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Gonzaga lands former 5-star LSU big Efton Reid

The Zags finally strike on the transfer portal.

NCAA Basketball: SEC Conference Tournament- Missouri vs LSU Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Gonzaga Bulldogs landed their first big name target of the transfer portal, with former five-star big man Efton Reid announcing he is joining the Zags for next season.

Reid, who transferred from LSU alongside the entirety of the team, averaged 6.3 points and 4.3 rebounds per game last season as a freshman. Not exactly gaudy numbers, but the potential is clearly there. A five-star recruit in 2021, he was ranked No. 27 by 247 Sports and was slotted as the third-best center in the class.

With Chet Holmgren declaring for the NBA Draft and Drew Timme potentially on his way out as well, Reid is exactly the athletic big man the Zags needed to help supplement the remaining post players on the roster. He showed stellar defensive instincts as a freshman, and his 5.4 block percentage was ranked No. 136 in the country last season. He relentlessly crashed the offensive glass, and very well could be a wrecking ball down in the post for a Gonzaga system that actually knows how to run an offense.

That is why reading into his offensive statistics isn’t the best exercise in understanding who the Zags just landed. Remember, LSU owned one of the top defenses throughout the season last year, but the offense wasn’t exactly a high octane machine. They struggled with turnovers and were a terrible three-point shooting team, making it much more difficult for players such as Reid to find the spacing they needed to operate in the post.

As the roster stands now, Reid at center and Anton Watson at the power forward is a stellar combo. If Timme returns, Reid will help cover some of the rim protection Holmgren provided in his sole year as a Zag.

This is a high-reward transfer that should immediately have the fanbase feeling a little better about the prospects of next season.