Blackmon will return for sophomore season #iubb

James Blackmon Jr. isn’t going anywhere.

Blackmon told reporters Thursday afternoon that he will return to Indiana for his sophomore season, giving the Hoosiers continuity with their perimeter attack.

The 6-foot-3 guard’s announcement is the latest domino to fall in IU’s ongoing roster construction drama. Now the Hoosiers wait on a decision from Yogi Ferrell, who will announce his plans for next year on Saturday night in Indianapolis.

With Indiana officially clearing Thomas Bryant’s signing on Wednesday, Tom Crean remains oversigned by one scholarship next season.

Blackmon earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors and was a member of the league’s All-Freshman team, while finishing sixth nationally among freshmen 16.7 points per game. He set an Indiana record with 77 3-pointers averaged 5.3 rebounds per contest and scored 20 points or more on 10 occasions.

“I love it at Indiana,” Blackmon said. “This is a place where I can get better every day. In the long run, I’ll be better for it.”

But there are too many visible holes in Blackmon’s game that must be addressed before a move to the next level should be considered. He was the biggest defensive liability among Indiana’s regular starters, he went radio silent on the offensive side of the floor during key games down the stretch and he could work on going stronger to the basket with more consistency.

If Ferrell doesn’t return, Robert Johnson is expected to handle the point guard duties, but Blackmon could also share in that role.

ESPN Draft expert Chad Ford told The Herald-Times last month that aside from the obvious improvements Blackmon must make to become a serious NBA prospect, the Ft. Wayne native could boost his stock by proving he can run and initiate an offense.

“You have to be able to show that you can defend your position and you’re capable enough to run an offense because he can really shoot the basketball,” Ford told the H-T. “I think he might go in the second round if he were to come into the draft this year just because someone would take a flier on him with his high basketball IQ and his shooting. He’s definitely a guy that I think would definitely help his stock if he could get in a role where he gets to handle the ball more and help initiate an offense.”

30 comments

  1. Can’t wait to watch Jimmy filling the buckets after a full year of experience under his belt. This is a great development for our Hoosiers next year.

  2. Last year JB was a defensive liability – great hands but terrible feet. He’s not a reliable ball handler and his stance is way too upright. Those things can change over a summer.

  3. IF your guards cant handle the basketball does it matter WHO plays center? If they cant play defense how much bench time will TB see because of fouls? Finally, to temper the excitement, Purdue will have Hammonds and Haas both returning. TB will learn the difference between AAU ball and MEN.

  4. Perplexing there was a choice or a decision to act on. Even more so knowing Sr. has been through this personally and is a good coach with sound evaluation skills in his own right. It was a non-issue from beginning to end. Setting up a good future for Jr. and IU.

  5. Some IU guys on Twitter are reporting that Yogi is leaning towards declaring for NBA.

    Little Zagrebs steaks are better anyway.

  6. As of this date PUke has no credible PG on the roster. They are in a tough spot to get 1 other than a new future 2015 Frosh.

  7. I like Yogi, JBJ, and Troy…a lot. They have always put everything out there. Yogi, in particular, has the heart of a lion.

    That being said, having a press conference to announce whether or not you are going to do what is expected of you borders on sad. If you have eligibility left but you are one of the 3 or 4 best players in the country then have your press conference.

    If you are a nice player who may or may not draw any interest from the NBA then keep your head down, work hard, improve your game, and try to be relevant by this time next year.

    There is no one on Indiana’s roster that has any business holding a press conference to announce whether or not they will ‘enter the draft’. You have to be good enough that you are certain to be drafted to do that.

    I think we have a collection of good people on the team but these announcements just made them look like fools. Has April scheduled his news conference yet?

  8. I still find it perplexing how some people don’t understand the inner workings of college basketball and life for that matter. If you stay 4 years and get a degree your more than likely not coming out of college making a million dollars. Ready or not the NBA is steering towards potential in hopes to get the next big thing in a year or two. Both Blackmon and Williams are in a rare situation where a year of vast improvement
    could boost them from the 2nd round to the lottery. On the other hand if they don’t
    show a vast improvement it could lower the
    level of potential and keep them out of the
    NBA. Also injury could keep them from
    accomplishing their dream. It’s a smart business/life move. You can always go back to school and I’ll bet it would be a lot easier with a few million in your bank account. If you were going to school to be a librarian and someone offered you a few million to quit as a sophmore to work at their library wouldn’t you do that instead of going to school for 2 more years at least?

  9. Ben, you make your point well. That being said the whole thing is just one more big sad joke that makes up a part of our sad joke society of sports, entertainment, political, racial, corporate/CEO’s, lobbyists, religious, special interest groups etc. etc. etc. society in which I am a member and participate in a small way.

  10. Ben_M,

    Yes, it is what it is, Ben. It also is what you make it. Too many folks today are afraid to use their power.. They have chosen to remain passive spectators to what’s happening in our society and act as helpless victims. Truly not good for any situation including the situations “t” described.

  11. I admit that I do not have the statistics at hand to support this and it is based on anecdotal observation but I can recall far, far more episodes of players washing out in the NBA because they left school early and did not posses the requisite skills than situations where someone was injured, etc., and staying in school cost them a shot at the League.

    Don’t get me wrong. If a player is good to go, or even just a lock to be drafted, take the money and run. It’s way better than a life in retail management or what have you.

    But these guys probably wouldn’t get drafted and would end up playing for KK Split and learning Croatian in a couple years (if they’re lucky) or somewhere less charming (if they’re not).

    Just because you are ready for your dream does not mean your dream is ready for you…yet.

    For every Kyrie Irving there are a dozen Jay Edwards.

  12. Nic, I had a similar thought for a few days, about how nice it was to visit the Scoop without having to scroll through numerous redundant and idiotic posts from Harvard. Blaming Crean for Yogi holding a press conference, as if he could prevent it, speaks to how irrational he and other Crean-haters have become.

    And t, try to control your boundless optimism lest someone accuse you of seeing the world through rose colored glasses.

  13. I just read an interesting stat from an article written in 2013. Of the prior 7 NCAA Champions (Florida twice) through 2013 only one (Kentucky) had a one and done player on their roster.

  14. Just seeing Crean at a press table in April for no other reason than to burp up his usual NBA “upside” BS that has made Indiana into lower graded version of Kentucky muck turns my stomach more than the constant defeatism aimed at IU Athletics from Podunker. Equally nauseating. Equally born to be approaching the world in a snidely stance of piety and delusions of grandeur. It’s the wrapping of everything done in the name of his divine entity in the clouds that creates the contentment with excuses and the absence of placing some inkling of accountability for the team’s obvious shortcomings(despite great talent) on his own shoulders. When you have an X’s and O’s challenged “coach,” there is no amount of talent that will get through the blockade to success it will impose. There are just too many coaches in the college game that have access to similar levels of talent that will put Tom Crean at the back of the classroom..

    But to Crean’s credit, he has made it from the back to front of classroom not based on his expertise in teaching the game, but via his gift to sell himself while getting on his knees to a powerful symbol that many kids living the streets of basketball and prayer will quickly attach and believe they “relate.” And for every solid recruit Crean lands, the cycle is reborn…Every day is a resurrection of false hope followed by manufactured hype. And the hype is piled on by many(including those in the local press) wanting to keep their community and their jobs relevant t on the percieved vitality of Indiana Basketball. None of it is built on a foundation of competence.

    And thus begins the parade of “looking like fools” that Chet speaks of…..The messages of hype take precedent over quiet results. Men make their millions on use of their tongue over the silent expertise from a calm and thinking mind when a game is at its most frenzied time. This is now the calm time…Sitting a press table in April telling the residents of the little limestone world that was once a storied place for hoops, shut out of a reality because it’s better than the hurt that could come if a truly competent and brilliant name in coaching that doesn’t now the track of getting from the back to front on the train of excuses and witch hunts, were to say “no” to IU…Now it’s just another April love…It’s Cody…It’s Bryant…It’s Yogi…It’s Sheehey…It’s Oladipo..It’s Vonleh….It’s Blackmon…..It’s Crean filling our ears with what the game is all about at Indiana…It’s about mirrors that never give an honest blemish a love enough to fight and improve through teaching over simple adulation….It’s just more of the same. It’s how fabulous the game AFTER college..It must be nurtured from his tiny NBA breast with so little milk for Indiana…. His players so fabulously chosen by his fabulous keen eye and rare oozing milk to make it right for them during their crib days in Cook.

    We hired Brad Stevens’ babysitter…Nothing at IU is centric in terms of college basketball…The NBA is the sun we are forever reminded this game must revolve…It’s not about how teams play…It’s easier to assess Crean in such a shining D-Wade and D-po ray of golden warmth. .But somewhere, a real master of teaching the game is out having dinner at Final Fours…or studying the game with no need the press table.. And behind a very silent and determined door;, the game rather than the “me world” is nurtured, and the teaching that can make five on a floor become one in a heartbeat a possession is valued over propping up every piece of regurgitated blended peas in and out the door as if it’s the next D-Wade from field of NBA seedlings Crean has hand-selected to fill stat sheets like diapers at IU. Yippee.

  15. Now you boys that can’t compete can have another week to put you backfield of emotion in motion.

    Shout out to Husky/Seahawk Tom!…..Miss ya, bro. Miss the Washington Apple of Seattle..Miss Verbal Art in Motion… Wow. Our boys stunk it up last night. Pondexter…EJ…Isaiah…What were they..? 3 for 24 combined? EJ hurt me last night. When the lights were brightest, he bricked. Poor rich kid was the pelican taste like chicken while the spice of the night was Curry in a flurry.

  16. Hoosier and Huskies last night:

    Isaiah Thomas 2-9 0-3 5 points
    Eric Gordon 2-10 1-6 6 points
    Quincy Pondexter 2-4 0-1 6 points

    Combined: 6- 23 (26%FG), 1-10 (10% 3FG) OUCH. And Crean has the nerve to mention EJ as something Blackmon can aspire? When the lights are brightest……our former Hoosier and Husky “stars” do not shine the mightiest.

    Adios! See you all in a week…or so.

    Love, Harvard

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