James Blackmon Jr. gives Indiana verbal commitment

UPDATE: 12:17 p.m. Friday

Just got off the phone with James Blackmon Sr. who said Tom Crean and Indiana’s coaching staff made his son feel “welcomed” throughout their recruitment, making last night’s decision easy.

“He made us feel welcomed, answered a lot of questions,” Blackmon Sr. said. “(Blackmon Jr.) had a lot of questions.”

Indiana’s recruitment of Blackmon Jr. really took shape over the summer, when his father said the Hoosiers got plenty of chances to see James play. The player also visited Indiana’s Elite Camp over the summer.

By the time he came down to visit last night, Blackmon Sr. said the last step in the process was easy to take.

“It just felt like this was a good opportunity,” he said. “I think Coach Crean is headed in the right direction.”

Blackmon Sr., who was a McDonald’s All-American at Marion High School and a standout guard at Kentucky, is his son’s coach at Bishop Luers in Fort Wayne. The elder Blackmon won state titles at the school in 2008 and 2009 with DeShaun Thomas, now a freshman at Ohio State. So his son’s pedigree is inherited from his father in more ways than one.

November 2013 is the earliest Blackmon Jr. can sign a letter of intent, but he’s already drawn rave reviews. ESPN has him ranked among the top 10 players in the ’14 class, and their top shooting guard. He is the only committed player in ESPN’s 2014 top 40, and it should also be noted he’s the only in-state player on that list.

Like many other recruits that have come through Bloomington since April, the Blackmons were particularly impressed by Cook Hall. More than that, Blackmon Sr. said, he was impressed by the convenience of having Cook Hall and Assembly Hall so close to the northwest dormitories.

“It was just so convenient,” Blackmon Sr. said. “It was exciting to be able to walk through (Cook Hall).”


It was a night for recruits, and a good night for recruiting Thursday when the Indiana football team took on Towson. Yogi Ferrell tweeted all about his trip to Bloomington, and there were reports circulating that Cody Zeller and his family were also in attendance.

But perhaps the biggest win of the night came when James Blackmon, Jr., a freshman guard at Bishop Luers in Fort Wayne, committed to play for Indiana. Blackmon, the No. 1-rated shooting guard in the 2014 class, according to ESPN, is the son of former Kentucky standout James Blackmon, Sr., who confirmed the news late Thursday.

The commitment represents another strong statement about Indiana coach Tom Crean’s success in building relationships with in-state recruits. Crean already has commitments from 2011 and 2012 in-state prospects Austin Etherington and Ron Patterson, respectively, and this pledge furthers the notion that Indiana recruiting is recovering nicely.

We’ll try to have more for you on this tomorrow. In the meantime, feel free to bask in the glow of an undefeated football team and another coveted commitment. Happy Friday folks.

Update: BaseballBuc posted a link to the following video in the comments. Enjoy.

  • Anonymous

    Diesel, your comment and PhD’s below…RAOTFLMAO. Funeral crashing for chicks I don’t believe I have ever reached a state of drunkedness that would make me do that, but there’s always a first time and it is a 3 day weekend plus all this good recruiting news does have me kind of giddy. PhD is this the voice of experience when you speak of funeral crashing for chicks ?

  • Daburns0

    Yeah, but door to stadium is probably 45 min – 1 hr. Then back. My point is that to take time to go over to a game on a school night shows high interest. I live about 1/2 from Kokomo, but it takes something special for me to head over there.

  • Garydavid711

    I’m from Marion and remember how I wanted his dad to go to I.U. but was never offered a scholarship.
    Knight told him later at a iu/ky game at assembly hall he made a mistake of not recruiting James Sr.
    This is one of those deals that is born in the heavenly s that will pay great benefits for the future Hoosiers.

  • MillaRed

    I understand PhD. You typically have a good attitude toward things that are IU. And I’m not slinging mud here either. But in general, I think we need to stay a little more positive moving forward. I completely understand why the climate tends to be pessimistic based on the last few years of hell.

    Let’s not use Carlino as a barometer when it comes to the Blackmon verbal. I don’t see the same letdown here. In fact, I would say Carlino and his camp were d-bags and we won’t miss him. His stock is at an all-time low.

    I thing Blackmon will wear IU pinstripes. He will be a good one. I’m looking forward to him playing with Yogi and Hanner ;)

  • MillaRed

    I argree. I just wouldn’t expect him to be a legite 6’5″ when he lands in Bloomington.

  • Anonymous

    So are we trying to build the longest road?

    …Tried hard to think of a way to tie Settlers into recruiting, having trouble. Indy is the stone, the rest of the state the lumber?

  • Anonymous

    I will also agree: All of the above. 6 months ago, recruiting felt more like shooting (or having the?) craps. Nice to be able to think of it in terms of strategy instead of blind hope.

  • Dmglotz

    from interview with Terry Hutchens…”It’s about the tradition IU has,” Blackmon Jr. said. “I could have gone to other schools in other states, but I’m from Indiana. You think you’ll be there one day, and it happens.”

    Well said JBJ!!!

  • Outoftheloop

    Your usually sharp wit is slowly getting rusty.

  • HoosierNshaker

    Nice article in the IDS about James Blockmon Jr. today… great little interview with this in state standout. You can tell he LOVES INDIANA BASKETBALL!!!

    You’re a great kid James hope the next few years of high school are successful and can’t wait to see you in Cream and Crimson. Congratulations!

  • Bmacdonald

    A lot has been mentioned about the pedigree of his father, it should also be stated that his mother is a Doctor in Fort Wayne and both of her parents were Doctors. If his basketball dreams fall through he will certainly find his way to success.

  • Scott W.

    Puck Purdue..Love it

  • RickIUFan

    I went to school with James Sr. at Marion and I can tell you he really wanted to go to Indiana. This was the same class that produced Steve Alford. Would have made a great backcourt if Knight recruited him. He later apologized for not recruiting him and Knight was complimentary of James in his work ethic to improve as a college player at UK during the turmoil of a coaching change and violation rumors swirling around the Kentucky program at that time. James Sr was a Mcdonalds All American, very athletic and quick type player. I think he would have been better served at another program obviously, but he made the most of his opportunity. Having said all this and knowing his desire to have played for IU leads me to believe this is a more likely commit than the average early commit would be. Still James is a good father and I think he would support his son if he changes his mind but I would think he would continue to encourage James Jr to follow through with his commitment and would greatly look forward to watching him play at IU. I can only say as an IU fan I hope this happens because I know James Jr while talented will also be a fundamentally sound player.

  • Yungmanuel1

    james blackmon will be amazing pretty much

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