James Blackmon Jr. joined Indiana’s 2014 recruiting class last September when he became the youngest recruit to give a verbal commitment in the Tom Crean era. The 6-foot-2, 175-pound sophomore-to-be is rated the No. 25 player nationally in his class by ESPN.com.
Inside the Hall caught up with Blackmon Jr. after a pool play game at last week’s adidas Invitational for Q & A:
Full transcript after the jump.
What’s it like to start off July? How do you think you guys are playing so far?
It’s kind of hard to adjust but once we get together and adjust, it feels like nobody can stop us once we play together. So it’s going good.
What’s it been like adding a really talented guy like Jaquan Lyle? What’s he bring to the team?
We were real talented before but bringing another talented guy in, he has good court vision so that helps me, that helps the scorers we’ve got.
Has it taken you a while to get used to playing with him? I know he can throw some crazy passes. Is that something you’ve got to get used to, expecting those passes?
I’m always ready for the ball because I like scoring. That’s what I try to do best and with him passing that makes me better.
What do you guys have to do to play your game? Obviously you’re missing Trey (Lyles). What do you guys have to do to make up for him being gone this week?
Trey’s going to do a lot like grabbing boards. He’s going to be on the glass a lot. So that means that everybody on the team like me, the little guards, P.J. (Thompson), everybody has to rebound.
IU assistant coaches were here watching you today, but being committed, do you feel a little different during the summer like you’re not maybe necessarily trying to impress coaches? Do you have a different mindset than maybe a guy who’s not committed?
I really don’t have a different mindset. I always want to kill my opponents. I never really have any pressure because I know what I got. I do what everybody else tries to do.
What do you think are the strengths of your game? What would you say you pride yourself on?
I can be a big point guard, a tall point guard, I can even play the combo. I’m a good scorer. I can help in transition, offense and defense. I’m good on defense.
What are you trying to work on this summer for improving your game?
Probably more like one-on-one defense.