Decision time coming for Blackmon Jr., Ferrell

  • 04/22/2015 3:02 pm in

Earlier this month, Indiana secured a commitment from McDonald’s All-American big man Thomas Bryant. That news was quickly followed by a decision by sophomore Troy Williams to return for his junior season after considering a jump to the NBA.

But two decisions still remain that will have major ramifications on Indiana’s chances to contend in the Big Ten next season.

Junior Yogi Ferrell will announce his intentions for next season on Saturday in Indianapolis and freshman James Blackmon Jr. should also have an announcement on his future plans in the coming days. The early entry deadline for the NBA draft is this Sunday at 11:59 p.m. ET.

On Wednesday at a media availability in which he primarily discussed the signing of Bryant, Crean also touched on the decisions that are pending for Ferrell and Blackmon Jr.

According to Crean, meetings with both players have been completed and it’s coming down to “crunch time” for both players to decide what they’re going to do.

Ferrell’s plans to reveal his decision this weekend have been known for several weeks, but Blackmon Jr. has been quiet since Indiana’s season ended with a loss to Wichita State in the NCAA tournament.

“I think we’re well down the road on where we stand on that and we’ll be forthcoming pretty soon on that,” Tom Crean said on Wednesday of Blackmon Jr. “We’ve handled everything and they’ve been great in the sense of having it all laid out where it needs to be.”

Both players have been projected as second round picks at best in most draft projections, but Crean said that one thing he does is get the best information possible from a variety of sources to help players make the best decisions possible.

“I think the one thing you do is that you stay away from opinion. Because everybody has an opinion,” he explained. “We’re all entitled to one, but it doesn’t mean we have insight. And the insight is, ‘what does the research say?’ Not the research we read about, but what does the research say? What do the decision makers say? What does the undergrad committee say?

“There’s projection (from the undergrad committee), but there’s not a feedback. So what we try to do is go get real feedback that we can add to the projection. And then it becomes a matter of trusting the research. Are you going to trust the research and say this is what it is or are you going to believe something that’s not there? So that’s the most important thing you can do.”

If both players return, Indiana is expected to be a preseason top 15 team nationally, if not higher.

But the loss of either player could significantly change the outlook for next season. That scenario is one that Crean says the program must be prepared for regardless if a player decides to leave early.

“If somebody leaves, you congratulate them, you help them in every way that you can, but you better have plan B and plan C ready to go,” Crean said.

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  • Bill Graham

    I agree. It would be nice to have another Indiana kid. I just did some research and crystal ball has him 100% Xavier…wondering if the whole Bluiett and Davis thing swayed him.

  • Bill Graham

    Heck I’d even be alright with him going to Butler.

  • ForeverIU

    I haven’t seen any bad chemistry issues between James and Yogi. I think what we might be seeing is a realization from CTC that he will have to start playing two bigs (Thomas and Hanner/Jeremiah/Emmitt), with Troy plus two guards instead of three. My intuition is that if the three guards remain, James’s minutes take the biggest hit and/or he would not have a chance to be the guard at the point (which is something he aspires to).

    I’m reading good things into all of this. We need to move on to life after Yogi.

  • mark

    Not one of the people you mentioned is truly “smart” in the essential and fundamental sense, much less “beautiful”. Business, scientific, technological or acting prowess do not make one truly intelligent in the essential meaning of that term, and as for “beauty”, the only essential beauty in a human being is virtue. In fact, most of the people you mention are very stupid, for instance Carl Sagan, whose ideas run counter not only to basic logic and observation, but also so the ideas of the most venerated men of all time who inspired millennia-old civilizations (Christ, Muhammad, Moses, etc). If he’s smart and all the others and all our ancestors right up to the modern age) were ignorami, then you need to tell use how that could be. If you want real intelligence, read EF Schumacher’s last book, or in our day read Lings, Schuon, Guenon, and Nasr, or going back in time read Aquinas, Plato, Augustine, Ibn ;Arabi, al-Ghazzali ….
    As for a 140-word tweet or an arrest, yes, you can discern certain things by that. Sorry to disagree with you, but as somebody once said, “By their frits ye shall know them” (hint: it wasn’t Carl Sagan)

  • mark

    Q: is he even 6’4″? To me he looks more like 6’2″ …. if so, that doesn’t translate well to the NBA since he’s not a ballhandler and I doubt he can become one because he just seems to have a scorer’s mentality through and through. But just curious what others perceive about his height.

  • SilentBob

    Hahahaha incorrect friend and it’s intersting you went to this length of debating intelligence especially when throws in modern history. Who knows the impact These men will have Ina thousand years. Their are multiple ways to be intelligent. People aren’t packaged into a nice little box. I’ve read Aquinas and Plato. Not a big fan of em. Like Aristotle and Hume more

  • SilentBob

    Also a book wrote around 2000 years ago says no man has ever walked the earth sin free besides one. And we should first remove the plank from our own eye before trying to remove the speck from our neighbors. You may know this book.

  • Benhyoung14

    I think it will be a mistake for both to go pro. The NBA will chew both of them up and spit them up right now. D-league at best. Blackmon going pro is laughable. Yes, Yogi will get his degree this spring, but how long can he actually play in the d-league? I would maximize my stock if I were him, and with a tournament run, he be a first rounder. Same thing with Blackmon if he stays another year or two. Maybe players are starting to see the d-league as a viable option?

  • CreamandCrimson

    “By their frits ye shall know them”…I think the word you are looking for is “fruits” (couldn’t help it, while attempting to lecture another poster on who is “smart” and who isn’t you close your comment with an inconvenient typo…not ripping you, I just found it mildly amusing).

  • CreamandCrimson

    According to recruiting people, Butler stopped recruiting Walton due to academic concerns.

  • HannerTime Hoosier

    Because they are intelligent! The fact that he is mentioned in an article & CTC even discusses it is pathetic, just a mere ego stroke. Nuff typed . . .

  • HannerTime Hoosier

    Hmmm, dreams can become nightmares if they become reality.

  • HannerTime Hoosier

    If Yogi stays we can call JBJ Boo Boo.

  • SCHoosier

    If he can’t guard college players………????

  • And One

    Worry not, my friends. These are smart young men. They will both be back.

  • cooper

    I wonder if when Ferrrell announces he is going pro if he says I’m going to NBA or says I’m going pro…likely to Europe, maybe China or Russia

  • TomJameson

    Well I’m going to support SilentBob on this one. I don’t think JBJ is ready for the NBA yet either, and I doubt JBJ thinks that either. Another factor is, the NBA D-league is great training ground. Trained by NBA trainers. JBJ has a great work ethic and I can see him improving greatly against the better talent he’d be going against in the D-League.

    I don’t think it would be a good move. I think with good hard work in the off season, and another great, a consistently great, year, he could very well be in the first round of the draft. But come on guys, can’t fault a guy for dreaming the dream … right? Lot of factors we know nothing about, so I say … well I’ve already said it. LOL

    Want him and Yogi back for a (possible) magical year!!!

  • MK

    You dont want him to over recruit, but then of our best players make misguided decisions to go and we freak out

  • Who’s advising both? Must be the same guy, because neither can play defense, and let’s be honest — neither of these two will EVER be NBA-caliber. Both have been significantly misguided.

  • MK

    Weren’t the Blackmons pretty open is HS that college was just a stepping stone to the NBA? I still think they are delusional about James’s NBA potential at this point. He looked like a small child out there at times.

  • MK

    If Yogi leaves we don’t need another transfer. What “pending transfers” are you referring to?

  • MK

    Blackmon has size? In the midget NBA? Kid is 6’2 on a good day

  • Robert Golden

    Maybe one or two players compare to Yogi (Berea first and Nelson second, imo). Wingspan/standing reach are just as important, and Yogi won’t come close to most of those guys.

    Also, there are around 15 active players under 6? in the NBA–less if you use their height in shoes. That’s out of 450 active players, so about 3% of the league.

    With that said, if he can consistently knock down NBA 3?s–say at 40%–and rededicate himself to defense, I can see him making a roster.

    Go Hoosiers!

  • kurk81

    Just possible that JBJ passed on the ky offer because he was counting on being a “one and done” all along and he figured that he would get more playing time and exposure at IU. The fact that he didn’t really pan out as expected hasn’t changed his plans. Maybe he can play overseas or in the d league and get just as much experience and just as much coaching as here. Maybe learn how to play defense more quickly than he would here. Sucks for IU bb, but if the kid and his people have a plan already laid out, and he has no interest in another year of college, good luck kid.

  • Bingo.. That’s just it. Imagine if we weren’t over recruited just a little bit right now.. If you had two really highly talented players leave unexpectedly (kind of like Noah did last year). how do you scramble around, when the pickins’ are slim and find a couple of players that you really want? It’s not like there’s a line up of guys just waiting to ‘come on down’. As it is, we’re probably trying to find a really op level PG or shooting guard right now. It’s kind of like ‘damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.’

  • Corey M

    Speaking of an ego stroke, have you looked in the mirror lately? Internet tough guy

  • Jeff Nicholson

    Two words for JBJ…. Jay. Edwards.

  • Kyl470

    I don’t really agree with Seth Greenburg on a lot of things, but he had a great article about 3 Biggest Myths About Declaring for the Draft. It’s worth a read if you get bored.

  • Benhyoung14

    Yogi talked about going pro, even after his freshman year. He has always had that aspiration, and it’s hard to drop when he was rated as high level player, as young as he was. He butted heads with players his freshman year, and was a little ‘hollywood’ according to others. Then you have his citation. He still thinks he’s the best player in the league, but at every level he’s taken a step back. He’d take a step back in europe, two in the d-league, and three in the NBA. If he was going to declare, he should have done it a month ago. So, yes I’d agree with mark’s statement. The disappointing thing is that if he does go pro, he’s wasted CTC’s time for the last month.

  • Gregory Spera

    WTH? When did I ever say that I don’t want Crean to over recruit?!? Scroll through my comments. That’s a flat lie. I have always said this kind of situation is why you NEVER STOP recruiting.

  • David Schwind

    Here’s my theory on Yogi’s decision:
    He’s staying. Otherwise why would you have an event to announce you are going to the NBA draft where you are projected to either a) go in the 2nd round or b) not get drafted. Usually not a good idea to trump up a disappointment. More likely he wants to have a huge event to announce he’s staying at Indiana (like he’s doing the state a favor or something). Dude has a big ego, let’s face it. Great college player, but I don’t expect much in the pros.

  • Sarasota Hoosier

    Come on, JBJ has always listened to his dad, a basketball coach who knows JBJ’s shortcomings. He is coming back to IU, guaranteed! You aren’t worshipped in the D-League.


    Your original comment was as spot on as his reply was ridiculous, and if he thinks that the people that you listed fall into the dumbass category than IMHO that puts him at, or close to, the top of said category.
    Jeeeeezzz !


    And that’s a realization that would be more than welcomed by me.

  • MK

    ohhhhhhhhhh ok. my bad.

  • DRT

    Yogi turns the ball over? He was top 20 in A/TO ratio this year. What year were you watching him?

  • SilentBob

    What kid doesn’t have NBA aspirations? And I’ve heard lots of things about lots of players but I don’t really listen. Some have proved to be right, some haven’t. Nobody is expecting this kid to be a star in the NBA especially early on, but that doesn’t mean he can’t have a good career. You guys seem to be bringing up issues of maturity, not issues of intellect. The most intelligent of men can make bad decisions. And the most intelligent of men can have regrets and learn from them. I myself, while far from a genius, learn everyday. Whether it be science, a hobby I enjoy, or life. Side note in some circumstances I like freshmen butting heads with others and greatly hope Bryant isn’t a pushover.

  • SilentBob

    Agreed sometimes people just don’t like people who say things that go against their beliefs. Judging that 90% of the people he listed follow the same train of thought or similar that may be the case. He doesn’t have to agree with everything Sagan says, I don’t agree with everything Sagan says, but to call him anything less than intelligent would be a mistake. I feel the same way with Aquinas. I don’t agree with the arguments he presents, but no doubt he was one of the sharpest minds of his time.

  • ForeverIU

    CTC should have listened to you long ago. I hope he does next year!

  • Benhyoung14

    Yes, but I think the expectations we’ve heard he has are unrealistic. I think he has the maturity needed in the NBA, but not the athleticism or size needed in the NBA. I don’t think he likes college life, and that might be a big part of it. He’s smart, and I think he’s learned from his mistakes, but I don’t think he realizes how important size and length is in the NBA. If he did, he wouldn’t be considering the NBA.

  • Neil

    I am not Yogi or JBJ but seriously what is the rush? Personally I don’t think either would get drafted and if they did leave it is D league for them. I’d hang around school finish my degree as a fall back plan, play in front of a full house and cement myself as an one of the immortal players in IU basketball lore. If you leave and the NBA doesn’t work you will disappear with no degree and all your fame will be wasted. If you stay you can stil test the NBA waters and as fall back you will have thousands of IU fans waiting to give you a great job after you have a degree. You get more time on campus with all those girls who will be after you (not happening in D League). All for just waiting a few years for the NBA. Small price to pay and huge benefits to staying. Like most on here there is nto really a decision to be made that is not clean cut here. I don’t think it is bad for them to consider but it shoudl not be a hard decision. If it is then that is all the more reason you need more education and should stay. I never played ball at IU but I would kill to have that chance and these guys are debating on cutting that experience short on a wimb they might get drafted. I think that is why so many can’t beleive they are considering the NBA. Smar of them to look at it but make your decision that is not hard and move on. Just my two cents.

  • Dr Dave

    A hypothetical rationale why Yogi might jump now: he knows he has been evaluated as borderline being drafted, both this year and next. But *if* the family is hearing some concrete interest from one or more teams right now, he might feel compelled to grab at that chance now, since it might not be there again next year.

    I’d prefer that he stay–I think next year’s team is substantially more competitive with him–but I also understand that Yogi has to look at an opportunity to pursue his dream, if it is being presented now.

    Since I don’t know anything concrete, I’ll just leave it with: Yogi will undoubtedly be considered one of the more notable Hoosiers whether he goes or stays one more year.

  • SilentBob

    Plenty of people have broken the size barrier before at all positions. Heck half of the Spurs roster is filled with misfit tweener role players. Being big isn’t nescary to be a good NBA player, and athleticism isn’t all about leaping ability. He is insanely quick, and equipped with great body control and strength for his size.

  • SilentBob

    I believe all camps he went to in high school had him at 6’3. He doesn’t have great handles but neither did Steph Curry his rookie season and now he may have the best in the NBA. He wasn’t ever a facilitator before now. Ya ain’t gonna learn that in one season. He had his moments though like the last Northwestern game. Consistency like all young players becomes key for him. And players with scoring mentalities and can be good facilitators too. Again look at Steph Curry. Russell Westbrook and James Harden as well


    He probably would have last year if I had bothered to let him know that my advice was free, I really must do better from here on out. lol

  • Bill Graham

    No one specifically, I just know how Crean is. He likes to fish for transfers. I am slightly confused by your statement of ”
    if Yogi leaves we don’t need another transfer?” 3 guards in the BIG is not ideal (especially when 2 of them struggle on D). I guess youre referring to the scholarship thing?