LSU basketball coach Will Wade doesn't expect that forward Shareef O'Neal will be back this season. The Tigers' forward has missed the last seven games recovering from a foot injury.
O'Neal played in just 10 games for the purple and gold averaging 2.8 points and 4.4 rebounds a contest in nearly 15 minutes a contest.
"No. I don’t expect to have him back, he probably won’t be back all year. He’s working hard, but he won’t be back all year I’d guess," Wade said.
It's a tough break for the sophomore forward who's battled injuries throughout his college career. O'Neal also missed several games at the start of conference play with an ankle injury but did come back for five games before this latest setback.
One of the better rebounders on the team, O'Neal will be missed for LSU's postseason stretch. In O'Neal's absence, LSU has relied heavily on Aundre Hyatt and Josh Leblanc to pick up the slack on the boards and the defensive end, a role that both players have really improved in as conference play comes to a close.
In the meantime, LSU is preparing to seed itself better in the SEC tournament. With a win over Missouri on Saturday, the Tigers will secure the No. 3 seed in the tournament.
"I know if we win, we’re the three; if we lose, I guess we could still be the three if Florida lost to Tennessee. You always, obviously, want to finish as high as you can," Wade said. "So coming in third is important, it’s more about momentum and matchups. If you could tell me who the five and six seeds would be, I’d tell you who I’d rather play. Well, I wouldn’t tell you who I’d rather play, but I know who I’d rather play. How about that, that would be a better way to put it."