Da Boot Sports
By: Terrill J. Weil
BATON ROUGE, LA - LSU basketball head coach Matt McMahon has landed a couple of huge recruits and another tremendous transfer as he continues the daunting task of rebuilding his once decimated roster. Since the majority of last season's players decided to follow Will Wade out the door by entering the NCAA transfer protal, McMahon has done a great job of building his 2022-23 roster with some impressive talent.
The team's most recent addition is another Murray State transfer, 6'-10" 240-pounds senior forward KJ Williams who announced today, Thursday morning that he is signing with the Tigers. Williams was Murray State's leading scorer last season averaging 18 ppg and 8.4 rebounds. He was also last season's Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year. Williams joins former teammates, Justice Hill and Trae Hannibal who also transfered to Baton Rouge in March.
“I chose LSU because I have great relationships with the coaches and it’s on a bigger stage where I know I could play,” Williams mentioned in an interview. “Me being in the position I’m in, I know I can play in the SEC against top players in the country."
This past weekend the Tigers inked five star small foward Tyrell Ward. Ward, 6-7, 185-pounds, is out of Hyattsville, Maryland and played at DeMatha Catholic High School where he averaged 19.1 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.0 blocks.
“It is another special day in Baton Rouge as we welcome Tyrell Ward to the LSU family,” said Coach McMahon. “Tyrell is a very skilled guard at 6-7 who can score the ball at all three levels. We love his three-point shooting combined with unique ability to finish at the rim in a variety of ways. Tyrell has a great basketball IQ and is passionate about becoming the best player he can be. We can’t wait to coach him at LSU.”
LSU has also landed Jalen Reed, a four star, 6'-10" 220-pound power forward out of Castaic, California (Southern California Academy). He is rated the #13 power forward in the nation for the Class of 2022. Reed is a Jackson, Mississippi native who was origianlly committed to Florida before deciding to reopen his recruitment process in April.
“It is a special day in Baton Rouge as we welcome Jalen Reed and his family to LSU.” Matt McMahon said. “Jalen is an incredibly skilled and versatile forward at 6-10. He has the ability to create off the dribble and scores the ball from multiple levels on the court. His length, athleticism, and skill level are a perfect fit for how we’ll play at LSU."
Reed, Ward and Williams now join an impressive list of newcomers listed below:
F - Corneilous Williams
F - Derek Fountain
C - Kendal Coleman
G - Justice Hill
G - Trae Hannibal
G - Cam Hayes
Returning from last season's 2021-22 season:
F - Justice Williams
F - Mwani Wilkinson
For those who are interested, here is a list of where former players from last season's team have landed......
G - Xavier Pinson: still deciding between Xavier and Mississippi State
G - Eric Gaines: signed with UAB
G - Brandon Murray: signed with Georgetown
G - Adam Miller: undecided
F - Alex Fudge: signed with Florida
F - Shareef O'Neal: undecided
C - Efton Reid: signed with Gonzaga
C - Jerrell Colbert: signed with Kansas State