Sometimes the road to major college basketball can be a winding one, and that certainly was the case for Brandon Sampson, whose short path from Madison Prep in north Baton Rouge to LSU only a few miles away briefly went through the Big Apple.
Sampson, for weeks this spring committed to St. John's, dropped his pledge after head coach Steve Lavin departed and ultimately inked with the Tigers and Johnny Jones in the late signing period.
During a recent interview with TSD's Ben Love on "Bumper to Bumper Sports" on 103.7 FM (KLWB) in Lafayette, Sampson indicated he hasn't looked back on his decision since, only forward to what he thinks can be a great 2015-16 season.
"I took it as a sign on coming here," Sampson recalled. "There are great players and everything, so I kinda took it as a sign that it was meant for me to come here. And I really think we're going to do some big things with the caliber of guys we have."
While Sampson went on to say the veterans are providing the blueprint in offseason workouts, he can't hide his excitement to suit up next to his fellow Class of 2015 brethren.
On Ben Simmons: "For the number one player in the nation he's a great guy, humbled and real grounded. The thing I'm most impressed with in his game is he doesn't look to score the ball by himself or take all the shots. He's actually looking to do the opposite. He's a great facilitator and he looks to make people around him better."
On Simmons (6-foot-10) handling the ball: "It's a different sight. But he's a great player and can play many roles, the one through the five."
Sampson also opened up on the attraction of playing next to guard Antonio Blakeney. As he views it, the two perimeter players aren't battling for the same spot.
"(We fit well) because we can both play multiple positions. We don't just clarify ourselves as just shooting guards," added Sampson. "I think we both can be combo guards, so we can play either side and run both wings. I don't think me and him will just settle on being shooting guards and battling for a position. We can be on the court at the same time."
There's plenty more from Sampson, included in the audio link below. Listen in for his takes on Craig Victor, who Sampson's known since the ninth grade, and the family atmosphere he's gotten to know since visiting Jarell Martin on campus.
Brandon Sampson eyeing big things for LSU
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