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Sports >  Gonzaga basketball

Former five-star recruit, LSU center Efton Reid announces commitment to Gonzaga

UPDATED: Sun., May 1, 2022

LSU center Efton Reid plays against Vanderbilt on Feb. 5, in Nashville, Tenn. Reid started 32 games for LSU last season and averaged 6.3 points and 4.3 rebounds a game.  (Associated Press)
LSU center Efton Reid plays against Vanderbilt on Feb. 5, in Nashville, Tenn. Reid started 32 games for LSU last season and averaged 6.3 points and 4.3 rebounds a game. (Associated Press)

With potentially both of its starting frontcourt players splitting for the NBA, Gonzaga made a splash addition via the transfer portal on Sunday, grabbing a commitment from an SEC transfer who was once considered the nation’s third-rated high school center.

Former LSU center Efton Reid committed to Gonzaga on Sunday afternoon, announcing his plans through Instagram approximately one month after entering the transfer portal.

“Let’s get to work!! @zagmbb” Reid posted.

The 7-foot, 238-pound center started in all 34 games for an LSU team that lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament and could play a pivotal role at Gonzaga if the Bulldogs happen to lose both Chet Holmgren and Drew Timme to the NBA.

Holmgren is thought to be a lock as one of the top three picks in the 2022 NBA draft. Timme declared for the draft while signing with an NCAA -certified agent, which would allow him to return to school for his senior season. Among Gonzaga’s remaining frontcourt players, sixth man Anton Watson was the only one to play significant minutes for the Bulldogs in 2021-22, averaging 17.8 minutes.

A native of Richmond, Virginia, Reid was the only 32-game starter for the Tigers, averaging 6.3 points and 4.3 rebounds while playing 19.6 minutes per contest. Reid scored eight total points and grabbed five rebounds while playing 37 minutes in the NCAA Tournament against Iowa State.

Reid scored a season-high 16 points in his college debut against Louisiana Monroe and had a 15-point, 10-rebound double-double in an 89-49 win over Northwestern State.

As a freshman Reid shot 51% from the field, connecting 97 of 187 field goals. The center wasn’t a 3-point threat at LSU, attempting just 20 3s on the season and connecting five times, and he struggled from the free throw line, making just 14 of 29 for 48%. He blocked 26 shots, registered 17 steals and dished out 16 assists to go with 47 turnovers.

The former five-star prospect is one of 11 LSU players to have entered the portal since the 2021-22 season culminated. The mass exodus took place after the Tigers fired coach Will Wade when the school received notice of allegations detailing seven Level I violation allegations in LSU’s program. In addition to 11 LSU players entering the portal, two others have declared for the NBA and all four commits in the 2022 and 2023 classes have reopened their recruitment.

Reid is a low-post threat who was one of the most highly sought-after big men in the 2021 recruiting class. Recruiting website 247Sports.com tabbed the IMG Academy product as the nation’s third-rated center, Florida’s fourth-rated overall prospect and the country’s 27th-rated overall prospect.

Jerry Meyer, the director of basketball scouting at 247Sports, wrote the following description of Reid during his recruitment: “Has NBA center size. Game is skill based and not athletically based. Has good footwork and touch in post. Can stretch defense to three-point line. Comfortable with the ball as a passer. Has good hands and rebounds his area. Not a big shot blocker. Positional defender inside. Needs to improve quickness to defend on perimeter.”

Reid averaged 16 points and 11 rebounds while leading IMG to a 25-0 regular-season record in 2020-21. Prior to playing at IMG, the center was a standout player at Steward High School in Richmond, Virginia.

Along with LSU, Reid received offers from Kansas, Virginia, Louisville, Florida State, Georgetown, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio State, Rutgers and Virginia Tech, among others.

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