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LSU’s Eason is trending in the right direction in the first round of the NBA draft – Tiger Rag

PHOTO: Jonathan Mailhes

The 2022 NBA draft is scheduled for Thursday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, and for the second straight draft, an LSU player could call his name in the first round.

The NBA draft will be broadcast live on both ESPN and ABC, with ESPN having full live coverage of both rounds while ABC will cover the first round.

Mock drafts released in recent weeks have had former LSU player Tari Eason, who was the Southeastern Conference sixth man of the year, from late in the lottery pick until midway through the first round.

In 2021, LSU’s Cameron Thomas was picked with the 27th first-round pick by the Brooklyn Nets.

The Tigers could potentially have NBA draft picks in four straight drafts, the first time since a 5-year pick run from 2005-09.

Eason had a breakthrough in the 2021-22 season at LSU after transferring from Cincinnati, where he played as a freshman. Eason, an All-SEC first-team selection and an AP Honorable Mention All-America selection, averaged 16.9 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 1.1 blocks and 1.9 steals per game , while playing 24.4 minutes per game.

Eason hit double digits in 29 games for the Tigers with 11 games of 20 or more points and seven double doubles. He was named a semifinalist for Naismith Defensive Player of the Year honors and ranked sixth in the SEC in scoring, ninth in rebounds, T4 in steals and ninth in offensive rebound average (2.27).

An NBA Combine writer noted that Eason’s 7-2 span was “an excellent trait for a 6-8 forward known for his defensive versatility.”

Also in LSU’s draft pool were Darius Days and Shareef O’Neal.

Days played at LSU for four seasons, improving on average each season and averaging 13.7 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game last season. He started all but one game of the 92 that LSU has played in the past three seasons. Overall, he had 26 games in double figures, including 70 for his career with nine double-doubles for the season and 25 for his career. He has published 10 career games of 20 points or more.

Days, who participated in the G League Combine and was then drafted into the NBA Draft Combine, is only the third LSU player since 1977-78 to have a career with 1,300 points, 800 rebounds and 125 steals.

BasketballNews.com said Days, who hit a 7-0 span in the combine, “has a special combination of power and bounce.”

O’Neal struggled with injuries while at LSU and was off the field for almost a year before returning as a junior last January. He played in 14 games and averaged 2.9 points and 2.1 rebounds. He averaged eight points and six rebounds at G League Elite Camp in May.

Like Eason and Days, O’Neal has been coaching for several teams in the days leading up to the NBA Draft in hopes of winning a second-round pick or a free agent in preparation for the summer leagues beginning in early July.

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