LSU's Antonio Blakeney opts out of 2016 NBA Draft
BATON ROUGE - LSU guard Antonio Blakeney has announced that he will not submit his name for information on the upcoming NBA Draft, instead choosing to return for his sophomore season with the Tigers.
Blakeney was named to the 2016 SEC All-Freshman team and was also the SEC Freshman of the Week twice during the season. He averaged 12.6 points per game and 3.4 rebounds while starting 24 of LSU’s 33 games. He played 30.8 minutes per game and hit 52 threes. He was 89 for 119 from the free throw line (74.8 percent) and wrapped up the season with a streak of 28 straight.
“After consulting with my coaches and with my family, I have decided to return to LSU for my sophomore season,” Blakeney said. “I believe I can further improve my skill set in different areas to become even more effective for my team in the future.”
The deadline for submitting official paperwork for the NBA draft is Apr. 24. New draft guidelines could have allowed Blakeney to submit his name, not declare with an agent and still withdraw his name 10 days after the May NBA combine. However, Blakeney is to stay at LSU where he’ll complete school work along with the remainder of the Tigers’ spring strength and conditioning drills.
“We’re excited about Antonio Blakeney’s decision to return for his sophomore season at LSU,” LSU Head Men’s Basketball 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 off season as he strives to be the best.”