It was only a matter of time but the LSU men’s basketball roster purge has begun.
Freshman guard Brandon Murray and senior guard Xavier Pinson have both reportedly entered their names into the NCAA Transfer Portal. They’re the first players from the 2021-2022 men’s team to enter their names into the portal in light of Will Wade’s dismissal.
Murray, a Baltimore native, played in 33 games with 32 starts and made the SEC’s All-Freshman team after averaging 10 points a game and leading LSU in minutes played. I’d expect Murray to transfer somewhere closer to home, likely Georgetown especially now that Kevin Nickelberry has been added to the Hoyas’ staff.
Pinson is taking advantage of the COVID-19 waiver instead of trying his hand at professional ball. Wherever Pinson ends up next will be his third school in as many years. Pinson, or X as he was so fondly referred to here, averaged 10 points, 5 assists, and 2 rebounds in 26 games played. Pinson had a scary MCL sprain early in SEC play that caused him to miss six games.
As always we have to remind ourselves that players who enter the transfer portal can take their names out (see Brennan, Myles). But with sanctions hanging over LSU’s head that doesn’t seem likely and while we can hope Murray and Pinson are the only two transfers that feels foolhardy. But maybe Matt McMahon can impress the remaining scholarship athletes on the roster and convince them to stay.
“I want people who want to be here,” McMahon said Wednesday. “I want people who want to be a part of something special because that’s what we’re going to build here.”