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Blakeney’s NBA early entrant appearance a mistake, Jones says

Antonio Blakeney, Armani Moore

LSU’s Antonio Blakeney (2) dunks as Tennessee’s Armani Moore (4) looks on during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the Southeastern Conference tournament in Nashville, Tenn., Friday, March 11, 2016. LSU won 84-75. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)


LSU’s freshman Antonio Blakeney guard announced a week ago he planned to return to Baton Rouge for his sophomore season after initially deciding to test the NBA draft waters.

Apparently, the NBA never got the message.

Blakeney was among those listed as an early entrant on the list the NBA distributed Tuesday night, but, according to LSU, it was simply a mistake.

“Nothing has changed from Antonio Blakeney’s (decision) last week to withdraw from the draft,” LSU coach Johnny Jones said in a statement released by the school. “This is just a case of the formality of the paperwork not reaching the NBA Office prior to the preparation of the list.”

How’s that for a mix up?

Tigers fans no doubt had a momentary freakout when seeing Blakeney, who averaged 12.6 points per game last year, on the list given how vital he’ll be for the team next year with Ben Simmons and Tim Quarterman leaving for the NBA after one of college basketball’s most disappointing seasons in which LSU missed the NCAA tournament and turned down an NIT opportunity despite having the player (Simmons) who spent most of the last year as the presumptive No. 1 pick the 2016 draft.

But, as long as there’s not an even bigger miscommunication as the one apparently that happened here, Blakeney will be back for what no doubt will be a critical season for Jones.