LSU men’s basketball is going through a plethora of changes, and multiple players have just entered the transfer window to leave LSU, including the son of NBA legend and former LSU legend Shaquille O’Neal.
LSU’s Shareef O’Neal is portaling, the portal told @Stadium.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) March 28, 2022
Reportedly, Shareef O’Neal, a 6-10 forward, will be entering the portal Monday evening. This comes as no surprise for anyone following LSU basketball, considering O’Neal wasn’t a huge part of LSU’s game plan this year.
He averaged just three points and two rebounds per game on 50 percent shooting over nine minutes per game in 14 games played. LSU was eliminated from the NCAA Tournament in the first round, and in that game, O’Neal had 0 points, 0 assists, and 1 rebound in 5 minutes of play. It is not hard to see why he is testing the portal in search of more minutes or a bigger role on a team.
Shareef’s college journey has been circuitous to say the least. He first committed to Arizona, then decommitted and transferred to UCLA, and eventually found his way to father’s alma mater.
Despite being a four-star recruit and the No. 41 player in the 2018 class, he seems to have a hard time finding his footing at any of these schools as he has only averaged three points in both seasons at UCLA and didn’t really improve his output upon transferring to LSU. Shareef was also battling a serious heart condition that he managed to surpass in 2018 upon having successful “life-saving” surgery.
O’Neal’s departure comes after LSU hired Matt McMahon, who spent his past seven years coaching Murray State, to be their new head coach after dismissing previous coach Will Wade. McMahon, however, was a Naismith National Coach of the Year semifinalist who coached his former team Murray State to an 18-0 start this season. McMahon also led them to a NCAA Tournament berth as well but didn’t have Shareef listed as an integral part of the LSU system moving forward.
Since Will Wade’s firing, the LSU Tigers lost every commit for 2022 and 2023, and guard Brandon Murray entered the transfer portal. After that Xavier Pinson, who had just transferred over from Missouri entered the portal and is looking to leave.
This isn’t so much a knock on McMahon, especially since they haven’t even gotten a chance to play for him, but more so the loyalty and love they had for Wade. This is also probably a major reason why Shareef is following behind his teammates and entering the transfer portal, With so many teammates leaving, he’s ready to leave and start a new journey as well.
Regardless of where Shareef plans on transferring, he will have to earn his minutes and role on his potential team. He will not be shown any special treatment because of his father. When looking at his statistics, he definitely has a lot more to prove, and if he has any professional aspirations at this point, he’s going to have to make a huge turnaround in his productivity and his game.