Yet it’s LSU that will receive Blakeney’s fourth official visit this weekend and his last one before the early signing period tips off on Wednesday.
As Blakeney told TSD, the Tigers’ coaching staff is the main reason LSU has remained afloat while so many others have come calling.
“My relationships with their coaches are great, especially the head coach. I have a really good relationship with the head coach,” explained Blakeney. “That’s what has really been keeping them in the loop. Also, they’re going to have a really good team this year. Ben Simmons, my teammate, is also going there. All the stuff like that has helped them, and I’m pretty sure the visit’s going to make it even more.”
Fresh off an official visit to Kentucky last weekend, Blakeney, who prior took visits to Louisville and Missouri, has a healthy basis of comparison.
“It was a real good visit,” Blakeney recalled of his trip to Lexington. “They’re all great visits, don’t get me wrong, but Kentucky’s was a little different just because of the lifestyle of the players. They get treated like NBA players in their city.”
So just what is his mindset coming into the LSU visit?
“I’m excited just to compare it to Kentucky and all the other places I’ve been,” he continued. “After that I’ll only have one more (official) visit. But just comparing it to what I’ve already seen, that’s what I’m excited about.”
Blakeney is also aware and thrilled that Simmons, his Each 1 Teach 1 teammate on the EYBL summer circuit, will join him in Baton Rouge this weekend.
Simmons is coming on an unofficial visit so the two won’t be flying together, but Blakeney said they plan to hang out plenty during the two-day stay, which will include taking in the basketball team’s exhibition game Friday night versus Morehouse and the football team’s big showdown with Alabama Saturday evening.
When it comes to Blakeney’s timeline, it seems more likely than not at this point that he’ll wait until April to sign in the late period. Although he hasn’t completely closed the door on inking in the early window from Nov. 12-19.
“I’m still thinking about doing it late,” Blakeney leveled. “If it feels right I’ll do it early, but as of now – and I still need to talk with my mom and coaches and stuff – I’m thinking about doing it late.”
The Oak Ridge (Orlando) prep player still plans to use his fifth official visit, either to North Carolina or North Carolina State. While he hasn’t determined which ACC school will get the trip, that’s one of the factors behind Blakeney possibly pushing his decision back.
The other factor, which Blakeney said is the most important, is he wants to see how the final teams on his list perform in their own seasons.
“I want to actually watch them play,” said Blakeney. “I want to watch how the coaches coach their players, stuff like that. Especially how they coach players at my position more than anything.”