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LSU forward Naz Reid (0) and LSU guard Tremont Waters (3) slap hands on the court following a timeout in the Tigers' SEC home opener against Alabama, Tuesday, January 8, 2019, at LSU's Pete Maravich Assembly Center in Baton Rouge, La. LSU won 88-79.

As had been expected since announcing he was putting his name in the NBA draft on April 4, point guard Tremont Waters has played his last game for LSU.

Multiple media outlets reported Thursday afternoon that Waters, who is taking part in the NBA combine in Chicago along with 65 other draft-eligible players, said he's staying in the draft after playing two seasons with the Tigers.

"I'm good enough," Waters told reporters covering the combine. "I'm definitely staying in."

Waters, who went through the process a year ago after his freshman season but returned to school just before the deadline to withdraw from the draft, also said he had "worked my tail off to get to this point."

Meanwhile, fellow teammate Naz Reid, who is also participating in the combine, denied reports of receiving a $300,000 payment from coach Will Wade to attend LSU.

"It didn't happen. … There was no deal," Reid said.

It was the first public denial of any deal from Reid.

The Asbury Park, New Jersey, native also told reporters no coach at any school made him any type of financial offer and he signed with LSU because he liked the players and coaches, "not because of any money."

In a federal trial in New York last month, federally convicted former Arizona assistant Emanuel "Book" Richardson, in a secretly recorded FBI video, claimed Wade told him about a $300,000 payment to land Reid.

As for the combine itself, ESPN analyst Mike Schmitz said Thursday that Waters and Reid could help their draft prospects in different ways.

On a teleconference with national media, Schmitz said Waters will be able to showcase his on-court abilities and perhaps work himself into the middle of the second round of the 60-man June 20 draft.

At the same time, Schmitz said Reid has an opportunity to answer questions about what some have perceived to be an "up-and-down" motor.

Reid, a Southeastern Conference All-Freshman team pick for the Tigers this season, is a projected late first-rounder by NBAdraft.net, but Waters, a first-team All-SEC pick and the league's co-defensive player of the year, doesn't appear on most mocks.

Both were among the 66 invitees to the draft combine, which began on-court drills and five-on-five scrimmage games Thursday.

"Tremont is a guy who could really help himself these next couple of days at the combine because he's so gifted with the ball," Schmitz said. "In this type of setting, guards who have the ball generally tend to thrive just because they have more freedom."

As LSU's unquestioned floor leader the past two seasons, Waters proved to be a capable scorer in averaging 15.6 points a game, but he didn't shy away from getting the ball to his teammates in averaging 5.9 assists.


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"I think he can certainly get looks in the mid-second round just because he's so shifty with the ball and he can shoot," Schmitz said. "Sure, he doesn't have great size, but his skill level lends itself to fitting in today's game."

Reid was the team's second-leading scorer behind Waters' 15.3 points a game this past season with 13.6 a game and also averaged a team-high 7.2 rebounds.

"His is more about, you know what, what is he going to be like in the interview process because he's had kind of an up-and-down motor in the past," Schmitz said.

"It's about showing teams that he's ready to work hard and ready to put in the time that he needs to to maximize his potential."

Waters measured out as the shortest player at the combine, going 5 feet, 9½ inches without shoes and 5-10¾ with footwear. Reid came in at 6-8¾ without shoes and 6-9½ with.

On the court, Waters was impressive in covering the three-quarter court sprint in 3.06 seconds, which was second among all players. He also tied for third with a running vertical leap of 40½ inches.

Waters also was 11th in lane agility time at 10.76 seconds.

Reid, who was ninth among the prospects on hand with a wingspan of 7-3¼, was near the bottom of the charts with a 32½-inch running vertical leap.


Follow Sheldon Mickles on Twitter, @MicklesAdvocate.