Just one season removed from the disaster that was the end of the Johnny Jones era, LSU will being the 2018-19 season as a preseason top 25.
That’s because on Tuesday evening, star point guard Tremont Waters announced that he will be returning to LSU for his sophomore season.
“Throughout the process of visiting NBA teams and working out, it’s been a blessing that words can’t describe,” Waters wrote in his Instagram story. “I grasped a greater understanding of the difference between college and the NBA! It’s done nothing but help me grow and understand the severity of the next level. In my heart I believe and know that I’m capable and willing to do whatever it takes to make it at the highest level right now. I have some improving to do but I’ll be up there soon to give the NBA a headache too.”
“But I feel it’s best that I return to LSU this year and continue to improve as a player, teammate and most importantly a young man! Many know this, many will figure it out, and many will feel it first hand.”
“The squad has some unfinished business! Geaux Tigers!”
Waters was sensational in his rookie season in Baton Rouge, averaging 15.9 points, 6.0 assists and 2.0 steals while leading LSU to an 18-15 record and within striking distance of the NCAA tournament field in the final weeks of the season.
LSU is going to be one of the most talented teams in the SEC next season, buoyed by a monster recruiting class that includes five-star big men Naz Reid and Emmitt Williams and four-star guard Javonte Smart. The question is going to be how well Will Wade is going to be able to get those pieces to blend together, and that’s not going to be an easy thing to do. As the saying goes, not all five-stars are made the same, and it’s not hard to imagine a world where those three freshmen are not quite ready to contribute in a conference where there are potentially three top ten teams in Kentucky, Tennessee and Auburn.
Waters is what could end up being the difference-maker. He is the kind of point guard that can dominate possession, but he also can make the players around him better. As good as Reid and Williams could end up being, right now they are going to need a lot of their points created for them. Waters can do that. Smart has a bright future, and with Waters in the fold the pressure is going to be off of him early on in his career.
LSU is going to have some bumps in the road, there’s no question about that.
But the potential is there for this team to do some damage in that conference this season, and that is a direct result of getting the potential SEC Player of the Year back for another season.