Already boasting 7-footer Darcy Malone and the best incoming freshman in the 2015 class, Ben Simmons, Louisiana State University has this past week snapped up two more Australian's to bolster their roster for the 2016/17 season. Duop Reath (JUCO) and Kieran Hayward have both committed to the Tigers, with Australian David Patrick playing a key role in building a LSU connection with talent from down under.
Duop Reath | LSU
6'10 Sudanese-Australian forward Reath who is set to enter his sophomore year at Lee College, is regarded as one of the top JUCO forwards in the class of 2016.
As a highly skilled power forward, Reath can score both from the post and possesses an ability to extend defenses through his ability to shoot from beyond the arc. Oozing with class and potential, Reath also had genuine interest from high-major programs Oklahoma State and Virginia Tech.
Reath averaged 6.9 points and 5.4 rebounds a game in his first season at Lee College and is promising to play a larger role this coming season ahead of arriving at Baton Rouge. Lee College assistant coach Marcus King suggested that Reath could help LSU immediately who will be looking to replace Ben Simmons once he departs for the NBA.
"He's a face-up, stretch 4 who can handle and shoot the ball," King outlined. "He can put it on the deck as well as he can take it off the rim and start the break. He has a big wing span and that helps him defend guys smaller than him."
Kieran Hayward | LSU
Joining Reath in signing with LSU is 6'5 guard Kieran Hayward of St Joseph's College, NSW and the AUSA Hoops program.
The dynamic scoring guard is an excitement package, with an ability to finish strongly at the rim and NBA-distance range on his jump shot. Hayward first started to draw attention from scouts after touring the U.S. last summer with AUSA Hoops in playing three AAU tournaments. When LSU toured Australia this past winter, David Patrick caught up with the talented Hayward who caught the Tigers playing live in Sydney.
Hayward had garnered interested from some well-known programs, opting to visit St. Joseph’s, Rider, and LSU. He spent October 31 and November 1 at St. Joe’s, before two days at Rider and then 2 days at LSU, including the Tigers exhibition win over Southwest Baptist, following which he chose to commit.
"I’ve really wanted to go to college ever since I’ve been little,” Hayward shared. "I researched a lot of the schools and realized they have that Australian connection, especially LSU. It seems like an amazing place to be.”
With LSU's shooting guard Keith Hornsby set to complete his senior year this season, the under-the-radar Hayward appears to be a ready-made replacement in waiting.