Play it again, Johnny.
Baton Rouge native and four-star top 100 prospect Brandon Sampson committed and signed to LSU this morning. Sampson is a former St. John's commit who recently reopened his process after the firing of Steve Lavin. Jones and staff deftly swooped in and convinced the prospect that staying home was truly the best idea all along. Sampson joins what is now the nation's no. 1 recruiting class, jumping Kentucky, along with signee Ben Simmons and Antonio Blakeney.
It's truly a remarkable talent grab for Johnny Jones, pulling a pair of McDonald's All Americans in Simmons and Blakeney, now a third top 100 player in Sampson. Sampson is the no. 1 player in the state of Louisiana, another tremendous sign of progress after former top players in state opted to head elsewhere to further their careers.
Sampson is a long, athletic two guard, with a clean stroke. He has a ton of upside as a high volume scorer. He's a smooth, natural athlete, that looks good handling the ball. He should be able to put points on the board not just as a shooter, but as a guy who can get to the rack and play through contact.
For LSU, this is huge news. The Tigers remain in the hunt for coveted 5-star PG Malik Newman, though it seems he's likely either to stay in state at Mississippi State or head to Kentucky. Newman recently announced he would make his commitment without taking a single official visit, and Director of Basketball Scouting at 247 Sports, Jerry Meyer, recently switched his prediction to the instate Bulldogs. Meyer previously noted he felt Newman would wind up in Baton Rouge.
Regardless, if LSU finishes with the 3-man class as presently comprised, it's arguably the greatest signing class in LSU basketball history. The praise for Simmons is seemingly never ending, while Blakeney and Sampson are fine, NBA-caliber prospects in their own right.
Now it's Johnny Jones job to turn this recruiting momentum into results on the hardwood.