2014 guard James Blackmon Jr. commits to Indiana

2013 NBA Players Association Top 100 Camp

2014 Marion guard James Blackmon Jr. has recommitted to Indiana.

Announcing his decision Thursday evening live on ESPNU during halftime of the Louisiana-Monroe/Troy football game, Blackmon chose the Hoosiers over Kentucky and Michigan and became Indiana’s second commitment of the week.

“This was where my heart was,” Blackmon said. “I couldn’t imagine myself not playing for the fans of Indiana basketball.”

Blackmon, a 6-foot-2 guard ranked No. 31 in the 2014 class by the 247Composite, had been committed to Indiana since his freshman year of high school until he decommitted on Aug. 8. Since then, he had picked up significant interest from schools including Michigan, Kentucky, Michigan State and Kansas, though Indiana continued to recruit him.

Heading into his decision Thursday night, Kentucky had been considered the favorite, though throughout the day on Thursday, rumors continued to grow that Blackmon could choose Indiana. After all, Indiana had received Blackmon’s final visit: a one-day unofficial trip to Bloomington last Friday.

Blackmon cited Indiana’s diligence in recruiting him and finding the right fit as major factors in his decision.

“The way coach (Tom) Crean recruited me as a main priority and just the way that I see myself impacting the program,” he said. “Keeping Indiana back on top, I think I can get them back on top and where they need to be.”

His commitment Thursday evening gave the Hoosiers their third commitment for 2014, joining Wilbraham and Monson (Mass.) forward Max Hoetzel and Benedictine (Va.) guard Robert Johnson.

Blackmon also becomes the Hoosiers’ highest-rated recruit of the class.

(Photo credit: Kelly Kline/Under Armour)

  • Ole Man

    Does anyone know when Lyle is declaring?

  • r

    Thank you, Oldfan. It is one thing to talk among your buddies about certain players, but to go online and make it known to the players (and future recruits) that you wish they weren’t here (or hope they aren’t coming) is taking it a bit far…and, yes, many of them do visit online threads to read about themselves or to gauge the fanbase of potential programs on these types of forums (it is 2013). I have my own picks of which players I believe would likely be missed the least, but I certainly don’t want to mention any names. Beyond that, I could be wrong and realize later they have become far better than I ever imagined they would. I understand they are no different than Hollywood actors, professional athletes and government officials in that they can have their lives picked apart by countless strangers on any given day, but to call out individuals accepted into the program you choose to consider yourself affiliated seems counter-productive…and as others have said, cruel. Everyone is entitled to say what they wish, but it is my hope that fans will quit “sending off” the same players that chose to enroll at IU and play before those fans. They, too, take pride in Indiana University basketball.

  • r

    A.J. Guyton

  • r

    an above average mid-range game with a stellar outside range.

  • r

    I agree. I can’t make comments on my Android device. I can’t even vote up for a worthy comment. I also notice that half the text is covered by gray blocks each time I try to enlarge the articles on my cell. I am more disappointed with the mobile version, but there are things that I liked better about the older version on my PC as well. It is new to Alex and Co, so hopefully there are just some kinks to be worked out yet.

  • mojo22046

    7 – Surprised, not disappointed. And some of us not so surprised after landing Booker. We think we do okay when it comes to recruiting. A few of us, precious few, I’m afraid, are happy that you’re happy.

  • r

    Booker helped ease any worries you may have had. I am sure, as they are every year under Calipari, the UK fans are quite content with their incoming class. That said, UK is no different than IU when it comes to being greedy…we all want “that kid” to commit too.

    On behalf of many of the IU fans I surround myself with, we are disappointed in the UK name calling over this commitment. It is a rivalry, so I understand why certain words are said (and it goes both ways), but it screams to me of envy of the Wildcats.

    As an IU fan, and someone who dislikes UK, I prefer we not make any mention of UK when discussing this situation. I am glad Rob Johnson and James Blackmon Jr will be playing at IU. I would choose these two guards over UK’s incoming guards again and again.

  • IU76’s

    He did the smart thing to do. If you always wanted a Porsche, but when you get the money, you’ll probably test drive a Mercedes, BMW and a Jag. Now that he’s explored his options, mulled over his choices, he followed his heart…and I’m glad he did!

  • r

    And, I should mention, I am happy that you are happy. It is good to have a UK fan visit without ill intent. Thanks for stopping by!

  • IU76’s

    Yeah, now that’s integrity?!

  • Southern55Hoosier

    Someone fixed the ESPN rating to 5 star now. It was 4 star earlier today.

  • mk

    obviously not former IU just sayin

  • mk

    I think the guy who brought up that “conspiracy theory” was kidding. Wasn’t much of a discussion either mostly guys chuckling at the idea

  • Earl Scheib

    That’s the funniest thing I’ve read on here in a long time. Nicely done man!

  • Guest

    I don’t want to be one of those people who freaks out over something that doesn’t need to be worried about, BUT I am somewhat worried about how the scholarship problem will “work itself out.” We are oversigned by one now, and if the crystal ball predictions are right about Lyle, we will be oversigned by two. I am not convinced that Vonleh is a one and done, so I don’t think his scholarship will be available next year. I understand that transfers usually happen to solve this, but there is something else that has me worried. Rob Johnson committed to IU when we all thought Blackmon and Lyle were both out of the question. Now there is a chance that we will be 5 deep at the guard position next year. I know a few of them can play the 3 in Crean’s system, but my biggest fear is that Lyle commits which scares RoJo away and causes him to decommit. I would really hate to lose Johnson, he seems to be a great player and even better kid. Is this a legitimate concern or am I just crazy?

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    Just to be clear you can check the thread from a few weeks ago if you want. I brought it up, and was very skeptical myself and made light of it by saying it was very remote. You cannot deny the possibility remains though. My reference was just in regards to the possibility. However, I would not put it past some people to try it. It might sound outlandish, but there are millions of dollars at stake and shady coaches at hand. I also would never believe Indiana would be a part of that also. Just to be crystal clear.

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    Indiana would never use this kind of tactic. I feel very confident in saying that, and the opportunity for a vindictive coach who recruits very well is completely open.

  • Snookafly

    A lot of people are saying he’ll wait until spring for whatever that’s worth.

  • 5bannerfan

    Alphabetical pattern. Next word is Signed.

  • ScoopGeoff

    Y’all are so funny… Why would anyone give Jurkin the finger? He seems like a nice enough guy… Who will never contribute to IU’s success with the current talent pool they have and continue to attract. It’s simple math…

  • r

    I am fairly certain Robert Johnson will be in Bloomington. He should have no fear of finding playing time. He’s a deadly shooter and a great scorer. He will find playing time whether Lyle commits or not.

    I am not sold that Lyle will be choosing IU. He is hyped on IU right now, but he has been hyped on a different team each month of the year. It was only weeks ago that he used PhotoShop to place he and Alexander in Kansas uniforms standing inside Phogg Allen Fieldhouse. I am sure the Blackmon declaration has some pull, but so does Alexander’s upcoming decision. It wouldn’t surprise me if he and Alexander end up at Illinois, alongside Trevon Bluiett, Quentin Snider, and Leron Black. Illinois may have offered all the scholarships they have to give at this point, but so has Indiana. I could also see them both at Kansas, although it seems Kansas continues recruiting Alexander much harder than Lyle. With that said, though, I am also not sold on the idea that they are destined to be a package deal.

  • Michael Crawley

    There are a few guys on this quad that we might only get two years out of

  • Aiken_Hoosier

    WAY more than 2……haha

  • IUMIKE1

    Probably bumped him to a 5 star as soon as they found out that he would make his announcement on one of their channels.

  • IUMIKE1

    The only thing I would feel safe saying pUKe WOULDN’T do……is have integrity.

  • IUMIKE1

    I’d say that if Lyle is really wanting to play at a place where he is, in a round about way, a package deal, aka playing with a friend(s) then looks like his only real choices are at IU with JBJ or you know where with Lyles.

    Boy that would sure piss me off if pUKe offered him after signing Lyles and we burn them for another recruit. dws

  • Aiken_Hoosier

    On his radio show, he said he had a source tell him Lyles had visited Kentucky while still committed to Indiana…….

  • IUMIKE1

    And IMHO, unless he sets the world on fire with his shooting % he will be back the year after next as well.

    There are good problems and there are bad problems and THIS one falls in the first category, again IMHO.

  • hoosier1158

    I can’t wait for the year, when they don’t have a good recruiting class, all go pro early and he is stuck with walk-on’s. lol

  • hoosier1158

    Considering the way some of the current recruits keep changing their minds, i want to get him signed, asap.

  • G-Rob

    I agree, about the same for me. love the site just need to fine tune it. the good thing is this works alot better than Obamacare’s website and didnt cost 700 mill to put it together and not work. lol

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    Spot on Mike

  • G-Rob

    I love Hulls for what he did for the program and his hussle but he isnt in the same conversation as Blackmon jr, Edwards or Alford. I think Blankmon jr will be similiar to A.J Guyton, maybe a little bit better shooter than AJ but his name in the end will be in good company.

  • Dee McDonald

    He has to wait until spring to actually sign because he just took his SAT’s. He could verbal anytime but won’t be able to officially sign until spring. My guess is he’ll wait until spring to commit.

  • Guest

    Thanks for the reply. I wouldn’t be devastated if Lyle didn’t pick IU. Would I take him? Absolutely. Bluiett just committed to Xavier a few hours ago, so that may shake things up. Who knows with this class. I agree with you on the Illinois prediction, they have had a good relationship with Lyle for a long time and it seems like theres not too many people that acknowledge that. Kansas is a real possibility as well. I feel like Blackmon will try to get Lyle at IU, but he may be worried with the overload at the guard position.
    As far as the scholarship problem at IU,
    (whether we get Lyle or not) I am confident that Crean and the rest of the coaching staff knows what they are doing. I just wondered what everyone thought of it. Like I said before, these things always seem to “work themselves out,” I’m just curious on how this one will go. I hate to see guys have to transfer, even if they are bench guys. I will be rooting for Mo Creek and Remy Abell to do well in their remaining years of eligibility.

  • Kyl470

    Why does my comment suggesting IU pull Max’s scholarship offer get deleted? IU has now over signed and if they get JaQuan they will really be in a bind. If no one goes pro that could be 4 guys for 2 spots. So it’s ok to force someone out as a transfer, but it’s not ok to tell Max that he would be better off playing elsewhere?

  • Kyl470

    People are mad that I suggested IU pull Max’s scholarship offer. IU has now oversigned and if no one leaves then someone will be forced to transfer. Not sure why it’s ok to make a guy already on the team leave vs. telling a guy not on the team that he’d probably play more elsewhere.

  • Da Man

    solving scholarship situations is CTC speciality

  • Kyl470

    I know so far it has always worked itself out, but I hate seeing players transfer. Losing Remy who IU could use as a back up point guard to make room for 6 freshman. I think everyone here knows that one of those 6 probably won’t be playing much. You can’t tell me that there aren’t going to be guys on the end of IU’s bench this year asking themselves, “Am I going to be the one that has to leave?”

  • ForeverIU

    He tweeted that his SATs are tomorrow morning. There was also a tweet that he might come to Bloomington after his SATs (the weekend).

  • Dee McDonald

    Yes I thought it was last week that he took them but I think that’s because this week seemed like 2 weeks in real time. Love that he’s high on IU baby!!

  • IUMIKE1

    Dakich said that his dad, and / or other people in his inner circle, was requiring who ever he signed with to make employment of some fashion part of the deal. Trey’s dad publicly stated that it wasn’t true and that he would sue Dakich if he didn’t retract the statement. Dakich then said that he stood by what he said, that it happened more than what people knew, that that kind of thing had been going on for a long time and said that kind of thing was even presented to his family while he was in high school, that his dad was offered a job by another high school if he would transfer there. He told Trey’s dad to go ahead and try to sue him while he was on the air, I heard that part myself. Also said that he didn’t thing that his dad wanted to open that can of worms in a public fashion but that if the did to go ahead. As far as I know his dad has not had any other comment about any of it and Dakich has not said anything further on the subject as well so who knows for sure, but then again Calislimy and his whole staff was in his high school gym and was involved the very next day after the decommit so anything is possible I guess.

  • hoosier1158

    You don’t offer a kid, get a commitment and then say no.

  • Ole Man

    Thanks for the update.

  • hoosier1158

    It isn’t worded that way. They hear i don’t see any playing time in your future. If the kid wants to play ball, which he does, then he will transfer.

  • mojo22046

    ESPN ranks Blackmon 19 and Booker 18.

    “Does that mean he’s … better? Is he any better?”

    “Well, he’s one better, isn’t he? He’s not 19. You see, most … most blokes, you know, will be playing at 19. You’re on 19 here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up. You’re on 19 on your shooting guard. Where can you go from there? Where?”

    “I don’t know.”

    “Nowhere. Exactly. What we do is, if we need that extra push over the cliff, you know what we do?”

    “Put in an 18?”

    “An 18. Exactly. One better.”

  • yimyames

    They switched it to five, because they thought he was going to UK. LOL

  • Calvin Murphy

    Peter Jurkin will be 21 years old in a couple weeks. South Sudan has been a nation for two years. Do the math brainiac. Of course the city of his birth (Juba) is now in a nation called South Sudan, but on the day of his birth and for the 19 years that followed, he was a citizen of Sudan. Why is that hard to understand for you to understand, old smelly guy? And sure, the South Sudanese are very different people with different ways than those in the north…but this was only a “different country” after he left it and moved to the states. He may never even have set foot in South Sudan in his life.

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