Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Tony Benford expects to coach LSU in SEC Tournament, gives updates on Javonte Smart, Naz Reid
By ADAM ZAGORIATony Benford said Monday he expects to coach LSU in the SEC Tournament this week after he was named as the interim coach following the suspension of Will Wade last Friday.
“I haven’t been told otherwise,” he told reporters on the SEC conference call.
Top-seeded LSU meets the winner of the Florida-Arkansas game on Friday at 1 p.m. ET at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on ESPN.
As for freshman guard Javonte Smart, whom the school had sit out Saturday’s regular-season finale against Vanderbilt in the wake of a Yahoo report that Wade discussed with a middle man paying Smart’s family in return for a commitment, Benford said he expected an update soon.
“We don’t have an update on that yet,” Benford said. “Hopefully, they told me we may have an update [Tuesday] morning, maybe tomorrow afternoon sometime.”
Smart is averaing 11.5 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists a game.
Meantime, former Roselle (N.J.) Catholic star Naz Reid missed Saturday’s game after getting hit in the mouth against Florida.
“Naz (Reid) is fine. Naz is just protocol,” Benford said per 247Sports.com. He should be fine. He got hit in the face, so he was just recovering from that. Naz will be fine. Naz will be ready to go (for the SEC Tournament).”
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.