3.9.19 SEC champs

LSU freshman Ja'vonte Smart cuts the net after the Tigers' 80-59 victory over Vanderbilt on Saturday, March 9, 2019, in the PMAC.

It’s still unclear if freshman guard Javonte Smart will play against Florida in the Southeastern Conference tournament on Friday. A LSU official says there’s still no update on Smart’s status as of 7:30 Friday morning.

LSU decided to sit Smart “in an abundance of caution” before the regular season finale against Vanderbilt on March 8 after questions arose about his eligibility following a report by Yahoo! Sports detailing an alleged conversation picked up on an FBI wiretap between suspended LSU coach Will Wade and college basketball liaison Christian Dawkins. According to the transcript, Wade discusses making “a strong-ass offer” to a player believed to be Smart with Dawkins, who has been convicted of federal conspiracy and fraud charges following an FBI investigation into college basketball.

Since the report came to light, LSU has cooperated with NCAA officials during an investigation into Smart’s eligibility. They interviewed multiple people, including Smart and his mother, Melinda.

Despite the decision by LSU to sit Smart, he has been able to practice with the team and travel with the team to Nashville for the SEC tournament. Smart has averaged 11.5 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 30.3 minutes per game.

In his last four games, Smart started all four games, averaging 20 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.8 assists.

The Tigers tip off at 12 p.m. against Florida and will have to win three games in three days if they want to win their first SEC tournament since 1980.

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