LSU lost freshman sensation Ben Simmons after one season, but another one of its rising sophomore’s has decided to stick around.
Guard Antonio Blakeney will return for his sophomore campaign with the Tigers and not enter his name for NBA draft evaluation, the school announced Tuesday.
“After consulting with my coaches and with my family, I have decided to return to LSU for my sophomore season,” Blakeney said in a statement. “I believe I can further improve my skill set in different areas to become even more effective for my team in the future.
“Although I finished the year strong and posted a solid season, I think it is in my best interest to return and continue to improve as I strive and prepare to be the best I can be. This will also allow me to continue with my schoolwork and continue to move forward on my college degree.”
Blakeney and Simmons headlined LSU’s 2015 freshman class last season, but the Tigers (19-14) failed to qualify for the NCAA tournament. Blakeney, rated as the No. 3 shooting guard in the Class of 2015, according to the 247sports composite, was the team’s third-leading scorer at 12.6 points per game. He finished strong, averaging 18.6 points over LSU’s last 11 contests.
“We’re excited about Antonio Blakeney’s decision to return for his sophomore season at LSU,” LSU coach Johnny Jones said. “His return will automatically give us another prolific scorer and the experience factor that is needed as we continue moving forward for next season. We will work diligently to help him continue to improve this offseason as he strives to be the best.”