Kentucky, Louisville, Carolina Among Those in Pursuit of Antonio Blakeney
NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. –– Kentucky’s John Calipari, Louisville’s Rick Pitino and North Carolina’s Roy Williams were among the head coaches in hot pursuit of shooting guard Antonio Blakeney here at the Peach Jam Saturday morning.
Continuing to show an ability to get to the rim and score in a variety of ways in the mid-range, Blakeney went for 24 points on 9-of-16 shooting as E1T1 rebounded from a tough Friday night loss to the Playaz by downing Team Takeover, 86-61.
“When I play, I don’t pay attention to the coaches that’s over there,” the 6-foot-4, 185-pound Blakeney out of Sarasota (FL) Oak Ridge told SNY.tv following the game. “I find out after the game.”
Blakeney recently picked up Kentucky and North Carolina offers, and told SNY.tv that Calipari “thinks I can be a pro one day.”
It’s easy to see while the Kentucky coach, Pitino, Williams and a slew of other coaches love Blakeney’s game and ability to score at will.
“I’ve been trying [to get to the basket] now that I got a lot stronger and stuff,” he said. “Now I can get in there and take the contact and get the and-one.”
He says he’s recently fleshed out his mid-range game instead of just trying to get all the way to the rim.
“[I’ve added] the floater or the step back,” he said.
As for Kentucky’s interest, Blakeney said, “It made me feel good. He’s showing me that I’m one of his priorities, so that’s good.”
Asked if he might visit Kentucky, he said, “I’m not sure yet.”
HE previously told Evan Daniels of Scout he would “probably” visit for Big Blue Madness in October.
Pitino has also been watching Blakeney.
“He’s at a lot of games so he’s showing me I’m a priority,” Blakeney said. “Whoever is showing me that I’m a priority, I’m going to take the time to look at them because the school has to want me just as bad as I want them.”
Kansas, FloridaFlorida State, Providence, LSU, Oregon and USC are among the other schools that have offered.
“Pretty much every school has offered me,” he said.
Blakeney said he plans to cut his list to “10 or five” by the end of the summer or when school starts.
“I just want to go to a school and dominate college basketball,” he said.
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.