Eason into a Role: Tari Eason Prospect Watch

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Photo credit: LSUsports.net (via NBABigBoard.com)

We await the ping pong ball selections as the NBA Draft Lottery looms. Until then, let’s operate under the assumption that the San Antonio Spurs will keep their pick at the 9th, 20th, and 25th spots. Having said that, one prospect to keep an eye on is Tari Eason. He could go as high as 9th or as low as 20th, but it seems he shouldn’t fall further than that.

The 6-foot-8, 216-pound forward was a nice player for LSU last season after transferring out of Cincinnati the year prior. He improved in almost every major statistical category while turning into the go-to guy for the Tigers throughout the year. All of that is despite the fact he only started four games during the season as well. Here are his stats for the season.

  • 16.9 PPG, 1.1 BPG, 1.9 SPG, 1.0 APG, 6.6 RPG
  • 52.1 FG%, 35.9 3P%, 80.3 FT%
  • 33.4 PER, 119.2 ORtg, 83.2 DRtg

Eason’s calling card is his defense and tough presence. He has a strong upper body, which will help him guard the bigger forwards and keep the quicker ones in front of him. The former Tiger should be able to guard three positions at the least and possibly four. He’s not big enough to guard centers, but is quick enough to stay in front of everyone else.

What’s most enticing about Eason is that he has a great motor and is absolutely relentless on the boards. He draws fouls often because of his activity on the glass and his solid free throw shooting could be a precursor to him extending his range. That will be the swing skill for him at the next level, as he will need to be able to hit from distance consistently.

While the shooting numbers seem fairly good for Eason, his three-point shooting percentage was on pretty low volume. His catapult-like shot is troubling and slow, but can be tweaked and shouldn’t cause too great a concern. He also lacks a consistent mid-range jumper and a quick first step off the dribble. He’ll have a chance to show off a more refined game during combine workouts and scrimmages, which should give a better idea of what he can really do outside the confines of LSU’s offense.

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