Blackmon earns 2nd Big Ten Freshman of the Week award #iubb

One big half of basketball was enough for James Blackmon Jr. to earn his second Big Ten Freshman of the Week award this season.

The Indiana guard scored a game-high 18 points in Saturday’s 69-66 win over the No. 22 Buckeyes, recording 16 of those in his final 16 minutes on the floor. He also added seven rebounds, while going 5-of-5 from the free throw line.

Blackmon drew praise from Indiana coach Tom Crean for his ability to impact scoring in more ways than simply looking for 3-pointers. He finished only 1-of-5 from beyond the arc, while using an assortment of runners, transition baskets and free throws to help the Hoosiers to their third win over a ranked opponent this season.

“James learned a lot (on Saturday),” Crean said. “James, he’s right there on the first couple lines of the scouting report, there’s no doubt about that, with the opponent. So everybody knows that he’s capable of shooting. But for him to continue to play when he went back in, he knew he needed to play better defense, and that’s growth for James. For James to find layups and drive, foul, get three offensive rebounds, that’s the growth we’ve got to have. And I thought he did a really good job of adjusting.”

Blackmon leads Indiana and ranks seventh in the Big Ten in scoring with 16.7 points per game, and is shooting 88.3 percent from the free throw line, which ranks second in the conference.