Photo Gallery: James Blackmon Jr. at the McDonald’s All-American game

  • 04/02/2014 9:53 am in

Check out 17 photos of James Blackmon Jr. from his time this week in Chicago for the 2014 McDonald’s All-American game in the embedded photo gallery after the jump. The 2014 McDonald’s All-American game airs tonight at 9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.

All photos courtesy of Brian Spurlock for the McDonald’s All-American game.

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  • Gregory Spera

    JBJ is what this team needs. We must win with dominating talent on the floor. I was listening to ‘Mike and Mike’ on ESPN radio driving in this morning, and they were debating which college basketball program has the best tradition. They discussed it for 15 minutes. They did not even mention Indiana. Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina, Kansas, UCLA… heck, they even wondered about UConn. UCONN! So that’s where we are right now. Ancient history. But if we are ever going to be back in that discussion, then we need the players. A starting backcourt of Yogi Ferrell and JBJ is going to be sick.

  • Kyl470

    Yeah. Yogi’s senior year is going to be critical. CTC will have to land an immediate impact freshman like Vonleh and you have a possible title contender.

  • Nicholas Allen Cotner

    Can’t wait to watch him play for IU

  • Nicholas Allen Cotner

    I have come to the conclusion that if we don’t string a couple really good seasons together soon that I will just have to finally admit I will never get to see the program my dad and grandfather got to watch lol

  • Gregory Spera

    Don’t know what to say about those zebra striped sneaks. Wow, just… wow.

  • Indiana is fading into the black. I’ve felt this way for quite some time now. I’ve experienced just 1 final four run in my 27 years. This is why we aren’t discussed. We aren’t relevant and haven’t been in the last 2-3 decades. Don’t even try and dispute it. Everyone wants to dog coach Calipari for being a cheater, but the guy hasn’t been caught and assuming he will just makes us look foolish. The man has made 4 elite 8’s, 3 Final Fours, and won a title (possibly 2) in his last 5 years. That’s ELITE my friends. Tradition means NOTHING these days. Its about who the coach of the team is. UCLA has 11 titles. Hows that tradition helping them the last 5 years? Indiana kids would rather go to Kentucky, Michigan, Michigan State, Duke, UNC, Kansas, and Ohio State because the coaching is better. Plain and simple. I know this is gonna hurt some feelings, but It’s the truth with real numbers to back it up.

  • I’m coming to that conclusion right now. Our issue has everything to do with coaching after Knight. Sampson was the best we’ve had, he just couldn’t follow rules, regardless of how ridiculous those rules are. The other bluebloods, outside of UCLA, made mistakes in coaching and went out and got an immediete home run. We were in a really tough spot after Sampson. It would have been tough to land a “homerun” type of guy. I think that’s the main reason I hold a grudge against Sampson. He put us in such a deep hole, that we were forced to choose the best candidate at the time, rather than getting the best guy period. Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star mentioned that he was standing next to John Calipari after the Davis firing, and he was quoted saying “I would crawl all the way to Bloomington for the job.” or something to that effect. Now, bc of a knee jerk reaction by our AD Fred Glass, we are stuck with a situation in which, even if we come to the realization that Crean is NOT the guy, we are stuck with him for quite some time bc of the financial burden. To me, there is one guy that can take this job and take this program to the pinnacle of its potential, and unfortunately, that guy is not walking through that door.

  • Shawn Congo

    And he is…
    Alford? Smart? Stevens?

  • Alford Bailey

    Ditto

  • Alford Bailey

    Ditto, and I would add the current coach we are tied to has produced about 1 really good season of basketball in 6 years and post season play 2 years outta 6. That’s a 3 million a year guy??

  • Alford Bailey

    The combined IU administration the last 15 years could write a book and title it “How To Destroy a Proud College Basketball Program”. I didn’t think it was possible to screw up this bad.

  • Kyl470

    Honestly it all started with the hiring of Davis. We decided to replace a legend with a guy who had zero head coaching experience. Sure it was nice when in his second year (my freshman year at IU) we went on a Final Four run, but after that when the team was made up of “his” players the team kept getting worse and worse. So we finally realized he wasn’t the guy and forced him to quit and who do we replace him with. A guy who is already on probation for violation of rules. Yes, Sampson was a very good basketball coach in terms of everything on the court, but off the court he couldn’t control his players (going to class) or himself (too many calls and texts).

  • Eric SIr

    Does he coach the Celtics?

  • Cismaworld

    I have said for 4 years now that Crean will have to out recruit his coaching ability. I love the kids that come to IU and will always rout for them on the court and off the court. But you just can’t say that these 5 years have been anything but a failure for this program. I have yet to see this team win a game because of it’s coaching and have seen many games lost because of it’s coaching.

  • fourputtsforsnowman

    Is anyone else concerned that YF won’t facilitate JBJ the way he should? I’ve just seen two things that bother me: 1. too much “me first” for a point guard. 2. too much YF pointing and directing for no apparent positive purpose. Maybe my concerns are fictional, but this is what I’m going to watch for early next year: the interactions of the PG with the rest of the team.

  • fourputtsforsnowman

    Woodson???

  • Gregory Spera

    Someone was asking about when the 2014 “Mr. Basketball” will be named. This is from today’s Indy Star:

    “In an online fan poll conducted by the Star, Blackmon received 36,479 of the 57,909 votes (63 percent). Lyles (35.4 percent) was second and Bluiett (1.4 percent) third. The actual Mr. Basketball winner will be announced next week.”

  • AtLeastSampsonWon

    Yogi was forced to do more with the team he had this past year. I would do a lot of “me first” actions as well with only a 1/2 of a shooting threat on the wings in Sheehey. He will have 4 more assists per game next year with JBJ. Mark my words.

  • IUfanToby

    I agree I would like us to be in that discussion as well, but given what we’ve done in the last 25 years vs those other programs listed, we don’t. Hopefully we can get back there sooner rather than later.

  • SCHoosier

    U R right about Indiana kids want to go to those schools..and you do realize that that “trend” started long before Tom Crean had anything to do with IU? Fact is..getting a guaranteed ticket to the Dance , strong minutes on the floor and a possible early pro entry are the keys to recruiting now. Loyalty to your home state or any one school is a fantasy.

  • Benhyoung14

    And Alabama University doesn’t ‘get caught’ even tho a check written to one of their players is all over the internet. The teams that the NCAA wants to hammer, it will hammer.
    You lost me at Sampson was the best since Knight. He had to consult other coaches for offense. It’s debatable, but I’m going with CTC. CTC has his faults, but he’s still a top 10 coach. There was a power vacuum last year created by Hulls, VO, Zeller, and Watford leaving. That continued onto this year. New player, and no playing time caused the transfers this year. It wouldn’t suprise me if Hollowell’s ‘focus issue’ was a bigger part of the problem than anything. Everything points to off the court problems. CTC’s seat is getting warmer, but you can’t base his tenure off of 1 season. If this slide continues for another 2 years, then Brad Stevens will be offered a lot of money.

  • CreanFaithful

    Describe Yogi’s brand of basketball in his freshman campaign when he was surrounded by four, 1000 point scorers… I think you have your answer.

    That being said, I think we will see YF, JBJ, RJ and SR all taking shots at initiating the offense as to not allow the defense to get comfortable and allow multiple players to work off the ball and on.

  • BMusic

    “I’ve experienced just 1 final four run in my 27 years.”

    Hmm? 1992, 2002 and (depending on your birthday) 1987

  • He coaches arguably the most storied franchise in the NBA. Alford, as much as I love the guy, just hasn’t impressed me with his resume. Shaka Smart, if we end up looking for a new guy, may be who we end up with, and I wouldn’t be the least bit upset. But I’m talking about a knock it out of the park HOMERUN. That would be Stevens. I think we would see a true renaissance of Indiana basketball. Very few, if any, are as elite with in game coaching. He would be dealing with much better talent (not that he needs it), would be an absolute icon in the state, and I think more importantly, a poster boy for national media. I cant think of one guy who would be a better fit at Indiana.

  • You’re right. He could not control anything off the court. Its a shame bc he had some bad bad boys in bloomington and the train was truly just getting rolling. I dont think people realize just how close he was to landing BOTH Eric Gordon AND Derrick Rose.

  • Unfortunately when you get paid over 3 million dollars a year, your expectations are a tad bit higher than the expectations of guys like you and I. There isn’t much patience for guys that command that type of salary. Rightfully so, if I might add. Of course he needs to get better, like us all, and I can definitely appreciate that. But you’d think that you’d see him improve some on his deficiency’s in year 7. Do you not scratch your head at times with Coach Crean? I think I can be comfortable saying that, at least half of the fanbase is frustrated with his coaching tactics. In my defense, I never was confident in saying that Crean was “The Guy.” I thought by year 3 we should have been at least 500. Maybe that was an unrealistic expectation. By year 7, I keep hearing excuses as to why we are mediocre at best. I’m sorry but the guy gets paid more in a year than I’ll make in my life . Every blueblood seems to manage these exact same problems better than he does. I’m sorry. I’m not on board with a guy who blatantly oversigns recruiting classes and passive aggressively attacks players to the media. I cant stand authority figures who clearly fail his followers and passes the buck CONSTANTLY!!! Go ahead call me a fair weather fan. The reality is the weather has been pretty crappy for quite some time, minus a season or two every 5-10 years. Pardon me. I didn’t realize that you had to drink the Kool Aid in order to be considered a true fan. Here’s a thought…. how about you take your delusions of grandeur and keep them to yourself.

  • This shows the true love Hoosier Nation has for its own, who choose to represent us. This is even with Trey Lyles begging UK fans to vote for him on his twitter account. So excited for Blackmon to play with Yogi.

  • “experienced”

  • I definitely realize that this has been a problem all the way back to the end of Knights career. The issue with Davis, was he just flat out didnt recruit them. They should have fired him as soon as May said he didnt put any effort into recruiting him. That was a huge no no.

  • Rob Johnson is the sleeper of this class. Kid shoots the 3 at a very high clip and had an absurd eFG % against a very very tough high school slate.

  • Although I’m not a “Crean guy”, I have to feel for the guy. Imagine how differently this fanbase would be perceiving him had a few VERY close calls decided to make their way to Bloomington.
    Trey Lyles
    Theo Pinson
    Malachi Richardson
    I know I’m missing someone else.

  • lol

  • Gregory Spera

    Sampson is BACK!!! Good luck with that, University of Houston.

  • AtLeastSampsonWon

    Agreed, he’s a gamer and I don’t think the majority(I’m speaking outside of IU) know that. I think the expectations for his freshman year shouldn’t be too high with Stan and Troy ahead of him unless he can handle the ball in the Big10. I still truly believe he will be a stud in years to come. The kid just plays to win, and that’s what we need more of…winners, not prospects.

  • Snookafly

    I’m glad someone else is saying it. Honestly, the second biggest problem is the fans that let them get away with it.

  • Snookafly

    Scott May came out and said his Sean would never play for us because of the way Knight was fired. Davis was terrible about recruiting the state, but then again there was a lot of hate for him here. Davis was a terrible coach, but I’m not sure anyone would’ve been successful directly after RMK. You would be set-up to fail and that’s one of the main reasons no one good wanted the job for the longest time.

  • Benhyoung14

    We’ll find out soon how good he is (or isn’t).

  • Benhyoung14

    No, I think Yogi was told to try and score bc he was the only option outside. He will be told to back off with JBJ and RJ. He will get more open shots and his FG% will go up.

  • Snookafly

    Sampson was an idiot in many ways, but (for all the modern stat nerds) he does hold the record for highest winning percentage of any coach in IU’s history. And for all the Dakich fan’s bluster about toughness, that’s the one thing Sampson’s teams always delivered– way more so than Crean or Davis.

  • Alford Bailey

    Exactly. Biggest difference between IU fans and KU, UK, ect. is the later will not put up with what we have for 15 years.

  • Alford Bailey

    Top 10???

  • Snookafly

    I largely agree with you. I just can’t really blame Sampson for the hole our program was in as much as I blame the administration. Here’s why:

    Eddie Sutton gets Kentucky put on 3 years probation, and they immediately replace him with Pitino. Jim Tressel gets OSU football placed on probation and within 1 year they hire Urban Meyer (maybe the hottest coach in football). Pete Carroll gets USC football put on probation and they hire Lane Kiffin (in hindsight a bad move, but he was maybe the hottest coach at the time). The list goes on— these schools didn’t skip a beat (from much worse violations) and attracted talent because their administration cared about winning.

    Here’s what he did:
    When our Hall of Fame coach was on the backside of his career, it wasn’t enough that we fired him– Miles Brand wanted to “show him who’s boss” by trying publicly humiliate him. Knight acted inappropriately at times, but he had dedicated his life to our program and had done A LOT for the school, and this is how we make a spectacle of firing him. What decent coach in his right mind would touch that job after this? So…

    We get someone entirely ill equipped to handle the job with no real coaching experience, and scapegoat him when he inevitably fails. Davis is not a good coach, but almost anybody in that position would fall on their face. The lowest point of my fanhood was listening to racist comments from the people around me– and near recruits– directed at our coach. Who wants to step into that program? So…

    We replace him with Sampson. Sampson was an idiot in many ways, but he was a good basketball coach. The problem is, he’s still not Bob Knight, and he doesn’t kiss up to the fanbase enough. Maybe he was a crook but the things he was busted for aren’t even violations anymore. Either way they fired him even before the investigation — so much for “toughness.” We could’ve handled it like UK, USC, OSU, etc., but instead we send in Dakich (who for all we know was the person who leaked the violations) to take a team ranked as high as #5 and make sure they all wanted to quit. So…

    Our administration acts like it doesn’t care about winning– not really– and good coaches see this. They don’t show loyalty to coaches and they act on impulse.

  • Snookafly

    Maybe he’s referring to salary.

  • MillaRed

    I think he means Big Ten.

  • Snookafly

    I don’t know about the recruiting. Look at Zeller, who was by far his greatest prize: The baby of the family who grew up 90 minutes away. Seriously Christian family meet seriously Christian coach. If that’s not a tater down the middle I don’t know what is.

  • Snookafly

    Yeah, about 10 more someone elses…..

  • Nicholas Allen Cotner

    Hold the heck up……I never said I would ever stop supporting my Hoosiers through thick and then! All I said was my expectations of seeing this team consistently be a front runner in the country year in and year out have tempered.

  • calbert40

    “But you just can’t say that these 5 years have been anything but a failure for this program.”

    WOW! That is just an incredibly short-sighted statement. If you consider the circumstances that caused the first half of your 5 years, and then add the first outright B1G title in 20 years….WOW!