LSUs Freshman Antonio Blakeney to test the NBA draft without agent, could return for second season
BATON ROUGE- LSU guard Antonio Blakeney has announced that he will try the new NBA draft system and will not hire an agent.
Under the new rules this year by the NCAA, NBA, and National Association of Basketball Coaches Blakeney has the opportunity to return to the university for his sophomore season.
“After meeting with my mom and the LSU Coaching Staff, I’ve decided to enter my name into the 2016 NBA Draft with the hopes of pursuing my dream of playing the game I love with the best in the world,” Blakeney said.
Starting this year, a men’s basketball student-athlete can put his name into the draft, but can remove it up to 10 days after the conclusion of the NBA Draft Combine, a multi-day showcase for college players to perform in front of NBA coaches, staff and scouts, in mid-May.
Student-athletes can enter the draft several times without jeopardizing eligibility and are allowed to participate in the combine with one tryout per NBA team per year.
Students who are invited in the combine will be allowed to work out with his college coaches from the time he receives his invitation until the time he withdraws from the draft.
Workouts will be kept to the limit of four hours a day for up to 20 hours per week.
The draft rule change reverses a 2009 decision to move the date by which students must remove their name from the draft to the day before the spring signing period in early April.
“With the new rules that are in place, it will give Antonio an opportunity that wasn’t available to players in recent years. We are glad that he will take full advantage of these changes and we are very supportive of his decision,” LSU Head Coach Johnny Jones said.
Blakeney earned All-SEC freshman team honors in 2015-2016 and was also SEC Freshman of the Week twice during the season.
Blakeney averaged 12.6 points per game and 3.4 rebounds while starting 24 of the Tigers’ 33 games. He averaged 30.8 minutes per game and made 52 three-pointers. He finished the season making 89 of 119 free throws and 31 of his last 32 attempts, including a string of 28 straight.