The pressure will be on LSU basketball coach Johnny Jones next season now that the Tigers have added another top-50 prospect to an already loaded 2015 recruiting class.
Brandon Sampson, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard from Baton Rouge who had originally committed to St. John’s, pledged to the Tigers on Monday. Sampson is ranked as the No. 41 prospect in the class of 2015 by Rivals.
Sampson joins a recruiting class that already includes Ben Simmons, the consensus No. 1 recruit in the nation, and Antonio Blakeney, a talented shooting guard from Orlando who at one time was committed to Louisville. In mid-December, the Tigers will welcome Craig Victor, a 6-9 transfer from Arizona. Victor also is a former top 50 recruit.
LSU finished 22-11 last season, losing to North Carolina State, 66-65, in the NCAA Tournament’s round of 64. Despite having a frontcourt tandem of Jordan Mickey and Jarell Martin, both of whom opted for the NBA Draft, the Tigers stumbled down the stretch, losing three of their last four games.
In February, the Tigers came within a missed three-pointer by Keith Hornsby at the buzzer of beating Kentucky. A 16-0 run, partly fueled by a technical foul on Kentucky’s Karl-Anthony Towns for doing a chin-up on the rim, gave LSU a 66-60 lead with 7:29 remaining, but the home team couldn’t hold on, losing 71-69.
Hornsby, Tim Quarterman and Josh Gray all return for Jones, who is 61-37 in three years as the LSU coach, including 29-25 in the SEC. Considering the strength of the Tigers’ recruiting class, the Tigers could very well be a pre-season top-10 choice.