The LSU Tigers were without two players for Saturday’s 86-80 victory over Nicholls State: point guard Javonte Smart and center Bryan Penn-Johnson.
Smart, who was out because of COVID-19 protocols, is expected to be back Tuesday for the Tigers’ Southeastern Conference opener against Texas A&M (6 p.m., SEC Network). But LSU coach Will Wade said after the game that Penn-Johnson could be away from the team “for the foreseeable future.”
Wade said the transfer from the University of Washington is currently back home in Long Beach, California. He gave no timetable as to when Penn-Johnson might return.
“This is the farthest he’s ever been away from home,” Wade said. “He was a little homesick and has some family issues he’s working through. So we gave him some time.
“He won’t be with us for the foreseeable future as he kind of works through those issues back home.”
A 7-foot sophomore, Penn-Johnson played sparingly in the Tigers’ first five games, averaging 3.4 minutes per contest with no starts. He has two points and three rebounds total.
A former four-star prospect, Penn-Johnson redshirted at Washington for the 2018-19 season. He played seven games there in 2019-20, averaging 1.6 points and 0.7 rebounds.