LSU loses every remaining scholarship player to transfer portal after firing Will Wade
LSU men's basketball has some rebuilding to do after firing head coach Will Wade following an NCAA notice of allegations. That task now looks like a complete and total teardown.
Sophomore forward Mwani Wilkinson entered the transfer portal on Friday per Rivals, making him the program's 13th scholarship player to make a move out of the program following Wade's firing. With serious NCAA sanctions looming, not a single scholarship player from last season remains on the team, for now.
Just what does that kind of exodus look like? Well, here's every player to appear on the court for the Tigers last season, ordered by total minutes, and where they are now. Walk-on players are italicized.
Brandon Murray: entered transfer portal on March 24
Darius Days: declared for draft on March 30
Eric Gaines: entered transfer portal on March 31
Mwani Wilkinson: entered transfer portal on April 1
Tari Eason: declared for draft on March 25
Xavier Pinson: entered transfer portal on March 23
Efton Reid: entered transfer portal on March 31
Alex Fudge: entered transfer portal on April 1
Justice Williams: entered transfer portal on March 30
Shareef O’Neal: entered transfer portal on March 28
Parker Edwards: still at LSU
Bradley Ezewiro: entered transfer portal on March 30
Jerrell Colbert: entered transfer portal on March 29
Brandon Egemo : still at LSU
Spencer Mays: still at LSU
Adam Benhayoune: still at LSU
So basically, between the dates of March 23 and April 1, LSU lost 1.3 scholarship players per day. That is some serious talent LSU is losing as well, as Pinson and Ezewiro are the only departing players who were not rated as 4- or 5-star recruits by Rivals. Murray, Reid, Williams, Colbert and Ezewiro were all freshmen.
Where does LSU go from here?
It should be noted that these players are still able to come back to LSU. Players who declare for the draft can return to their school (but still transfer) as long as the withdraw by June 1. Players who enter the transfer portal are allowed to stay with their school if they don't like their options.
Still, it speaks to the level of turmoil at LSU that every player not paying tuition is looking elsewhere. The troubles began when Wade was caught on FBI wiretap discussing "a strong-ass offer" for a recruit and crystalized when the NCAA hit the school with a sizable notice of allegations, leading to Wade's firing.
The good news for LSU is it does have some players incoming. New head coach Matt McMahon, hired from Murray State, has added three players via the transfer portal: two of his old players in Trae Hannibal and Justice Hill and Northwestern State Kendall Coleman. Former Murray State commit Corneilous Williams also committed to LSU on Thursday.
That's what LSU's 2022-23 roster looks like at the moment. Three mid-major transfers, four walk-ons and a recruit not in Rivals' list of top 35 centers in the Class of 2022. Before Williams, the Tigers had no commitments in the Classes of 2022 or 2023.
More players could be on the way, though, as it's not often you see a "free minutes" sign basically hanging over the doors of a Power Five program.