December 19, 2013

Blakeney -- Bucket Getter

FT. MYERS, Fla. --- One of the top prospects on display at the City of Palms Classic is 2015 SG Antonio Blakeney. The 6-4 wing scorer tallied 32 points on opening day as his team, Orlando (Fla.) Oak Ridge took the loss in the opening round.

He led his team in scoring, as he knew he had to, and the competition, Greenforest Christian from Georgia, threw lots of athletes at him, including constant double teams and zones designed to put length in his face the entire way.

"I feel like I played pretty well personally. I hit a lot of shots in the first half, I hit some shots in the second half. I had it going, but I needed to do more to help my team win. I could've rebounded more, I could have played some better defense," he said.

He hit six three-pointers. Something that he is well known for.

It's easy to label Blakeney as a shooter since he has great range, rotation and the ability to score a lot of points from the perimeter. The long guard, however, feels that he's a very well-rounded player, and one who can put points on the board. And he can do it in many ways.

"I'm just a real hard worker. I'm a leader on the court and I just try to do whatever to get the win. I'm a guy who can shoot, but more than anything I'm a bucket getter, a scorer. I just try to do whatever it takes to win. I can score from mid-range, I can get to the rim and I do it from all three levels," said Blakeney.

On the recruiting front, Blakeney has a lot of regional power programs who are making him feel like a priority. And he's also a national target as well, getting heavy interest and offers from schools in the midwest and the up the east coast.

"There's a lot of schools (coming hard) like Florida, Florida State, North Carolina, Louisville, Kansas, Missouri. A lot of those schools. I have to just take my time and make the right decison for me," he said.

Lots of basketball media, recruiting analysts and college coaches believe that the Gators are in a good position with the potent scorer. When asked Blakeney about that, he admitted that Billy Donovan definitely has a strong chance.

" I mean they are strong. They're an in-state school, a big school, but again, I have a lot of schools coming and I'm not going to say that they're a leader or anything right now. I'm still open, but yes, they are strong."

Blakeney says that the Tar Heels have put an offer on the table for him, just like the rest of the schools, and he admits that the program in Chapel Hill is pretty consistent with their contact.

"Right now, it's more of a relationship thing, I'm just getting to know them better, getting to know their system. How they play, all that stuff. They came to some practices and they've seen me play. I know that they want to get me down to a game and all that."

Blakeney says that he's had conversations with the UNC staff, including Roy Williams, who paid a visit to Orlando last month to see him in person.

The 2015 scorer says that he's in no rush and wants to see some programs up close and personal in the coming months.

"I want to see some games and take some visits. Right now, it's more about the high school season, but I want to get out there and watch every school that is recruiting me. I want to see how the atmosphere is at the games, see how I would fit in and see how the coaches interact with the players."

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