Blackmon on course to play vs. North Carolina

James Blackmon Jr. missed one game already this week, but he may not need to miss another.

Indiana coach Tom Crean says Blackmon is on track to play in Wednesday’s ACC/Big Ten Challenge showdown with North Carolina, barring any last-minute setbacks.

Blackmon, IU’s leading scorer, sat out Sunday’s win over Mississippi Valley State with a left knee injury sustained last week in a loss at Fort Wayne.

“We fully expect that if James continues to progress the way that he has, that he’ll be available to us tomorrow night,” Crean said Tuesday.

Blackmon has missed 24 career games due to injury, including the final 22 last season after injuring the ACL in his right knee in late December. The junior guard is third in the Big Ten in scoring (20.1 points per game), and is tied for the highest career average (16.1) of any player who has played for Crean at Indiana.

“He’s healing,” Crean said. “He’s doing a little bit more every day. We didn’t practice yesterday. We worked him out a little bit and he was better today. Hopefully, he’ll stay on top of that. I’m not saying it’s 100 percent, but if he stays on the track he’s on right now, I think he’s going to play. … Our plan is that he will, but we have to wait and see how he is tomorrow, too.”

5 comments

  1. If he doesn’t come ready to play D tomorrow I hope Crean gives more minutes to Green and Jones… Both guys can score and are more active on defense, and they also create opportunities for teammates… better ball-handlers… Nevermind, just sit JBJ and like last year we’ll be better off.

  2. It is quite the conundrum, isn’t it? How does JBJ fit into the grand scheme of things? Last year certainly showed that the oosiers can survive (thrive?) without him. Yet, there is no denying he is an elite scorer. How he responds will determine how successful both he and the team will be moving forward.

    It’s hard to imagine that a player who couldn’t play defense last week will be a competent defender next week.

  3. Holy crap did Duke get all the calls tonight… I guess it’s the usual start of the season refereeing, but I just felt bad watching MSU get taken out of the game down stretch by one-sided and totally mysterious calls. The offensive goal-tending on Ward… the phantom offensive foul on Bridges… the foul on Bridges when he was lying on the ground… several other foul calls that weren’t reciprocated on the other end… I enjoy watching MSU lose, but not to Duke, and not like that…

    Hope it’s not like that tomorrow night.

  4. Blackmon is no Jordy Hulls….Jordy could play a mean game of defense. Does anyone remember the Seth Davis piece for Sports Illustrated(the one that an “anonymous” coach from Poland…or was it Warsaw, Indiana?… declared Jordy to be the best defender in college basketball)? Good luck finding it. All-time American movie with biggest box office sales in Poland? Yup, you guessed it: Poltergeist.

    Michigan State will probably be in the Final Four this season….According to Geoff, it’s a ‘Bridges year without bridge’….and there will be Miles of improvement as they pave their way to the Big Dance.

  5. Jbj’s return…good that he is physicality ready, however his return on the floor….is that a good thing for IU or North Carolina????

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