LSU guard Antonio Blakeney’s name inexplicably showed up Tuesday on a list of players who filed as early entry candidates for the 2016 NBA draft, just one week after he announced he would return to school for his sophomore season.
The NBA released a list of 162 players, comprising 117 college players and 45 international players, who submitted their names in as early draft candidates.
The deadline for applying for the draft was April 24.
LSU coach Johnny Jones issued a statement Tuesday night through associate sports information director Kent Lowe reaffirming Blakeney’s decision to bypass the draft this year and return to school.
“Nothing has changed from Antonio Blakeney’s (news) release last week to withdraw from the draft,” Jones said. “This is just a case of the formality of the paperwork not reaching the NBA office prior to the preparation of the list.”
An NBA spokesman said it wasn’t possible Tuesday night to find out the specifics of how Blakeney’s name showed up on the list if he didn’t intend to enter the draft, but the league might have an answer Wednesday morning.
Tim Kuck, senior manager of basketball communications for the NBA, said under new NCAA rules underclassmen who put their name in the draft must officially withdraw in writing by May 25.
Blakeney informed Jones on April 1 that he would explore his options about a pro career before announcing last Tuesday that he wouldn’t submit his name for the draft and would be back for his sophomore season.
At the time, Blakeney said he didn’t hire an agent while he gathered information about his draft chances — allowing him to retain his college eligibility and return to LSU.
Blakeney, a McDonald’s All-American and five-star recruit who chose LSU over Kentucky and Missouri, ranked third on the team with 12.6 points per game after coming on strong late in the season.
In the final 11 games, Blakeney averaged 18.6 points per game and earned a spot on the Southeastern Conference Coaches All-Freshman team. He started 24 of LSU’s 33 games and averaged 30.8 minutes per contest.
Brett Dawson contributed to this report.