LSU returning four of six players who entered NBA draft process

AP
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LSU will still have a talented roster available for next season despite six players declaring early for the 2019 NBA Draft process earlier this offseason.

Point guard Tremont Waters and big man Naz Reid are both staying in the draft. And replacing those two would be tough for anybody. But the Tigers are expected to return guards Javonte Smart, Skylar Mays and Marlon Taylor while freshman big man Emmitt Williams will also be back for next season.

Considering where LSU was a month ago — with a suspended head coach and potentially six players leaving early — and things are looking a lot better for the 2019-20 season.

It’s a distinct possibility that all four of those returning players will make up most of LSU’s starting lineup for next season as the program also brings in a five-star forward in Trendon Watford and an intriguing sophomore forward in Darius Days.

Williams could be the key for LSU’s success next season. While the Tigers know what to expect from Smart and Mays, Williams and his high-motor style will have to replace the imposing size and skill of Reid on the interior.

Taylor will also have to step up his play, particularly his scoring, for next season, but if Williams can become a double-double threat and protect the rim then LSU should be in position to return to the NCAA tournament while remaining competitive in the SEC.

Now that Will Wade is reinstated as head coach and much of a conference title-winning core is back, things are looking up for the Tigers are an up-and-down spring.