BATON ROUGE, La. — There is one spot to fill on the LSU basketball roster following guard Branden Jenkins’ recent decision to transfer. New Tigers coach Will Wade hopes to find a replacement that can fill the hoop with regularity.
“We could use a little bit of scoring,” Wade said at this week’s Tiger Tour stop at the Lod Cook Alumni Center on the LSU campus. “I feel pretty good about our front line. I think our front line is going to be pretty good with the guys we’ve got coming back.
“Typically your roster is tilted where you’ve got more guards than bigs. We’ve got a lot more 6-6, 6-7 and above than we have guards. We’re looking at a little bit of help at guard.”
The only significant Tigers departure from last season was shooting guard Antonio Blakeney, who declared for the NBA draft. In addition to Jenkins (1.3 points per game), the Tigers also saw point guard Kieran Hayward (1.2 ppg) depart via transfer.
That leaves LSU with three returning guards — two of whom are point guards — as well as signee Brandon Rachal and junior college transfer Daryl Edwards.
Wade is seeking a graduate transfer who can join Jeremy Combs, a post player from North Texas, in being able to contribute right away.
“We’ve got a scholarship that’s open,” Wade said. “It’s our job to put the best roster together for LSU basketball and always evaluating that and looking at that.”
One candidate for that spot is Wright State graduate Mark Alstork, who is looking at LSU and five other schools as his finalists. Alstork, who began his career at Ball State before transferring to Wright State, averaged 19 points per game last season for the Raiders.
— Mark Alstork (@Mark_Alstork) May 4, 2017
Competition for Alstork will be fierce. South Carolina is coming off its first Final Four appearance, and Louisville is perennially in the Top 10 under Rick Pitino.
It’s also possible that Wade won’t find the precise fit he is seeking and keep the scholarship spot available to increase the size of next year’s class.
“I’ll only fill it if we can find somebody who helps us with what we’re doing and is really excited to be here,” Wade said.