The LSU Tigers men’s basketball team is definitely going to be one to watch in the SEC and across the nation next season, and incoming freshman guard Antonio Blakeney is already feeling ambitious.
Speaking to Kami Mattioli of the Sporting News, Blakeney went so far as to say he thought LSU could be national champions in 2016.
“I think we’ll win the national championship,” he said. “I think we’re going to win the national championship.”
Those are certainly bold words, considering how Blakeney has yet to play a minute of college basketball in the SEC. Granted, LSU head coach Johnny Jones does have a strong recruiting class coming in besides Blakeney.
No. 1 overall recruit Ben Simmons and former St. John’s commit Brandon Sampson are also on the team, so the Tigers are definitely in a position to improve off of last season, when the team went 22-11 (11-7 SEC) and made the NCAA Tournament as a No. 9 seed before losing to No. 8 N.C. State.
But it should also be noted that LSU shares a conference with John Calipari-led Kentucky, who also has a strong recruiting class coming in despite several key players having left for the NBA.
Moreover, the defending champion Duke Blue Devils are restocked with freshman talent after seeing many key players from last year’s team also make the jump to the pros, so LSU could definitely face a bumpy road on its way to potentially raising the trophy.
Just the same, it’s clear that Jones is looking to make LSU more than just a football school and is amping up his recruiting efforts to make the basketball team notable again.
After all, let’s not forget that the Tigers made the Final Four back in 2006, knocking off J.J. Redick and No. 1 Duke along the way.
The season doesn’t start for a while, but definitely look for LSU to play with a chip on its shoulder from start to finish.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports