IndyBall Q & A: 2014 guard James Blackmon Jr.

Ft. Wayne Bishop Luers guard James Blackmon Jr. became the youngest recruit to commit to Indiana in the Tom Crean era when the talented freshman gave a verbal pledge to the Hoosiers in September of 2010.

Inside the Hall (along with Kyle Neddenriep of The Indianapolis Star) talked to the Spiece Indy Heat shooting guard about a variety of topics following a pool play game of the IndyBall.com Shootout at North Central High School. (Photo credit: Jamie Owens of J. Scott Sports.)

On what he’d like to accomplish this spring and summer in AAU:

“I just want to get back to where I was conditioning wise. I just came off of spring break and I haven’t really touched a ball all that much. I got (Team) USA tryouts (coming up) and I just want to get my conditioning back to what it was.”

On the level of comfort playing with the same group of guys again this year in AAU:

“We all started playing together last year. And the team, as soon as we stepped on the court together, we just had a good mixture of play. And now we’re adding older guys to our team, so that makes it even better.”

On the opportunity to play against older guys at the 16-and-under level:

“I look forward to competition whenever I can get it so I look forward to that.”

On what he’s looking to add to his game before his sophomore season:

“I’m just trying to get quicker and stronger. I already know how it’s going to be next year. It was a good test for me my freshman year, so I just want to come back even better sophomore year.”

On how he felt he played as a freshman at Bishop Luers:

“I felt like I could score. Scoring was the best thing I could do. I just want to pick it up on all aspects of my game and scoring will come even easier.”

On his reaction to IU’s recruiting success in the months following his commitment:

“It’s real exciting to think about if we’re all on the court together some day. It’s just crazy even thinking that we might all be on the same court at one time.”

  • unclekerfuffle

    JBJ’s last answer probably covers 99% of how all us fans would respond to the question. It’s going to be fun to watch these kids develop over the next four to eight years.

    Man, it feels good to be a Hoosier with the positive attitude so many of our players, recruits and commitments have.

  • N71

    All these guys really appear to have a “we” mentality versus the “me” you see so much elsewhere. Brick by brink we’re building something rock solid. Talent, depth, character, etc. We will have it all.

  • unclekerfuffle

    Yeah, that was what I was trying to say.

  • Anonymous

    I agree with all so far. People still give me a hard time about being so passionate about Indiana. For the first time in years I can say confidently with a rye smile…”just wait, just wait”.

    3 years ago a guy at work harrased me forever about it. So we made a 10 year bet. $25/year for 10 years. If IU doesn’t win in 7 more years I owe him $250. If at anytime IU wins within that time period, he owes me $25 per year. He laughed. I still like that bet.

  • http://weeklycritiquely.blogspot.com/ IUfanPurduePhD

    Who’s the 1%? JerryCT? “It just ain’t the same without Pritchard out there. I wish it was ’08-’09 again!”

  • Steve

    You never cease to amaze me Alex, with the quality of the information provided on this site.
    Fantastic job ! Thanks

  • http://www.twitter.com/GBuc12 BaseballBuc

    James Blackmon might end up being IU’s best player of those they have coming in.

  • ldiu

    I saw JBJ play once this year and he could start for most Big 10 teams next year and for all by the time he is a junior. Quite a talent and plays really big and has tremendous instincts.

  • unclekerfuffle

    Send me the guy’s email and I’ll see if he is willing to make that bet with me for the next five years at $100/year.

  • Kelin Blab

    Out of all the kids I saw this past weekend…Hollowell and Blackmon were the most impressive.

    Blackmon is a coaches son to the fullest extent. Plays within the team, within himself, and very fundamentally sound. If you are old enough to remember his dad like I am you will love his son even more.

    If he was super aggressive offensively he could put up some huge numbers with his jumpshot and ability to get to the basket. I honestly can’t say he is the prize in the 2014 class yet…..I know Trey is good but so is Blackmon. Bluiett is big time too I might add

  • unclekerfuffle

    Phd:

    Good one.

    I always try to allow for an anomaly when I make a prediction.

    I’m not talking trash, Jerry–LOL

  • get real

    JBJ’s brother is probably a better player – he will be an 8th grader. It will be interesting to see if Blackmon family remains at Luers– many rumors flying around Ft.Wayne. I saw JBJ at Spiece’s tournament last year and thought he was the most poised player of any age group. The last player at Spiece that I saw his age that was as good was Harrison Barnes. Time will tell,

  • Andrew

    You had a smile made out of bread? Sorry couldn’t resist. Hope you win your bet.

  • get real

    Like I said, time will tell. If I say what I heard, then, I would be adding to the rumors.

  • Anonymous

    Thought maybe you were trying to allow for that occasional closet pUKe fan.

    There is always a little bit of evil even where good is at its’ greatest.

  • Anonymous

    The first thing I thought when I looked at this picture is, “my god, he looks just like his dad.” My second thought was, “I always knew his dad would have looked better in red than blue.”

  • Anonymous

    He isn’t going to move to Bloomington, de-commit, reclassify for the 2013 class and sign with (and then ultimately leave) UCLA is he?

  • unclekerfuffle

    Naw, Mike.

    I actually feel sorry for PUke fans since they just can’t help themselves–envy will make a person do and say strange things.

    However, when it comes to pUKe fans, they wouldn’t be able to comprehend what JBJ said since he used correct grammar and words with more than one syllable.

    I was referring to the few IU fans of my generation who will refuse to make any positive comments about the program until they read about the second coming of RMK as Head Basketball Coach in B-town.

  • millzy32

    How tall is he and how tall do people think he’ll get? Is there a chance that he is much taller than a shooting guard once he gets to IU? I remember thinking that he’s like 6’4″ or 6’5″ already and he’s only 15 shouldn’t he be able to grow a few more inches by the time he’s 18? The kid physically looks like he could play shooting guard in the Big Ten next year as a sophomore in HS

  • JerryCT

    So far, no one has offered any ideas at who among these recruits:

    + might even venture to set a screen
    + will win “dunk of the year”
    + has a blue tongue
    + can go a whole season w/o taking a jumper

    All of these are unique to TP and very difficult to do

  • JerryCT

    Besides, only Pritchard plays like a superhero in the comics with sound effects like “POW ! BAM ! SPLAT ! “

  • http://weeklycritiquely.blogspot.com/ IUfanPurduePhD

    - Something tells me Hanner, Trey, Peter, and Buss can set decent screens (I suspect that’s a fundamental Cody possesses as well, but I’m assuming you’re referring to 2012-14 kids).
    – Hanner will win dunk of the year.
    – Ok, you got me with the blue tongue thing. Maybe Crean should buy the whole team blue ICEEs for Pritch’s senior night…?
    – Right now, Hanner might not take jumpers, but hopefully that’s not something he’ll continue in college.

    I hope you already have your ticket and hotel reservations made for senior night… just don’t do anything creepy — at no time should you use the phrase “it puts the lotion in the basket” … just a suggestion if you want to avoid another restraining order.

  • CreamandCrimson

    Exactly. I am glad to read what people think. However, when someone says “there are rumors….I probably shouldn’t say anything because I would just add to the rumors but…I can’t say how I know but…” If you don’t want to fuel rumors, don’t bring them up.

  • JerryCT

    If senior night is on a weekend it might conflict with my community service sentence ……….

  • http://weeklycritiquely.blogspot.com/ IUfanPurduePhD

    Those highways ain’t gonna clean themselves!

  • hoostheman

    Pretty sure he’s listed at 6’2.

  • unclekerfuffle

    In all seriousness, Jerry, I think a lot of people are going to be impressed with Big Tom’s play next year. As I have stated in a previous post, I think TP and JH will be the biggest beneficiaries of CZ’s ability to draw the double team and his passing to the open man.

    I fully expect Tom’s confidence to come back and for him to have a solid Senior season.

    If I am correct, then all his superhero sounds will surely be heard around the Big Ten.

    I really want his Senior year to be his best, by leaps and bounds–pardon the pun.

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