9 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 2.1 steals.

Gaines ranked 11th nationally with 70 steals, a category he ranked in a tie for 14 on the school’s single-season list. He showed significant improvement over his freshman season in which he averaged just 2.5 points and 1.2 rebounds during his first season in 2020-21.

   Reid and Gaines reportedly join a long list of Tigers in the portal, along with starting point guard Xavier Pinson (who transferred to LSU from Missouri), starting shooting guard Brandon Murray, reserve forward Shareef O’Neal (who transferred to LSU from UCLA), guard Adam Miller (who was injured and out all season) and sparingly used freshmen Jerrell Colbert, Justice Williams and Bradley Ezewiro.

   Forward Tari Eason, who came off the bench but led LSU in scoring at 16.9 ppg, and starting forward Darius Days, who averaged 13.7 ppg and a team-high 7.8 rpg, both declared their intention to enter the 2022 NBA Draft poll shortly after LSU fired coach Will Wade among allegations of recruiting-related NCAA rules violations and No. 6 seed LSU’s March 19 first-round NCAA Tournament loss to No. 11 seed Iowa State.

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