The addition of freshman Johnny O'Bryant at LSU is a big deal. Bringing in a 6-foot-9 McDonald's All-American who has a presence on the block should do wonders for a team coming off back-to-back 11-win seasons and last-place finishes in the SEC.
LSU made its freshmen available to the media on Monday, and O'Bryant was open about the high expectations for himself. In fact, he already has the NBA draft on his mind before having played in college.
From the Times-Picayune:
O'Bryant said he's aware of the expectations among Tigers fans that he will help turn the program in a positive direction. One question mark will be how long he stays. If he improves at an accelerated rate, he could declare early for the NBA draft.
"Of course, I want to have a big impact from Day One," he said. "When I signed, I knew a lot would be expected of me. I'm going to accept the role and try my hardest to get better each day. (On the NBA) I just know if I come out and play hard, let the NBA decide. Hopefully, I won't be too long, but if I do, (I'll) try to help the team."
When asked if he would like to be a one-and-done player he added: "Of course."
Coach Trent Johnson would love it if O'Bryant came through with the kind of freshman season that would warrant his young big man some one-and-done consideration. But the idea of losing a talent with clearly-stated NBA aspirations like O'Bryant so soon can't be easy to hear at a time when his college career is months away from beginning. Ideally for Johnson, O'Bryant would have a long-lasting impact on the program.
O'Bryant realizes he'll have to work to be one-and-done and told reporters his first order of business is to lose 10 pounds to get down to his listed weight of 250 pounds.
"I'm just the type of person that wants to come in and work hard," O'Bryant told reporters. "The transition is hard. The game is much faster and everybody is much stronger and athletic. I just want to come in from day one and do everything I can to help. I am not making any promises, I am just going to try my best to help as much as possible.
"I do not think there is any pressure. Coach [Trent] Johnson and I have sat down and talked a lot. I am going to do what I can, but if I am the only one doing something then there is no team."