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The recruiting process for class of 2015 shooting guard Antonio Blakeney
has been a fairly drama-free affair.
He's received scholarship offers from elite schools. He has played for the same
AAU program, E1T1 Elite, for the past three years. When his mother was offered a
job in Central Florida, the family moved and Blakeney transferred from
Sarasota's Cardinal Mooney to Orlando's Oak Ridge High School.
Perhaps the top shooting guard in the state of Florida, and one of the top
overall players in the 2015 class, the No. 29 prospect in the Rivals150 told
Rivals.com that the schools he is hearing from are recruiting him hard.
"Pretty much all of them are recruiting me the same Florida,
Miami, South Florida, Central
Florida, Missouri. Pretty much everybody that's recruiting me is staying in
touch the same amount. They're all trying to get me to come for a visit or get
me to commit," Blakeney said.
One of those schools, South Florida, has a new head coach. Orlando
Antigua was due to arrive in Tampa the Wednesday following Kentucky's
national championship game, and he already has a relationship with Blakeney.
"I know him a little bit because when he was at Kentucky he talked to me a few
times but nothing too serious," said Blakeney. "Kentucky was showing a little
interest but they didn't offer me."
Blakeney, known by many as Tonio, averaged 25.2 points, five rebounds and 3.6
assists per game this season for Oak Ridge and led his team to the Florida Class
8A regional semifinals. He's also expected to be a leader in his AAU team's
quest to win the Nike Peach Jam.
"I've had the pleasure to coach Antonio since his freshman year," said Steve
Reece, coach of the E1T1 Elite 17U team. "Through the years he has become a kid
that wants to be pushed and wants to be the best in every area of his game. He
has become a better player and a great leader who wants to do whatever it takes
to win. His work ethic is off the charts. Every night he's in the weight room
and then he heads to the gym to wok on his game. He has one mission -- becoming
the most complete player in the country."
As of now, Blakeney hasn't taken many visits but he did take an unofficial visit
to Louisville back in January.
"The Louisville visit was good," Blakeney said. "I got to meet some of the
players and see how they liked coach (Rick) Pitino and talk to them about the
system they run. And I got to watch a game (Cincinnati), it was a real good
game at the KFC Yum Center which is like a pro arena so that was real good."
Last month he made a two-hour drive to Gainesville to watch Florida's regular
season finale win over Kentucky.
"It wasn't really a visit, I came up and watched the game. After the game I went
on the court and watched them take the nets down. Coach (Billy) Donovan came and
talked to me for a minute, he was really happy they got the win."
Currently holding 15 offers with no leader, Tonio's list will get longer before
he's ready to narrow things down.
"Everybody has a fair shot. I'm not really thinking about that (recruiting)
right now I'm just trying to focus on passing the ACT because I have that coming
up much on April 12th, then I'll focus on AAU and camps and recruiting."
Russ Wood is the basketball recruiting analyst for
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