Back in September, Louisville Cardinals fans were ecstatic when five-star senior SG Antonio Blakeney gave Rick Pitino a verbal commitment. Just 11 days later, though, the 6-3 blue-chipper backtracked from his decision after giving it some thought. Now, it’s the LSU community that celebrates after the Florida native announced live on ESPNU on Friday afternoon that he’ll be taking his talents to Baton Rouge instead. He is the second five-star recruit in the class of 2015 for the Tigers, joining his Each 1 Teach 1 AAU teammate Ben Simmons – whom many tout as the top senior in the country. Blakeney was also considering Kentucky and Missouri.
Oak Ridge guard Antonio Blakeney announced LSU as his college destination on Friday, meaning Baton Rouge becomes the future basketball home for both of Florida’s top-rated senior prospects.
Blakeney is ranked as the state’s consensus No. 2 senior behind Montverde Academy’s national No. 1 Ben Simmons, a longtime LSU commit who made it official and signed with the Tigers in November.
Blakeney said being able to team up with Simmons at LSU was a factor in his decision. They were teammates on the Each 1 Teach 1 travel team.
“It factored in a lot. I know how good he is,” Blakeney said. “We have good chemistry on and off the court.”
Blakeney, a 6-foot, 4-inch senior guard, is ranked No. 13 by Rivals, No. 14 by ESPN and No. 15 by 247Sports.
He made Friday’s nationally-televised announcement on ESPNU from a studio at Disney’s Wide World of Sports. He chose LSU over Kentucky and Missouri.
“This guy is a program-changer in terms of offensive efficiency,” ESPN recruiting analyst Paul Biancardi said just before Blakeney’s announcement.
Blakeney is averaging 30.4 points per game, which does not count a 63-point outburst in a preseason 85-84 victory over Tavares Liberty Christian. He tallied a season-high 47 points in a 106-101 double-overtime regular season loss to Liberty Christian.