LSU interim coach Tony Benford updates status of Javonte Smart, Naz Reid heading into SEC Tournament
LSU won the SEC regular-season title outright on Saturday night by putting a beating on Vanderbilt and after Tennessee lost on the road at Auburn. Of course, the story of the game heading into that matchup wasn’t so much on the regular season title as it was the suspension of head coach Will Wade by LSU.
Stepping into Wade’s shoes for the Vanderbilt game was assistant coach Tony Benford. Benford was named the interim head coach by the school when it announced Wade’s suspension on Friday. Now that LSU is the No. 1 seed entering the 2019 SEC Tournament in Nashville, the biggest question in Baton Rouge right now is the status of Wade moving forward.
Benford isn’t just replacing Wade on the court, he’s also forced to deal with the media obligations that come with being a head coach in the SEC. The latest example of that came on Monday when Benford called into the latest coaches teleconference put on by the SEC.
Here is what Benford said when asked if he’s planning on being LSU’s coach for the 2019 SEC Tournament.
“I haven’t been told otherwise that I’m not going to be,” Benford replied.
Wade isn’t the only one suspended by LSU at the moment as Javonte Smart was held out of Saturday night’s game against Vanderbilt. According to Benford, the team is expecting a status update on Smart to come by Tuesday. Naz Reid, who also missed the Vandy game (due to injury), is likely to return to action when the Tigers return to play in the SEC Tournament, according to Benford.
LSU opens play in the SEC Tournament on Friday and has to wait out several games before knowing which league team it will face in Nashville.