Lyles and Blackmon rankings

I am loathe to lend too much credence to player recruiting rankings, generally. And we’re talking Class of 2014 here. And ESPN’s player rankings can be especially “squirrelly.” But given all that, here is where Indianapolis Arsenal Tech frontliner Trey Lyles and Fort Wayne Bishop Luers guard James Blackmon — who have now given verbal commitments to attend Indiana — are in ESPN’s national rankings for the Class of 2014:

Lyles, No. 1;

Blackmon, No. 7.

I’ve only seen brief film on these players, culled from their play as AAU teammates for a Spiece squad, but even that small snippet was enough to impress. Lyles struck me a little bit like a young Jared Jeffries, who I was privileged to see develop into an outstanding player very early in his high school career. And, like Jeffries, Lyles has had a bit of a growth spurt here in his freshman year of high school.

That’s the thing to remember. These players are prep freshmen yet to play a game for their respective high school teams.

But suffice to say that IU fans should have more and more reasons to get out and watch some good in-state high school teams play over the next few years, if the latest trend in verbal commitments persists.


  1. Thrilled to have Lyles and Blackmom coming but it is so far off…hard to get too excited yet. I find the poll interesting to the right. This morning says 200 people give Crean an A while 72 a B and 11 say a C. No D’s but 4 F’s.

    Everyone on here knows I support Crean but how can he have an A? We have had 2 major losing seasons with NO surprises and to today, not 2014, just until recently Crean has had a bit of trouble recruiting. I would say a solid B is needed. Yes, he rescued a sinking ship but he patched it up and is upgrading slowly. By the way, I look at the F’s like it is not 4 but 3 because 4guards vote does not matter!

  2. Andy, since you saw Jefferies early could you give your opinion on how their games compare and which of the two had better games at this stage.

  3. Hugh, I was looking at it like his off season perf was leading to the bigger picture of wins or losses the past 2 years. That was my spin and I should have kept it simple, sorry. Still solid B for this past off season as he has had some misses but this off season has been the best. If he lands Zeller and Yogi, maybe an A.

  4. Grading this offseason is too difficult at this point. It all hinges on Zeller.
    In regards to classes 2010 was an epic fail, while depending on Zeller, 2011 will either be a major hit or another big time failure.
    I love the 2014 class but that is just so far away, anything can happen.

  5. Blackmon’s brother Vijay is in the 7th grade and reportedly better than James,Jr. and ranked no. 1 in the Hoops Scoop 2016 class. Hopefully, CTC is working on another early commit.

  6. Amazing how good these kids are at such a young age. Lyles will only continue to get better and thats scary for how well he plays now.

  7. Naturally a blind mans eye would have trouble grading the offseason considering Zeller has absolutely nothing to do with the success or failure of 2010’s season or offseason. Very easy to understand the sheer numbers of 2009 would have more impact than 2010. Not getting CZ will be just one rock in the road of recruiting when compared to what Coach Crean has already dealt with toward rebuilding the program.

  8. I have to agree with JPat, even if it is just about the offseason. By no means am I upset so far, but I would say at best he is a B/incomplete. Patterson and Jurkin were nice gets, and so are the 2014 pieces, but 2014 is a long way off and the other two are nice, but not class or A defining when we are in on some others in their class that are better and ranked higher. If Crean lands 2 out of 3 or so recruits that we are still in on in the next few classes, then give him an A, but until this is just a solid but not amazing job, nowhere close to tops in the big ten.

    On a similar note, I don’t really get on the rankings or get real into them much more than if you make the top 100 you are worth analyzing and spending some time on. With that said, and us getting some top 2014 verbals, I’d be interested to go back and look at who was 1-10 before their freshman years in past classes and then see how they ended up. For example, were Josh Selby or Irving top ten before their freshman year? Rivers or Teague? Or go back even further and see who was top 10 then see where they were when they finished college. Was LeBron top ten before he was a frosh? I don’t remember hearing a ton about him until he was a junior. Would anyone want to find this out?

  9. 4g… You are called out! Bring your shoes and shorts to Cook Hall and try to go 10 minutes with either Vic and/or Will. They are great athletes, the best on this team. They are great UNDERRATED basketball players. I think that T Johnson-Purdue-and D. Thomas-OH St- were the only two players in the State of IN for 2010 that were better. Your F for 2010 will actually turn out to be a solid B+ at season’s end.

  10. Hopkins is also much better than Vic or Will.
    If Crean can land Zeller, Yogi, and Perea this offseason like I think we can then I will agree Crean deserves an A for the offseason and has turned recruiting around. If Crean fails to land Zeller, and Etherington is our highlight of the class, then it has to be considered another failure. Striking out on Zeller, Teague, and Dawson in the same class would be disasterous.

  11. Just out of curiosity, who would have preferred to have Calipari’s class of freshman last year knowing that they were only going to be around for one season?

  12. Pinning the success of 2011 on Crean landing Zeller is like a Cubs fan demanding a World Series, or an IU football fan demanding to win an important conference game.

    4tards is once again setting Crean up for failure. No IU coach ever lands a Zeller, past present or future. Or a Plumblee.

  13. So what does the 2011 class depend on if not Zeller? He already struck out on Teague, Dawson, and Plumlee. Or is Crean not supposed to land any of the top IN talent in his 4th recruiting class?

  14. It doesn’t have to “depend on” anyone if you have a long-term vision for the future and a good understanding of the present.

    Who cares if 2011 is a weak class, in the long run? Crean’s top-10 recruiting class of 2009 (Creek, Watford, Elston and Hulls) will all be juniors that year, while VJ and Pritch will be a seniors, and we will be one of the best and most experienced teams in the conference.

    Having “only” Etherington will be less significant than a fly on an elephant’s back. By that point the classes of 2012 and 2013 will be crawling with talent.

    Only a person with a head full of beans puts so much significance into a certain “class.”

  15. 4braincells has a complex for writing the ending to stories he has no control over and before they have ended.

  16. I care if 2011 is a weak class and so should you, especially after the 2010 fiasco. You cannot go 2 bad classes in a row and expect to be a top team.
    Also not getting Zeller would do a lot of harm to our 2012 class hopes. As it stands we only have one solid player in Patterson and one raw, unpolished project who hopefully never has to play much.

  17. 4guards,

    The three players you mention — Teague, Dawson and Plumlee — as examples of Crean’s failure all chose to play out of state. Painter couldn’t land them. Stevens couldn’t land them. Brey couldn’t land them.

    Have you considered, that they just didn’t place a high priority on staying in the state to begin with?

    It happens sometimes. It’s not like Crean lost out to another state school. Those guys skipped town. One went to the NBA Factory. One went to play for a guy who goes to Final Fours seemingly every year. One went to play for the most recent national champion coach.

    I’d hardly call that “striking out.”

  18. Dawson? Wow. You are quite the slithering slimebag, 4guards. Now your offering up Dawson as a Crean recruiting failure? Isn’t that the kid from Gary Wallace that you have repeatedly bashed and given zero acknowledgment(previous to his commitment to MSU) his multifaceted basketball skills that far exceed the one-dimensional Frankencody monster of your obsessive and singular focus?

    Husky Tom hit the nail on the head, 4guards. You actually believe there is anyone left on this blog that cannot see beyond your infantile game of Cody-hype you have used to build a guillotine for Crean’s head? And do you really think the support of a few journalists your drastic viewpoint of one recruit making or breaking the future of Indiana basketball gives credence to your ridiculous rants? They’re trying to save their jobs! Times are tough. They merely feed off of your Crean negativity to find any means possible to turn the tide of their ever-declining readership. Contrived controversy and unwarranted suggestions the incompetency our coach are their last ditch efforts at positioning themselves outside the Pollyanna sites(like the site Korman now wants to doodle thoughts his simple noodle)in an attempt to boost interest within the completely over-saturated market represented by websites and personal blogs primarily focused and supported by Hoosier basketball. Please don’t be so naive to think we require more instincts an old blind man in his cabin. Frankencody is not the monster that Crean must make good by putting in a Hoosier uniform..The monster is the prejudice, fear, and ugly contempt you have wrongfully attached our coach and Cody Zeller’s good name.

  19. I am sorry but fourth recruiting class and only two years worth of recruiting investment does not equate. You also can’t change the Scoop poll and the poll proves your brand, “NO CREDIBILITY” for evaluating talent. Jurkin will be big time in the B10.

  20. Just because Dawson can’t compete with Zeller does not mean he would not have been a valued member of our class.

  21. Wow, J Pat, if Crean lands Yogi and Zeller, “maybe” an A? You’re one tough hombre. What in the world would you consider to be a sure A? Remember, Lebron just signed w/ the Heat, I don’t think we can get him.

  22. Andrew, remember an A is considered perfect but if he lands those guys it would be a sure A! I have been easy on Crean but let’s land the big dawgs sooner than 2014!

  23. 4guards-

    Your opinions are nothing more than egotistical offerings your own slobber. The buckets of blasphemous drool and your phony over-the-top admiration for Zeller is best offered as drink to the simpleminded Neanderthals that enjoy a surly cup of bigotry in the same tasteless offerings your loving words. Thanks, but I’ll decline. It would be like drinking from a mug adorned with a Purdue logo.

    I doubt Tom Izzo and Branden Dawson are losing any sleep because they have not been the recipient your slobbery hype. I doubt a guy named Downing lost much sleep the night before he made Bill Walton look like an average center. And I would find little surprise in a totally unknown transfer from a small Idaho school now in humble Hoosier uniform, a young man already proud in cream and crimson which you can find no inkling a sincere attachment, to be just as capable in bringing back down to earth your self-serving basketball god.



    Glad you enjoyed Frankencody. It’s alive!

  24. 4g…It was great for you to ADMIT, that yes, even in your warped mind, there were only 3 players in all of Indiana HS basketball better than Will and Vic in 2010. I like Will and Vic over Hopkins, so as I said, only 2 were better. But the great thing is that my opinion and your opinion won’t mean anything when IU plays Butler in 2011, Purdue in 2011, and OH St in 2011. The kids themselves will show their true worth, and for the full next four years!

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