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The Importance of Jalen Reed Signing to LSU Basketball Program

What Reed brings to Tigers, his influence as a high profile recruit wanting to come to uncertain situation

Head Coach Matt McMahon and the LSU Tigers have landed their first big fish in the 2022 recruiting class. After an offseason of working the transfer portal in order to assemble a roster, this coaching staff made a significant splash, signing four-star forward Jalen Reed Thursday afternoon.

The former Florida signee recently backed off his pledge after the departure of Mike White, where he received tremendous interest from a myriad of schools. Ultimately selecting the Tigers over the likes of Kentucky, Memphis, Louisville and numerous others, McMahon gets his first major signing after taking over LSU.

The 6-foot-10, 220-pound power forward has the versatility and motor that this Tigers program is looking for in a prospect. Jumping into the mix of schools rather quickly for Reed, LSU clearly made a strong impression on him in a short span.

"I picked LSU because I feel like the coaching staff can help me develop and reach my goals," Reed told 247Sports. "I really like the plan they have in place for me and then also a big thing was my family can come to every game because over the past three years my family hasn't really been able to come to my games so knowing they will be there every home game excited me."

Reed brings a different element to this Tigers roster. With above average footwork for his age and the ability to hit a consistent jump shot, his game could flourish in the fast-paced system McMahon prides himself on.

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Another piece of Reed’s game is his length inside. Not a one-dimensional player who only attacks offensively, he is also a force on the defensive end. Stepping out on the perimeter to defend all over the floor, Reed’s instincts will make him a solid defender in the SEC.

"I feel like I bring a lot of versatility being as tall as I am on the offensive and defensive end," he said. "I am able to attack and kick and then on the defensive end I can defend just about anyone."

For McMahon and this staff, to make a noteworthy signing in the 2022 class shows promise for the future. With the likelihood this program will be facing sanctions this upcoming season, there was skepticism surrounding the building of this roster and the talent they could land.

Now, McMahon has made a statement signing, his first high school recruit since taking over the Tigers, and also dipped heavily into the transfer portal. Continuing to assemble a competitive roster for the 2022-23 season will take time, but landing a player of Reed’s caliber is a push in the right direction. LSU has four more scholarship spots to fill to get to 13 total and the work won't stop from an evaluation perspective as college basketball gets set to enter a dead period in recruiting.

Reed has the chance to step in on day one and compete for significant minutes as a true-freshman with this roster overhaul. A myriad of fresh faces and a revamped coaching staff, this new era of LSU basketball continues to prepare themselves for this next chapter.