The Tigers continue making a splash in the transfer portal after adding Cincinnati forward Tari Eason to their roster for next season.
Named to the AAC’s All-Freshman team a season ago, the 6-foot-8 Seattle native averaged 7.3 points and 5.9 rebounds per contest for the Bearcats with most of his production coming on the defensive end of the floor.
Eason averaged 1.3 blocks and 1.2 steals per game, giving the Tigers a much-needed defensive anchor on that end of the floorcoming into next season. His 1.3 blocks per game ranked fourth in the AAC.
He was rated the 138th overall prospect in the 2020 recruiting class, according to his 247Sports Composite rating. He was No. 27 among power forwards and chose Cincinnati over Colorado, Florida, Southern California and Washington State.
In late February against Tulane, Eason recorded his first double-double with a season high 20 points and 13 rebounds on 8-of-8 shooting from the field. Eason was one of six Cincinnati players who elected to enter the transfer portal after the 2020-21 season, with new head coach Wes Miller convincing two to withdraw and come back for another season with the Bearcats.
“We want Tari Eason," Miller told the Cincinnati Enquirer. "I've watched a ton of tape. I want to coach Tari Eason. I think the things that Tari Eason can do will fit really well into what we're trying to do here moving forward.”
Coach Will Wade, just as he always does, out recruited all other schools extending offers to Eason, gaining a paint presence his team needed most. Eason is precisely what this Tigers squad needed to add this offseason as the purple and gold look to have a complete roster change.
He moves well side-to-side, is a solid post defender and has the frame and size to be a truly great SEC defender next to the likes of Mwani Wilkinson and Josh Leblanc. Eason also has a knack for grabbing offensive rebounds, which is something LSU will need after likely losing Darius Days to the NBA.
Wade has been going to work in the transfer portal, as this is their second highly touted recruit in the last nine days. Committing to Wade and the Tigers will give Eason a chance to fill the gap left by forwards Trendon Watford and potentially Darius Days. Watford declared for the NBA draft on April 7 and Days followed two days later.
With Watford hiring an agent, this forfeits his eligibility, but Days has yet to indicate the hiring of representation, giving him the chance to return to Death Valley.
After gaining Pinson and Eason, the job is not finished as the Tigers look to continue searching for vets to help this young team head in the right direction.
"We're being very careful and very organized with who we're looking at in the portal. We're not trying to cast a huge net, we've got a formula, a grade sheet on who's gonna fit and really trying to hone in on those guys that come from winning programs," Wade said.