Indiana guard James Blackmon Jr.’s college career is over.
The 6-foot-4 junior made his decision official Monday afternoon on Twitter, announcing his intent to sign with an agent and remain in the 2017 NBA Draft.
He becomes the third player to leave the Hoosiers early to enter the draft this spring, joining OG Anunoby and Thomas Bryant. Anunoby is a likely first-round pick and Bryant a likely second-round pick, but no current NBA Draft projections have Blackmon being selected.
“After much reflection and discussion with my family, I have decided to remain in the 2017 NBA Draft and sign with an agent,” Blackmon posted. “After graduating Indiana in three years, I am thrilled to take the next step in my basketball career and pursue a lifelong dream. The past three years have been an amazing ride. Through blood, sweat and tears, putting on that Indiana jersey every game and playing in front of diehard Indiana fans was an honor and privilege. The past three years have brought memories and relationships I will never forget. Bloomington will always have a special place in my heart.”
Blackmon walked at graduation on Saturday, but has not yet actually graduated according to a university release listing student-athletes eligible for 2017 May/August graduation.
The former McDonald’s All-American from Marion averaged a career-high 17.0 points per game to go with 4.8 rebounds on his way to third team All-Big Ten honors from the media and honorable mention from the coaches this past year. He also made a career-best 91 3-pointers, which is the second-most in a single season behind only Steve Alford’s 107 in 1986-87, and shot 41.5 percent from 3 despite missing four games due to injury. In all, Blackmon missed 27 career games due to injury at IU.
Blackmon finishes with 1,235 career points, good for 33rd on the all-time list at Indiana, and his 205 career 3-pointers rank fourth behind only A.J. Guyton (283), Yogi Ferrell (272) and Jordan Hulls (254).
“I would like to thank my family for being there through all of the ups and downs,” Blackmon’s Twitter post said. “I would like to thank my teammates, who have become brothers to me, for pushing me every day. I would like to thank the fans and everyone who has supported me throughout my career at Indiana University. I would like to thank God for allowing me to play a game I love.”
Blackmon’s departure means that the Indiana roster is currently at its maximum of 13 scholarship players with the decision of 2017 signees Al Durham Jr., Clifton Moore and Justin Smith to remain with the Hoosiers after the firing of Tom Crean and hiring of Archie Miller as head coach.
That leaves only junior guard Robert Johnson undecided about his future at Indiana. Johnson also submitted his name for early entry into the NBA Draft, but has not signed with an agent. The deadline for a player to decide to return to school is May 24.