LSU has added another blue-chip prospect to its 2015 recruiting class. Brandon Sampson, a highly touted guard who attends Madison (La.) Preparatory academy, signed with the Tigers on Monday.
Sampson originally committed to St. John’s in January but said he would reevaluate his recruitment after the Red Storm parted ways with former coach Steve Lavin. LSU and Mississippi State were among the schools that reportedly ramped up their pursuits of Sampson. He also met with new St. John’s coach Chris Mullin in Baton Rouge over the weekend.
In the hours before the announcement, reports suggested that despite the Red Storm's late push under Mullin, they would fail to re-land Sampson and had begun considering alternatives.
As a senior, Sampson averaged 15.9 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.2 assists and was named Mr. Basketball in Louisiana while leading Madison Prep to a Class 1A state championship. Sampson is highly regarded for his explosiveness, ability to score in transition and jump shot. Rivals.com ranks the 6'4", 180-pounder as the No. 41 player in the class of 2015.
[via YouTube user Courtside Films]
Sampson joins an impressive recruiting class secured by head coach Johnny Jones. The Tigers already have landed power forward Ben Simmons, the No. 1 player in the class of 2015, and shooting guard Antonio Blakeney, who is ranked No. 14. The trio should help LSU earn a second consecutive NCAA tournament berth and compete for an upper-tier finish in the SEC even though it has lost forwards Jarrell Martin and Jordan Mickey to the NBA draft.
The Tigers will return guards Josh Gray, Keith Hornsby and Tim Quarterman and will have Arizona transfer Craig Victor—the No. 40 player in the class of 2014, according to Rivals.com—eligible at the end of the fall semester. LSU also had been pursuing five-star shooting guard Malik Newman, though he’s reportedly considering five other programs.
Meanwhile, St. John’s failure to get Sampson back on board is compounded by the loss of senior guards D’Angelo Harrison, Phil Greene IV and Sir’Dominic Pointer from last season’s NCAA tournament team, as well as the recent news that three-star shooting guard Sammy-Barnes Thompkins reopened his recruitment.
There are 10 players in Rivals.com's top 100 who remain unsigned as of Monday morning, including wing Jaylen Brown (No. 2), Newman (No. 3), center Thon Maker (No. 5) and forward Cheick Diallo (No. 7).