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LSU 2021-2022 Basketball Position Preview: Centers

Can a pair of true freshmen anchor the middle of the floor?

We conclude our men’s hoops position preview with the spot that’s been a weakness for LSU the past two seasons: center.

Will Wade and staff have certainly tried to fill the fill the void that Kavell Bigby-Williams left following the 2018-2019 season but have been unsuccessful to date. Trendon Watford could be a small-ball center but was truly a power forward; Josh LeBlanc and Josh Gray consistently made little to no impact on the court in the games they appeared in. Wade also tried brining in former Washington center Bryan Penn-Johnson but Penn-Johnson left the program citing homesickness after appearing in five games and 17 total minutes.

Of course Wade may not have needed to look to the transfer portal had Dick Vitale not meddled with the recruitment of five-star center Moussa Cisse and warned that a Notice of Allegations would be coming soon to LSU—which of course has not yet happened.

Still, Wade’s not known as the American Gangster for nothing and he and his staff have hopefully filled the hole at center with a pair of highly touted freshmen.

Five-star forward Efton Reid headlines LSU’s 2021 recruiting class and the 6’11”, 238 pound young man is reportedly an excellent ball handler and shooter for his size. A Virginia native, Reid spent his final season of high school at IMG Academy where he averaged 16 points and 11 rebounds.

Right behind Reid on the depth chart is four-star recruit Jerrell Colbert who is listed at 6’10 and 216 pounds. Until Reid signed on, Colbert was the only center LSU had committed. What’s interesting is while Reid is the more highly touted prospect, Colbert has the higher ceiling as a potential first round pick. Below is a breakdown from Jerry Meyer, the director of basketball scouting for 247:

Thin but has great length for a skilled power forward. Very mobile and a quality athlete. Has good footwork offensively. Can score facing up off dribble and can score turning to either shoulder. Adequate ball handler and passer at this point. Has potential as a jump shooter and potential overall offensively. Good rebounder and top notch shot blocker. High ceiling as a prospect. Does need to fill out some and get stronger.

Top notch shot blocker is something that’s been sorely missed for the past two seasons and it can be how Colbert finds his way on to the floor. It’s been said many times but if LSU can just be even average defensively then there’s not a team out there they can’t beat. Hopefully the buy in starts tomorrow night as the season begins against ULM.