LSU, Jones equipped for a run

With the addition of Antonio Blakeney and Ben Simmons, LSU is equipped to do damage next season.

Johnny Jones and LSU are equipped for a run, and not just in the SEC.

Already holding a pledge from Scout’s No. 2 basketball recruit in the country – Ben Simmons – Johnny Jones and the Tigers reeled in Scout’s No. 22 overall prospect and one of the top perimeters scorers in the country – Antonio Blakeney.

The Blakeney news is significant for LSU and their program moving forward. Assistant David Patrick, who is Simmons’ Godfather, deserves some credit, as he was the point-man and helped sell Blakeney on the idea of changing the perception of the LSU program.

A top 25 recruit, Blakeney is one of the top all around scorers in the 2015 class. Blakeney, who stands 6-foot-4, is an explosive athlete that has a knack for creating space and opportunities for himself off the bounce. Blakeney is a good long-range shooter, but he’s also a threat to pull-up from mid-range and drive the ball to the rim.

The Tigers will pair Blakeney in the backcourt with current guard standout Josh Gray, giving them a formidable perimeter duo.

Simmons, a dominating and versatile combo forward, can fulfill a few roles for the Tigers, playing both on the perimeter and in the paint. Simmons is skilled. He’s a talented, a good area rebounder and a strong, physical driver.

If Jarell Martin and Jordan Mickey opt to stay put in Baton Rouge next season, there’s no reason to believe LSU can’t compete for a SEC crown, but also for a deep run in the NCAA tournament.

“With those guys I think we would be the best team in the country, especially with Josh Gray we’d be the best team in the country,” Blakeney said.

Although Kentucky has yet to round out their 2015 class -- and there’s no telling who will or won’t stay for the Cats -- adding Blakeney and Simmons to a line up of Gray, Martin and Mickey would likely give the Tigers a starting five as good as any in the league.


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