2.2.19 LSU vs Arkansas

LSU freshman guard Ja'vonte Smart (1) drives to the basket during the Tigers' 89-90 loss to Arkansas on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019, in the PMAC.

LSU officials have decided to sit freshman guard Javonte Smart against Vanderbilt on Saturday.

"Javonte Smart will be held from today’s game against Vanderbilt," said LSU in a press release. "This is done only in an abundance of caution and as a result of the lack of clarity provided regarding media reports and reported wiretaps involving Head Coach Will Wade.

"This decision does not suggest, in any way, wrongdoing or knowledge of wrongdoing on Javonte’s part or his family. Javonte and his family have been fully cooperative and open with university officials. The decision to hold Javonte from today’s game is a difficult and disappointing one for everyone involved.

"Javonte is a valuable member of the team, the university and the LSU family. The university and NCAA continue to review the matter in order to come to a resolution as quickly as possible."

Early Saturday morning, Stadium's Jeff Goodman tweeted out that Smart was likely to be held out, and then followed it up by saying a source told him Smart "will not play tonight."

According to an LSU official at the time, there had been "no updates yet" as to whether Smart would play. Another LSU official said Goodman's report was the first he's heard on withholding the reigning Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week.

With a win against Vanderbilt, LSU clinches the SEC regular season title outright and the No. 1 seed in the SEC tournament. Smart is currently averaging 11.4 points. 3.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 30 minutes per game this season.

LSU has made the decision to suspend coach Will Wade indefinitely following a Yahoo! Sports report saying Wade was caught on a federal wiretap discussing a player, who is presumed to be Smart, with basketball liaison Christian Dawkins. A federal jury found Dawkins guilty of wire fraud and conspiracy in October, and he is set to go on trial for bribery charges as well on April 22.

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