LSU senior guard Charles Manning has entered the NCAA transfer portal, according to a report from 247Sports.
Manning, a significant part of LSU's bench this season, was averaging just 4.2 points and three rebounds a contest but was one of the team's more versatile defenders. Appearing in only six games during the 2020 season, Manning was eased back into the rotation because of his recovery from two separate foot injuries that kept him out most of last season.
In 19 appearances during the 2019-20 season, Manning averaged 7.9 points a contest and shot 50% from the floor and 40% from three-point range. His touches and field goal percentage has dipped in the early going of this season but Manning was a veteran voice on the bench that is not easily replaced.
The decision from Manning goes hand in hand with some reported news that the NCAA will allow a one time transfer exception for all athletes.
His departure does free up even more minutes for Eric Gaines, Jalen Cook, Josh Leblanc and Shareef O'Neal once he returns from an ankle injury. LSU coach Will Wade has glowingly talked about Gaines in recent days, saying he's a huge part of the future of the program and he expects him to receive plenty of minutes moving forward.
"He's a major part of our answer for this year and he's going to be a huge part of our future so he is for sure part of that guard rotation," Wade said. "It's coming, but he is a talented, talented, talented offensive player. He's just been a little bit skittish. It's tough on him. He's used to having some of the freedom and free rein that Javonte [Smart] and those guys have. With his minutes going up and his responsibility increasing, I think that's going to help him offensively as well."