LSU sophomore guard Antonio Blakeney has been named to the preseason All-SEC Second Team, the conference announced on Wednesday. Blakeney returned to school after flirting with the NBA. LSU coach Johnny Jones is thrilled to have the 6-4, 190-pound guard back.
"He has a chance to make an impact on this team. He knew that there were some areas where he needed to continue to improve and get better and take some of the questions out for his draft status," Jones said. "I think he’s one of those guys you would automatically look to as someone projected to be a leader of this year’s team. I think he’s taken ownership of that."
In 33 games with 24 starts, Blakeney averaged 12.6 points per game and 3.4 rebounds a game while shooting 42.5 percent from the field (137-322) and 52-of-155 from the arc (33.5 percent). Blakeney was named to the 2015 All-SEC Freshmen Team following that effort.
Blakeney said he has one goal this season following a disappointing 2015-16 campaign that saw the Tigers miss the postseason even with the NBA's No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons on the squad.
"That's something we want to do is make it to the tournament. We definitely have a chip on our shoulder," Blakeney said last week.
In the preseason media poll, the Tigers were picked to finish 12th in the conference, edging out Tennessee and Missouri in the bottom of the conference rankings. Kentucky was picked to finish first.
LSU opens its season on November 12 against Wofford in Baton Rouge. SEC play will begin December 29. The 2017 SEC Tournament will be March 8-12 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn.
First Team All-SEC
Moses Kingsley – Arkansas, F, 6-10, 230, Sr., Abuja, Nigeria
J.J. Frazier – Georgia, G, 5-10, 155, Sr., Glennville, Ga.
Edrice “Bam” Adebayo – Kentucky, F, 6-10, 260, Fr., Little Washington, N.C.
De’Aaron Fox – Kentucky, G, 6-3, 187, Fr., Houston, Texas
Tyler Davis – Texas A&M, C, 6-10, 270, So., Plano, Texas
Second Team All-SEC
KeVaughn Allen – Florida, G, 6-2, 183, So., Little Rock, Ark.
Yante Maten – Georgia, F, 6-8, 240, Jr., Pontiac, Mich.
Isaiah Briscoe – Kentucky, G, 6-3, 210, So., Newark, N.J.
Malik Monk – Kentucky, G, 6-3, 200, Fr., Lepanto, Ark.
Antonio Blakeney – LSU, G, 6-4, 190, So., Sarasota, Fla.
Quinndary Weatherspoon – Mississippi State, G, 6-4, 202, So., Canton, Miss.
Luke Kornet – Vanderbilt, F, 7-1, 250, Sr., Lantana, Texas
SEC Player of the Year: Moses Kingsley, Arkansas
Preseason Media Poll
3. Texas A&M
8. South Carolina
9. Ole Miss
10. Mississippi State