Meet the 2016 LSU Basketball Recruit Class: Duop Reath

LSU Basketball
Feb 21, 2015; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; LSU Tigers guard Keith Hornsby (4) celebrates with fans following a win against the Florida Gators in a game at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. LSU defeated Florida 70-63. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports /

As a junior college transfer, 2016 LSU Basketball signee Duop Reath will start next year as one of the most experienced big men on the Tigers squad despite being a newcomer to the team. One of the premier prospects playing in the JUCO circuit last year, the Lee College alum brings size, energy and skill to a frontcourt looking to replace departed point forward Ben Simmons.

Death Valley Voice had the opportunity to ask Reath a few questions in anticipation of his first year on the team:

AB: For the benefit of myself and fellow LSU Basketball fans I’d just like to confirm how your name is pronounced?

DR: Dw-ahp.

AB: I want to start off by just delving into your personal upbringing a little bit. How old were you when you moved to Australia, and how exactly did that move happen?

DR: Well, I was born in South Sudan. My family moved to Australia when I was nine years old. My parents thought that we would have a better situation in Australia than South Sudan due to the civil war going on there.

AB: Tell me about the first time that you played basketball over in Australia and your introduction to the sport?

DR: I actually started out playing soccer and Australian football, and then in high school—around 8th/9th grade I started playing basketball as I started growing and continued to grow.

AB: How was the level of competition when playing in high school, and when did you realize that basketball would be a serious possibility for you in college?

DR: Honestly, the level of competition really wasn’t great, but I was doing most of the work on my team. Australian football and soccer were the main sports at my school with basketball not being taken seriously. [On my high school team], I ended up doing most of the work: dribbling, shooting, playing defense.

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AB: Were you a big NBA fan growing up? Any players or teams you were a huge fan of?

DR: I was a huge NBA fan growing up. I liked watching the game whenever I could. Really just watching the game in general rather than a specific team. We got it on cable television in Australia.

AB: How were you recruited by Lee College?

DR: In Australia, we have a tournament twice a year—July and December. Lee College coach [Marcus] King came down to the July tournament in 2014, and he saw me play and said that he would help me get better, grow as a basketball player and an athlete, and so I thought it would be better to go play in the states—and of course there was also a free education there.

AB: How was the transition from Australia to Texas? Any big cultural differences that stood out?

DR: There wasn’t a big difference from Australia to Texas culturally. However, once I got there driving was a big difference. You drive on the left side of the road [in Australia] as compared to Texas, and sometimes I would be afraid of getting into an accident since it was so different here. It didn’t take long for me to adjust to the time zone differences though.

AB: How was playing at Lee College with fellow 2016 Tiger signee Branden Jenkins?

DR: Playing with him was good, he really plays defense. As a player he gives you a lot. Great guy, great teammate, great competitor, Branden was an overall great guy to play with, and I’m excited to continue doing so.

AB: Ok now let’s get into the basketball questions a little more. What do you feel are your greatest strengths as a player? 

DR: I can do a little of everything: handle the ball, shoot the ball, protect the rim and score. I try to be an all-around basketball player.

AB: You are a skilled shooter and can handle the ball a bit—how were you able to develop those typically guard skills instead of simply playing the traditional big man’s role of rebounding and scoring in the paint.

DR: As I trained, I wanted to be a real basketball player, not just a single-skill player. Also, my coach made us run up and down, really work on all our skills in college and even back home in Australia we would on our skills a lot to become full basketball players.

AB: Is there a particular NBA player that you look to emulate or consider a good comparison for your game?

DR: Dirk Nowitzki. He stretches the floor out really well. Also [Serge] Ibaka, Ibaka is a great rim protector.

AB: Where do you think you can still grow as a basketball player or an athlete?

DR: I would like to be stronger. Also I still work on everything every day. I’m not finished growing [as a player], still constantly working on everything every day.

AB: What role do you see yourself playing for the Tigers this upcoming season?

DR: My role will just be to come out and play hard every game. I will be a junior so I will be expected to be one of the leaders on the team, play hard, compete. My role as a player will be protect the rim, score the ball, compete, win games.

AB: Do you have any thoughts on Baton Rouge and LSU’s campus? And lastly is there any message you’d like to send to Tiger Basketball fans?

DR: As for the campus, it’s good, I like it a lot, really a beautiful campus. To the fans—Be ready for an exciting season.

Next: LSU Basketball's 2016 Recruiting Class: A Bright Future

How do you think this next season will play out? Are there any new recruits that you are particularly excited about? Let us know in the comment section below and go Tigers!