Ferrell, Blackmon named to Preseason All-Big Ten team #iubb

Indiana guards Yogi Ferrell and James Blackmon Jr. have been named to this year’s Preseason All-Big Ten Team, the conference announced Wednesday.

It’s the second consecutive season that Ferrell has been awarded preseason honors, making the five-player list last year as a junior. This year, the Big Ten included 10 players on its preseason all-conference list, with Maryland guard Melo Trimble selected as the Preseason Big Ten Player of the Year.

Trimble is one of four unanimous preseason All-Big Ten selections, joining Michigan State forward Denzel Valentine, Purdue center A.J. Hammons and Wisconsin forward Nigel Hayes. Iowa forward Jarrod Uthoff, Maryland forward Jake Layman, Michigan guard Caris LeVert and Wisconsin guard Bronson Koenig round out this year’s all-conference team.

Ferrell finished last season as a First Team All-Big Ten selection after averaging 16.3 points and 4.9 assists per game as a junior. With 438 career assists, Ferrell is expected to pass Michael Lewis (545) and become Indiana’s career passing leader.

Although he took nearly the maximum allotted time to decide whether to enter the NBA Draft or return for his senior season, Ferrell ultimately chose the latter option and will lead an IU team expected to be the program’s most talented since his freshman year in 2012.

Blackmon, too, considered leaving early for the NBA Draft, but decided to stay in school and continue his development as a sophomore this winter. Blackmon was sixth among all freshmen nationally with 15.6 points per game and ranked second at Indiana in scoring and rebounding (5.3). He hit 77 3-pointers to set a new IU freshman record, breaking Eric Gordon’s previous mark of 70 set in 2007-08. Blackmon posted 10 games of 20 or more points and scored in double figures in 26 of the 33 games he played.

IU coach Tom Crean said Blackmon was in the middle of a great summer when he tore meniscus cartilage in his left knee and underwent surgery in July. Blackmon is currently participating fully in Indiana’s preseason workouts and is expected to be ready for the start of the season on Nov. 13 against Eastern Illinois.