Hold That Tiger: LSU Basketball Rocked By Transfer Portal
The transfer portal has changed college sports forever.
Created in 2018 to help college athletes manage the transfer process and altered in 2021 to allow athletes in all sports a one-time, free transfer from school to school. The transfer portal offers athletes freedom and can alter a programs future.
The LSU Tigers recently fired head coach Will Wade after receiving notice of allegations from the NCAA after his fifth season. The Tigers swiftly hired Matt McMahon away from Murray State to take over as new head coach.
The first task for McMahon, fill out a roster and build chemistry. From scratch.
That's right, after Matt Zenitz of On3 Sports reported that forward Mwani Wilkinson entered the transfer portal on Friday afternoon, the Bayou Bengals were left with zero scholarship players remaining in the program from the 2021-22 season.
LSU is lost Tari Eason and Darius Days to the NBA Draft and now has lost the remaining 11 scholarship athletes to the transfer portal with the departure of Wilkinson.
That's Brandon Murray, Xavier Pinson, Shareef O'Neal, Jerrell Colbert, Adam Miller, Bradley Ezewiro, Justice Williams, Efton Reid, Eric Gaines, Alex Fudge and Mwani Wilkinson. All utilizing the portal.
Some might argue these are the consequences of a program run by Wade. He was a primary subject in a federal investigation in which he was caught on a wire tap discussing, "a strong ass offer" that he made to a recruit.
According to ESPN's reporting the NCAA obtained information that Wade "arranged for, offered and/or provided impermissible payments, including cash payments, to at least 11 men's basketball prospective student-athletes, their family members, individuals associated with the prospects and/or nonscholastic coaches in exchange for the prospects' enrollment at LSU."
Is the transfer portal a good thing or a bad thing?
The, now former, Tigers don't have to play basketball for a coach they didn't choose and can find new opportunities that are devoid of scandal.
McMahon can start his program from scratch, constructing his roster to fit his coaching style right away instead of having to deal with players that aren't to his liking.
McMahon has used his first week on the job to bring in two players with him from Murray State and found Northwestern State forward Kendal Coleman out of the transfer portal. Additionally, he secured the commitment of 3-star center Corneilous Williams to bring his roster to four players.
Roster management for coaches is now more difficult than ever given the freedom that today's college athletes have. However the transfer portal, if utilized correctly can be a win-win option for both athletes and programs.
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