Notebook: Blackmon Jr. nominated for McDonald’s All-American game

  • 01/07/2014 11:35 am in

Class of 2014 Marion guard and IU signee James Blackmon Jr. will try to make it a fourth consecutive year in which the Hoosiers have signed a McDonald’s All-American.

Blackmon Jr. was one of close to 1,000 nominees named for the game on Tuesday morning that will be played on Apr. 2 at the United Center in Chicago. The 24-man roster will be announced on Jan. 29 at 6:00 p.m. ET on ESPNU.

Cody Zeller was the first McDonald’s All-American to sign with Indiana under Tom Crean in 2011, followed by Yogi Ferrell in 2012 and Noah Vonleh in 2013.

Blackmon Jr. is considered a serious contender to make the final roster, but has stiff competition at the guard spot including Isaiah Whitehead (Seton Hall), Rashad Vaughn (undecided), D’Angelo Russell (Ohio State), Grayson Allen (Duke), Dion Wiley (Maryland) and Devin Booker (Kentucky).

The other two nominees from Indiana are Park Tudor’s Trevon Bluiett, who signed with Xavier and Tech’s Trey Lyles, who inked with Kentucky.

Last month, Blackmon Jr., who is averaging 35.6 points this season, was named to the USA Basketball junior select national team.

Robert Johnson and Max Hoetzel were not nominated for the game. Johnson, a top 50 prospect nationally at Richmond (Va.) Benedictine Prep, was originally a member of the class of 2013, which made him ineligible for selection.

Crean asked about Fischer transfer on weekly radio show

On his weekly radio show Monday night, Crean was asked about the departure of Luke Fischer from the IU program. Fischer, who averaged 2.8 points and 2.1 rebounds in 13 non-conference games, announced on Sunday that he’s transferring to Marquette.

Crean was asked by a caller if Fischer’s reason for leaving was because he was homesick and while Crean stopped short of singling it out as the only reason, he didn’t dispute the notion, either.

“Well, I think he chose to go Marquette, which we saw yesterday. It’s close to his home. I would say he’s closer to home,” Crean said. “I don’t think any of us had any doubt, when they walked out last week, that he wasn’t going to be very far from his house. He did a good job here. He had very good future potential. There’s no question that the injury set him back a little bit early on here and probably never quite where he wanted to be, although he was improving.

“We felt really good about his future. But, you know what, we’re going to feel good about somebody else’s future here when we sign someone. It’s just the way it is. No ill will with him. Great family, great young man. We enjoyed him, enjoyed the process of recruiting him. I hope he’s successful and he did a good job at Indiana while he was here.”

Iowa’s McCaffery suspended for outburst in loss to Wisconsin

The Big Ten announced on Tuesday morning that Iowa coach Fran McCaffery has been suspended one game for his actions in Iowa’s 75-71 loss at Wisconsin on Sunday night.

According to the conference, McCaffery violated the league’s sportsmanship policy with his actions towards the officials. McCaffery was assessed two technicals and ejected. Iowa has been fined $10,000 for McCaffery’s actions.

He’ll serve his suspension on Thursday when Iowa hosts Northwestern.

“I want to again apologize to the University of Iowa, my players, staff and the tremendous Hawkeye fans for my emotional reaction during Sunday’s game,” McCaffery said in a release on Tuesday. “I regret my actions and accept the Big Ten Conference’s decision. I am ready to move on.”

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  • mark

    Relax. Next year, ah next year …. I see Perea coming on big, Vonleh staying and being B10 POY, Ferrell 1st team All-B10, Williams and Hollowell and Davis all maturing, Blackmon being a potent long-range threat …. we’re going to be very hard to beat. Just need another Big for depth now that Luke has gone. And Hollowell’s main problem, being out of position, will be resolved (look, the guy is more of an inside-midrange player than perimeter).

  • HoosierPat

    Yeah I’m thinking the same thing. Vonleh will most likely have the opportunity to leave, but at this point I’d be surprised if he left.

  • CreamandCrimson

    I’ve seen him play twice (once in person, once on television). That certainly doesn’t make me an expert on him but I can offer a somewhat educated opinion of his game (and how he could fit in next season at IU).

    Blackmon Jr. is a lethal shooter. I think he is the best shooter in the class of 2014 and I think he can be one of the best shooters in the Big Ten by the time his freshman season starts. One of the things I am most excited about by his game is his ability to score in a variety of ways. Catch and shoot from 3, 3-pointer off the dribble, drive to the basket, get to the foul line, mid-range…etc. Bottom line, he’s an elite scorer. Blackmon Jr. is a good ball handler and at the high school level, he doesn’t have a problem with turnovers (I don’t know how that typically translates to college) but he’s not a great passer. In the two games that I saw him, he wasn’t a great defender. Not awful but certainly not great. His rebounding was decent for a 6’2″ guard but he’s not a guy I expect to grab more than 3-4 boards a game in college.

    -Shooting and scoring
    -Creating his own shot and points
    -Terrific at getting to the line and hitting his FTs.

    I think he will be the starting shooting guard next season (I could see a lineup of Yogi, Blackmon Jr., Robinson, Williams and Vonleh but who knows) and he will be an elite offensive player for as long as he’s at IU. I’m so excited for the backcourt future of Yogi, Robert Johnson, Blackmon Jr and Stanford Robinson…in my opinion, Blackmon Jr. is deserving of the hype he’s getting around here.

  • CreamandCrimson

    Iowa had been leading for the majority of the game and was ahead at the time. The ejection gave Wisconsin four points and a lead they never gave up. I would like to see CTC pick his spots but I can’t imagine the bleep storm that would roaring on here if CTC was ejected and we lost a game by the margin of the resulting FTs.

  • CreamandCrimson

    You are correct, there don’t appear to be any high-quality Class of 2014 bigs available. However, there will be a fresh crop of 5th year transfers that will be available and I wouldn’t mind taking advantage of that rule. I watched Iowa State’s DeAndre Kane (a 5th year transfer from Marshall) put up 30 points, 8 rebounds, 9 assists and 5 steals last night as the Cyclones pounded Baylor last night. Obviously, that production is unexpected from that situation but still, we can find a quality piece to add to what is hopefully a really good 2014-2015 team.

  • Ole Man

    Missed that…LOL…and it should have been They’re…as in They are….

  • Kyl470

    I agree that the moment JBJ walks on campus he will be the starting 2 guard.

  • Gregory Spera

    Thanks for the reply.

  • Gregory Spera

    I hate to be the grammar police, but in this instance, as ForeverIU says, with the plural nouns, “There” is correct. If “They are” doesn’t work then neither does the contraction “They’re.”

  • Ole Man

    Correct again! There should have been the word.
    Man, I am losing it! LOL!

  • Snookafly

    Thanks. I was just curious to see how the team was being assembled.

  • SCHoosier

    Only if all the other point guards stage a position strike. Yogi can stay and be MVP I n the conference next year.