The LSU Tigers are heading into the SEC Tournament as the No. 1 seed, but without head coach Will Wade. Fortunately, it looks like they may have the services of star guard Javonte Smart.
In a statement released on Friday, the school announced that Smart has been cleared to play in tonight’s game against 8th-seeded Florida. Smart was previously held out of LSU’s season finale against Vanderbilt.
Smart has been under an NCAA microscope ever since he and Wade were identified in a federal wiretapping case. While Wade has reportedly been less than forthcoming to investigators, the LSU statement notes that Smart has cooperated fully with the investigation.
The statement also made it clear that with Smart’s cooperation, the investigation found no wrongdoing on his part.
— Amie Just (@Amie_Just) March 15, 2019
A breakout star for the Tigers as a freshman, Smart is averaging 11.5 points per game, 2.8 rebounds per game, and 2.5 assists per game.
Smart has led the Tigers in scoring three times this year, and in assists another three times.
His season-high 29 points against the Tennessee Vols helped lift the Tigers to a 82-80 win that proved decisive in getting LSU their first SEC title since 2009.
LSU will likely be relying on Smart to have another great performance during the SEC tournament if they hope to claim the title for the first time since 1980.