Tari Eason decided against becoming part of a massive University of Washington roster rebuild — one based around local players — by choosing LSU on Tuesday rather than the Huskies as others had.
A Garfield High School graduate, the 6-foot-8, 215-pound Eason left Cincinnati after his freshman season once the Bearcats underwent a coaching change.
Had he returned home, Eason would have played alongside fellow Garfield alum Terrell Brown, a 6-foot-3 shooting guard who spent last season at Arizona, and Emmitt Matthews, a 6-foot-7, 215-pound forward from Tacoma's Wilson High school who's been a three-year starter for West Virginia.
Eason, who could have four seasons of eligibility at LSU by using pandemic provisions, would have been crucial pick-up — he's a proven rebounder who greatly would helped one of the nation's worst teams on the backboards.
Starting 8 of 23 games in his first college season, Eason averaged 7.3 points and 5.9 rebounds per game for a 12-11 Cincinnati team.
In his best outing, he came off the bench in a 91-71 victory over Tulane and supplied 20 points and 13 rebounds, hitting 8 of 8 shots.
Considered a budding talent, Eason was selected to the American Athletic Conference All-Freshman team.
The Huskies continue to restock the shelves after having six players enter the transfer portal following a disastrous 5-21 season.
They lost four guards in Erik Stevenson (South Carolina), Marcus Tsohonis (Virginia Commonwealth), Nate Pryor (New Mexico State) and RaeQuan Battle (Montana State), plus two forwards in Hameir Wright and J'Raan Brooks, the latter two presently without schools.
The UW since has added 6-foot-8 Samuel Ariyibi from Africa, Brown and Matthews, or two forwards and a guard.
The UW also has replaced assistant coaches Cameron Dollar and Dave Rice with Wyking Jones, and added 6-foot-7, 210-pound forward Tyler Linhardt from Seattle's King's High School for the Class of 2022.
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