Braxton Blackwell picks up Indiana offer on Hysteria visit

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One of the top prospects nationally in the class of 2016 got his first taste of Indiana basketball in person over the weekend.

Braxton Blackwell, a 6-foot-8, 215 pound forward at Christ Presbyterian Academy in Nashville, Tennessee, talked to Inside the Hall on Sunday after returning from his weekend trip to Bloomington.

“I really liked the campus. The facilities are amazing,” Blackwell said. “The coaching staff is one of the best I’ve met so far. I just really could see myself being at Indiana in the future.”

The No. 34 prospect in the 247Composite, Blackwell attended Friday’s Hoosier Hysteria and Saturday’s IU football win over Penn State. His father, Thomas, also made the five hour trip north.

“The word Hysteria is an appropriate word for it as far as the fanbase,” Thomas Blackwell said. “I was really impressed with the students as far how they came in on a Friday to greet both the ladies and men’s teams, coaches and staffs.”

Beyond the time at Hysteria and Memorial Stadium, the Blackwell’s stay in Bloomington, which was far more in-depth than a typical unofficial visit, also included conversations with academic advisor Marni Mooney and strength and conditioning coach Je’Ney Jackson.

Academics are important to the family and was a major focus of the visit.

“The academic piece was very impressive,” Thomas Blackwell said. “She (Marni) sat down with us one-on-one for at least a hour, taking us through how many majors were there and how they help the men’s basketball team as far making sure they stay on track and being a resource for them and partnering up with the head coach to make sure he knows how his players are doing.”

Blackwell, who came into the weekend with offers from Cincinnati, Florida, Memphis, North Carolina State, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and others, left with an offer from the IU staff.

“It was great to hear when Coach Crean said he wanted to offer me a scholarship to play for them,” Blackwell said. “Indiana comes with a lot of tradition and just to be one of the players can be, possibly at one point, keeping the tradition going, is just a blessing.”

The impact of getting the offer in person, combined with the fact that Indiana has done its research on Blackwell, was significant according to Thomas Blackwell.

“It went from a visit to an offer and we’re glad it happened that way,” he said. “A lot of times you get these things over the phone or through the high school coach. But sitting down with coach Crean face to face and hearing him and seeing the passion and getting the idea that he did his homework on Braxton, it wasn’t just an off the hip decision that he made to start a relationship with Braxton over the next two and a half years. That was impressive.”

  • HoosierTrav

    Having Marni Mooney and Coach Jackson is so invaluable to this program. I hope that they pay these guys whatever they want going forward. Losing one or the other could be trouble for us.

  • IUGRADUATE

    Sorry this is off topic, but any update on Devin Robinson?

  • N71

    Was wondering the same thing.

  • The_Bob_Michaels

    Glad to hear the staff is in on great players from everywhere. That said, after this current recruiting season, I’m not getting excited until they sign on the dotted line.

  • Hoosierfan2335

    So… do we have any recruits plated this year? haha. It seems like one after the other keeps falling through. I just don’t understand it.

  • http://www.insidethehall.com/ Alex Bozich

    He’s not doing interviews. We had a quick update on the forum yesterday.

  • IU Fan 4 Life!!!!

    A bunch of pUKe fans keep saying our guys are getting hurt because of the “Clappy”. What does that even mean?

  • Ole Man

    Alex; all I saw was a mentioned that he was here along with several other potential recruits. That was in the last paragraph of the HH story. Is that what you’re talking about?
    Thanks.

  • PV Mike

    Based on the important academic piece, sounds like a Vanderbilt frontrunner to me, plus right in his home town.

  • http://www.insidethehall.com/ Alex Bozich

    No, I’m talking about an update we posted in the premium forum on how the visit went.

  • CheesyHoosier

    I like getting out in front with some of these recruits, showcasing what our program is all about early in the process. Should help us out down the road.

  • Wyatt

    I’m just not real crazy about making offers to 8th grade- 10th grade players. Doesn’t ever seem to work out.

  • SCHoosier

    The way the game is played these days..I think IU..when it can..needs to set a high bar for any other school working this (or any other) recruit. I hope TC encourages these kids to look around because IU is that confident that A-Hall and IU are the places thiey will reach maximum potential as a player..student and person. Let the other schools match what he show them if they can. Again..immediate playing time..staying close to home etc etc may end up the determining factor in the recruits final decision…but early relationship building is critical with today’s recruiting mania,

  • Ole Man

    Thanks for the response.

  • winston smith

    Damon Bailey…

  • Wyatt

    Trey Lyles, JBJ…

  • winston smith

    You wrote, “Doesn’t ever seem to work out.” Just saying sometimes it does.

  • BlakeD1223

    It seems like when IU doesn’t land the recruit that we want a lot of people come on here and bash CTC for not being able to get the top recruits. I just wanted to make the point that I have not read any reports of any player that comes here to visit and not like what they see or how they were treated. That says a lot about our program. I don’t think it comes down to if they like our program or not in the end. I think it comes down to if they want to play for us or another program. (If that makes since.)

  • colinbb10

    you’d be surprised. Of the elite kids who have come out of Middle TN in recent years, John Jenkins was the only one who chose to stay home and he wasn’t pursued by blue bloods like IU, UK, UNC, etc like Blackwell is. Brandan Wright was a HS teammate of Kevin Stallings’ son and he still chose UNC over Vandy. This kid will not go to Vandy and as someone who would kill to see him end up at either IU or VU, I wish that weren’t the case. His HS coach was a Vandy guard when I was growing up and his best friend is Ron Mercer. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Calipari ALL OVER this kid soon

  • colinbb10

    his older brother plays at UT Chattanooga fwiw

  • Snookafly

    That’s a good point, but there is so much politicking that I doubt any recruit would honestly say he hated a school. Besides, it’s not that hard to treat someone well (kiss up) for a two days if you’re a major program. What matters in the end is results.

  • Ole Man

    Well said, Snook.

  • Ole Man

    Knight recruit. Would have walked on at IU even without the scholarship.

  • winston smith

    I know he was a Knight recruit. My point was that he committed in the 8th grade or thereabouts.

  • BlakeD1223

    I agree.
    Do you think it matters WHEN the player visits? For example, Blackwell visits now, loves it but a year from now visits elsewhere and loves that place as well. Since he just visited there and those feeling are fresh for that place he chooses that school over IU. I’m not sure how many visit the players get. I’m assuming Blackwell will get another visit here, correct?

  • TomJameson

    That’s called the ‘recency factor’ and it applies to everything from work performance to school visits. Unless it’s a knockout punch kind of visit, I’d prefer IU to be the last in line. Of course that’s assuming all the visits are made in the first place. :)

  • ScoopGeoff

    All visits before summer of senior year are “unofficial”, and you can take as many as you’d like. He will be allowed 6(?) “official” visits his senior year… Hopefully one of which is to Bloomington.

  • AZIU71

    Oct.11 visits Florida, Oct.18 visits UCON,,Oct.24 verbally commits to IU.

  • HoosierPat

    I am not too big on offering scholarships to players that young either, but the way recruiting works now, if you wait until a kid’s junior year you’re way behind the other schools.

  • http://www.babytown.com/ OceanArcher

    Cody Zeller, Yogi Ferrel

  • http://www.babytown.com/ OceanArcher

    Goodluck didn’t say anything about IU after the visit.

  • r

    I really like this prospect. Folks should read the other post on Blackwell if they missed it. Another solid family support unit; looking for academics; likes old-school players like Magic Johnson; a student of the game; hard worker who never needs motivated; already a proven winner.

  • Hopeful

    I’m afraid this guy is going to turn out to be like Trey Lyles or James Blackmon who will commit in 10 days and then decommit in a year.

  • GoBigRed4Life

    People have to quit worrying & stressing about Lyles and JBJ backing out…it’s not that big of a deal. Sure, I wanted to see them play for IU, but it’s just something that happens (all over with this class). It was time to move on from it as soon as it happened. Focus on the players who do want to play for IU, and support them till the end!

  • Ole Man

    Alex, how does one become a premium member?

  • Hoosier Mike

    Kids are recruited younger today because of the AAU culture.. These elite AAU programs have multiple age groups and in each age group have multiple high level recruits… These teams travel together to the same prestigious tournaments and many times practice together too. Coaches obviously prioritize the most current classes but they don’t pass on opportunities to develop relationships when they get the chance.

  • CreamandCrimson

    There’s a tab at the top of page labeled “Forum”. Click on that, follow the instructions and have your credit card ready.

  • Brian Stewart

    Recruiting has been tough this year, but I sometimes wonder if the fact that at Indiana you will have to go to class and get your grades has put off some of the recruits IU hasn’t gotten for 2014. If you are just going to college to ball & not study we don’t need/want you at Indiana. Even the guys that have left early are getting their degrees – early. Kudos to Coach Crean and his staff for making academics a priority at IU!

  • http://Insidethehall.com/ HoosierKen73

    Problem with that becomes, when a kid likes an early visit so well. The early visit coach is a great salesman and they put enough pressure on him, he folds up like an accordion and commits before taking all of the visits. Happens all the time…

  • Hardwood83

    Exactly- I think the reason we’re all spending so much analysing this is that there is NO consistent formula or pattern. There are a lot of variables and these kids are individuals. The only constant in it all is pUKe blatantly cheats and deserves a permanent program death penalty.

  • Ole Man

    Thanks.

  • TomJameson

    Oh I agree. I know there are no guarantees as to how visits go, nor how the kids respond to them. That’s why I put the ‘assumption’ out there. IF all the visits are taken, I would prefer to be the last visit because of the recency factor.

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