Former LSU basketball standouts Antonio Blakeney and Craig Victor are among the record 182 college underclassmen and international players who officially declared for this summer’s NBA draft.
The deadline for entering the draft was Sunday night and the league announced 137 college players and 45 international players had declared.
Among the list of college players are Blakeney, a second-team All-Southeastern Conference pick as a sophomore this past season, and Victor, who was dismissed Dec. 29 for a violation of team rules.
ESPN reported Tuesday that Blakeney, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard, who announced via Twitter on April 11 that he would put his name in the draft, has hired Aaron Turner as his agent.
Players who hire an agent forfeit their remaining college eligibility; those who don’t have until May 24 to withdraw their name and return to school if they choose.
Victor hasn’t hired an agent, according to HoopsRumors.com.
When he announced he was entering the draft, it wasn’t clear if Blakeney would hire an agent or test the draft waters as he did after his freshman season. But a source told The Advocate it was unlikely he would be a part of new LSU coach Will Wade’s first team.
A native of Sarasota, Florida, Blakeney led LSU in scoring this season with 17.2 points a game — up 4.6 points from his first season — while shooting 45.8 percent from the field.
He also averaged 4.8 rebounds per game, ranking second among players who finished the season, and 1.7 assists per game in 32.9 minutes per game.
Blakeney’s name doesn’t appear on any mock drafts, which means he’ll likely have to play in the NBA Developmental League or overseas.
Then again, if he goes undrafted, Blakeney may have a chance to follow in former teammate Tim Quarterman’s footsteps.
Quarterman left after his junior season a year ago but was not drafted.
He made an impression in the NBA summer league, however, and eventually earned a roster spot with the Portland Trail Blazers even though he had a couple of D-League stints thrown in.
Fifteen Southeastern Conference players officially put their name in the draft with eight of them hiring an agent: Kentucky’s Malik Monk, DeAaron Fox, Bam Adebayo, Isaiah Briscoe and Isaac Humphries; South Carolina’s PJ Dozier; Florida’s Devin Robinson; and Blakeney.
Not hiring an agent yet, according to HoopRumors.com, are Kentucky’s Hamidou Diallo, Georgia’s Yante Maten, Florida’s John Egbunu, Arkansas’ Jaylen Barford and Daryl Macon, Alabama’s Braxton Key and Victor.