BATON ROUGE, La. — The LSU basketball team will be without its second-team All-SEC guard in 2017-18.
Star guard Antonio Blakeney announced Tuesday night that he will declare for the 2017 NBA Draft, forgoing his last two seasons of eligibility. As a sophomore in 2016-17, Blakeney led the Tigers with 17.2 points per game, the fifth-most in the SEC.
— A.B 2️⃣ (@blakeney96) April 12, 2017
The 2016-17 season wasn’t what LSU basketball hoped for, as the team finished 10-21 with a 2-16 record in SEC play, ultimately leading to the dismissal of head coach Johnny Jones. Former VCU coach Will Wade was brought in to replace Jones.
Despite the team struggles, Blakeney was consistently a bright spot. The sophomore led the team in points, minutes, baskets made and 3-pointers made, as well as finishing second in total rebounds. In his two years in Baton Rouge, Blakeney averaged 14.8 points and 4.1 rebounds per game, serving as one of the few points of consistency between the two years.
Without Blakeney, LSU basketball’s options at guard will be lessened, but not limited. Point guards Skylar Mays, Jalyn Patterson and Branden Jenkins are all returning, as is guard Brandon Sampson. The Tigers will also welcome guards Galen Alexander and Brandon Rachal to the fold next year when they enroll to begin their freshmen seasons.