Blakeney, Simmons, Sampson Meet Local Media

by Kent Lowe (@LSUkent)
Basketball Freshmen Meet the Media +0
Blakeney, Simmons, Sampson Meet Local Media

BATON ROUGE – In what has become a summer tradition in recent years, three LSU freshman basketball players met with the local media Wednesday at the Maravich Center practice facility.

Ben Simmons, Antonio Blakeney and Brandon Sampson met in breakout sessions with the member members with topics ranging from Simmons and Blakeney’s recent trip to the NIKE All-Star Academy to Sampson’s thoughts on the upcoming season.

Here’s a transcript of a few of the quotes offered at the session:

POINT-FORWARD BEN SIMMONS

On his experience at the Nike Academy last weekend …
“It was great for me. We got to go up against some of the NBA guys. It was a good experience. I also was playing against college guys. It was my first experience playing against guys who are the top players in college. For me, it was more of an introduction to the college system. I feel really comfortable, and I’m ready to go into the season.”

On if he’s been able to get settled in on the LSU campus …
“Definitely, campus has been good. It’s all new to me. It’s about adjusting, being able to find new buildings and getting used to a new schedule. I’m enjoying it. I’m used to traveling and moving so I feel it’s easy for me to adapt to a new place. LSU has been a good place for me. I’ve got D.P. (assistant coach David Patrick), Antonio (Blakeney) and Brandon (Sampson) so I’m really comfortable with my situation.”

On how the team’s workouts and open gym has been …
“Open gym has been good. Everyone goes hard at each other. We’re just trying to get better and get ready. I think everyone brings a high level of competiveness to the gym each day.”

On his role with the team for the upcoming season …
“I see myself as a point forward. If I get a rebound, I feel I can take the ball down the court. I can run a play and be able to facilitate for other guys.”

GUARD BRANDON SAMPSON

On what he’s looking forward to on the team’s trip to Australia …
“I’m looking forward to the chance to play against some great pro teams over there. Playing against those guys can do nothing but makes us better as a team. It will help us a lot. Those guys are probably bigger and more physical. It will help prepare us for the season.”

On playing with a talented backcourt at LSU …
“You can’t come in here and think that the guys who have been here are going to lay down for you. I’m learning a lot from those guys, and everything has been information intake for me. With the older guys like Keith (Hornsby), Tim (Quarterman) and Josh (Gray), they’ve taken me in under their wing and shown me everything. Playing against them every day is going to make me better.”

On what he’s excited about for the upcoming season …
“Just the caliber of guys we have coming in and what I feel this team can accomplish. I think we can be really good if we continue to work hard and set our minds right and be humble.”

On what he feels he can bring to the team …
“I think I’m a great facilitator, and I can create shots for my teammates. I believe I can score the ball pretty well too, and I feel that I’m a good teammate on and off the court.”

GUARD ANTONIO BLAKENEY

On his experience at the Nike Academy last weekend …
“It was like a measuring stick for me because that’s where we ultimately want to be (playing in the NBA). It was nice to go up against those guys and compare your game and see what you need to work on.”

On why he came to LSU …
“To me, I could see the potential and how good the team could be. It’s great to come in and play with someone (Ben Simmons) that I already have good chemistry with. He’s someone who I feel can be the best player in the country.”

On what he’s looking forward to for the season …
“I can’t wait to get there and play in that first college game. I’m excited because we’re a young team. A lot of young teams are winning and doing great things in college basketball right now. I’m excited to see what our team can do this season.”

On being able to build relationships with his veteran teammates …
“The biggest thing for me is to learn from them. Keith (Hornsby) has hit a lot of big shots and does a great job of coming off screens. All of those guys do good things, and I want to learn as much as I can from all of them. I feel I can take something from all of their games and put it into mine.”