Blackmon Jr. explains decision to reopen process

  • 08/08/2013 7:28 pm in

081013acNearly 36 months after making a commitment to Indiana, class of 2014 guard James Blackmon Jr. was no longer certain that Bloomington was where he wanted to be for college.

So rather than living with doubt in his mind, Blackmon Jr. decided to re-open the recruiting process on Thursday.

His commitment to Indiana in the fall of 2010 came before he ever played a high school game and also after the Hoosiers had won just 16 games in two seasons under Tom Crean.

At the time, many questioned whether the commitment would stick, especially with more than three years until Blackmon Jr. could sign a National Letter of Intent.

In an interview with Inside the Hall, the Marion guard explained his decision to explore other options.

“Just having something to compare Indiana to. I’ve been committed so long that I haven’t really seen any other college,” Blackmon Jr. said. “Indiana is at the top of my list. I still like Indiana. I wouldn’t be surprised if I end back up at Indiana.

“I just want to know that it is the right choice and have no doubt and be excited about my decision so if I commit back, it’ll be because I’m excited about going there and just not having any doubt with it.”

As the No. 25 player in the ESPNU 100, Blackmon Jr. will have plenty of interest from across the country and Indiana is still expected to recruit him.

“I talked to Coach Crean and he still wants me to be there and he still wants to coach me,” he said. “He’s a great coach and nothing went wrong with the coaches, they didn’t do anything wrong. I just want to reassure myself and have something to compare it to.”

Blackmon Jr. also says he doesn’t regret his decision to commit early despite opening things back up this late in the process.

He was 15 years old when he committed to Indiana on September 3, 2010. Trey Lyles also committed to Indiana in September of 2010 before reopening the recruiting process in August of 2012.

“I still feel like that was the right thing to do because I knew that it was the place I wanted to go,” Blackmon Jr. said. “But having doubt in your mind, I don’t want to have that with choosing a college.”

The next step in the process, according to Blackmon Jr., will be taking a look at which schools express interest and then making a plan to proceed from there.

“I think just seeing who recruits me and how that goes, ” he said. “I’m not really choosing a top five, six or anything like that. I’m just going to see who all is out there and trim it down. IU will definitely be in the top of that.”

(Photo credit: Kelly Kline/Under Armour)

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  • HoosierPat

    I don’t understand why you need to complain about Crean tweeting Bible verses. You said it is unattractive to many teenagers but I doubt Crean worries about whether or not a 17 year old likes the verses he tweets.

  • Tucson Hoosier

    Exactly. You are making my point. I wish he would.
    Listen, just relax. I didn’t want to offend you or anyone else on this board. I was just making a general comment and I will leave it alone now. Love ya.

  • TorontoHoosierFan

    I couldn’t agree more. Might work form some kids but I see it turning off many others. Keep it to yourself Creen, the world doesn’t need to know how much you love Jesus.

  • Hoosier Fan 1943

    By continuing to recruit guys like this, we send the wrong message. Why continue to recruit a guy that doesn’t honor his commitments? It means nothing to these kids to make a commitment. They have no character and we don’t want them. Move on. Those of you that want to hold out hope just don’t want to stand on principle. Stop sending the wrong message. He can latch on to a program that has no ethics and we can just move on. Let’s try to continue to bring in high character guys. I think Crean and his staff have had a lot of success so far and I don’t think he should drop our standards now. I believe in the direction our program is heading and I don’t believe in guys like Trey Lyles and James Blackmon Jr. If Blackmon’s dad had an ounce of character, this situation would have never presented itself. Typical UK guy! Keep up the good work IU coaching staff!

  • Ole Man

    Hmmm….thanks.
    When I looked at the ESPN top 100 today, the highest rank I found was Black. Snider adn Bluiett were much further down.
    It’s possible the listings I saw were old.

  • AKA Hoosier DAddy

    Are you serious JBJ and Trey Lyles @ pUKe ??? Whatch out KARMA could rear its ugly head …

  • Outoftheloop

    There are only 5 truly elite college basketball programs: IU, KY, UNC, Duke and Kansas. IU under Coach Crean and Duke under Coach K are the only two of these that demand that each player work hard in the classroom and be an exemplary citizen. At KY, UNC and Kansas being great at basketball and not actually in jail is good enough (maybe a few games suspension for games that don’t count for much, the old SEC Football/FSU punishment, but don’t miss practice!). Busting your butt going to class, mandatory studying at tutorial study hall, etc. is hard work; not partying like a “Rock Star” may not be exciting enough; buying into the “365 day player” routine does not leave much time for fun or trouble. If you really are a “one-and-done”, why suffer the aggravation? Work at basketball from August through the June Draft; take the agent’s money starting with your teams exit from the NCAA Tourney in March, forget school-work as no class attendance is required after January; live the “Hollywood-Gangsta” dream. There is a reason that Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo have such a “clean” public image-THEY ARE! Many talented players, even some from the State of Indiana, may not sign up for this “aggravation”. IU only needs “A Few Good Men”! Guys like Sheehey, Davis, Hartman, Etherington, and Jurkin will have to become not just good but great. Parents like the Oladipo’s, Sheehey,s, Zeller’s, Farrell’s, Vonleah’s, Williams’, Robinson’s will have to insist on more and not less for their sons upbringing and total education in college. It will become the new “Indiana Way”. This is the sort of program that the entire state of Indiana can be proud of! James could have fit in nicely but he does not want it badly enough. That is OK.

  • Dagwoods

    Senior didn’t commit to IU, he wanted to come here, but Bob Knight did not offer. Knight later told him he made a mistake not recruiting him, which is why he has nothing bad to say about IU today.

  • That One Guy

    Ke Sang came on the board and spoke the truth.

  • Nicholas Allen Cotner

    Figured this was going to happen. This is why kids committing so early is stupid. Be patient and let your options play out

  • Nicholas Allen Cotner

    I don’t see a Yogi bouncing to the NBA after 2 years. He is going to be at least a 3 year guy I think

  • Chris

    So true, so true

  • Az Guy

    I said it a long time ago….”he would never wear a IU uniform”….and people said I didn’t know what I was talking about 🙂

  • Ole Man

    We’re not on Whitehead’s list.
    Hill list 17 schools.
    We’re not on Black’s list.
    Bluiett is a short SF–will be a backup in the B1G.
    Think you’d better recheck your list. For example ESPN has Whitehead at 35.

  • CreanFaithful

    Just went by the ITH Recruiting Board numbers (they may be out of date). It’s less important that they are exact, as it is that they are stand out players. Also, on the Forum, Albers said we are very much in the mix for Black. Hill, Black and Whitehead are giving one of there official visits to IU (they only get five I think). I’d say that’s a good indication.

    I seriously don’t think we will land Bluiett anyway, but I think you are underestimating his ability. He is a knock down shooter that would be the beneficiary of kick outs from our dribble drive system.

  • Ole Man

    Good points. And I just read after posting that Whitehead was going to visit here. Good news!

  • Ole Man

    Our guards were outscored 38 to 0 in that game. Roth couldn’t have done any worse.