Louisiana Tech’s basketball roster for next season is beginning to take shape.
In the 10 days following their third-place finish in the National Invitational Tournament, the Bulldogs have landed two Division I transfers with the addition of Incarnate Word shooting guard Keaston Willis and Lamar guard Kasen Harrison.
Bringing those into the fold will help offset the loss of senior shooting guard Kalob Ledoux, who decided to not return for a final season and turn professional, signing with an agent, Tech coach Eric Konkol told The News-Star Wednesday.
“Kalob filled a lot of roles for us,” Konkol said. “He improved as a defender, he started games, he came off the bench for us. He became a winner here. He won a lot of games here.
“He shot 42 percent from 3 this year. He guarded a lot of good players, he became one of our primary defenders. Kalob battled in many different ways to put himself in position to play professionally.”
Ledoux was the team’s third leading scorer, posting 11.6 points per game while sinking a team-best 57 3-pointers 3’s.
Senior Xaiver Armstead has entered the transfer portal, giving Louisiana Tech two perimeter roster spots that are now filled with Willis and Harrison.
Willis, a 6-foot-3 junior from Sulphur Springs, Texas, who played AAU basketball with Tech guard Cobe Williams, averaged 19 points per game and shot 38% from behind the arc. And while Williams handled most of the ball handling duties for Tech this season, there was obviously lacking depth at that role.
The addition of Harrison, a 6-1 sophomore who averaged 13.1 points per game, will help the Bulldogs in that regard
“We were looking at adding to our perimeter game. Off dribble, getting to the paint, playmaking and of course, shooting the basketball with Ledoux departing. Willis shot 38 percent from 3 last year. That’s a big number,” Konkol said.
“And Kasen is a gifted creator and playmaker. That was something we were looking for, someone where the ball is part of their body. He can create for himself and create for others.”
Konkol said he and his staff are operating as if both transfers will be available to play right away from Tech. The NCAA has been discussing a one-time blanker transfer waiver and will vote on its approval April 15.
And with the NCAA giving seniors an extra year of eligibility, Jacolby Pemberton, Andrew Gordon, Amorie Archibald and Exavian Christon all need to make a decision. Konkol said he expects Christon to return, while the other three are looking at all options and he anticipates their decisions within the next two weeks.
Konkol said Louisiana Tech remains in the market for a versatile power forward and that the staff could go either transfer portal, junior college or high school prospect to find that player.