James Blackmon Jr. returning to Indiana for sophomore season

  • 04/23/2015 1:11 pm in

Indiana guard James Blackmon Jr. will return for his sophomore season, he announced Thursday in a press conference at Assembly Hall.

“I felt the best situation for me is to come back next year and play my sophomore year here,” Blackmon Jr. said.

The Marion product averaged 15.7 points and 5.3 rebounds per game and was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman team in his first season. He was also named honorable mention All-Big Ten and made 77 3-pointers, which set a school record for a freshman.

Blackmon Jr. was ranked the No. 61 overall prospect for the 2015 NBA Draft by Chad Ford of ESPN.com and was projected to be a second round pick or go undrafted, according to Ford’s rankings.

Inside the Hall will have more on this developing story.

Filed to:

  • Greg Anderson

    GOOD NEWS !

  • CreamandCrimson

    I have no clue why this was a drawn out process or why he needed a press conference but…my opinion or thoughts on that don’t (and shouldn’t) matter.

    That being said, glad to have him back and I hope he has an awesome sophomore season and eventually gets to fulfill his dream of playing in the NBA.

  • robmac10

    One last domino to fall (yogi to commit to senior year), two left if you count getting Thon Maker.

  • Guyton25

    Blackmon was a perfect get for IU. A top level kid that isn’t a one-and-done. Those kind of players are where our focus should continue to be.

  • Okay, one more piece of the puzzle in place. If you haven’t already, go to Thon Maker’s Facebook page where he has a post with IU and KU jerseys along with the question, “Which way?” And for the love of Pete, if you leave a comment, please be respectful and not attack KU. Too many idiots are over there insulting the kid by attacking KU, a university he obviously respects or he wouldn’t be considering it.

  • hoosier93

    Good choice. He still has too much to work on. Has a bad Kyrie Irving/ James Harden/80’s NBA mindset. Play hard on offense and just “be there” on defense.

  • kaponya44

    This gives me confidence in IU being no less than a top 25 team…Fair?

  • E Foy McNaughton

    That is a great choice! JBJ will have the opportunity to make the strides necessary to become an outstanding NBA player. College will be perfect for him to develop the strength, improved ball handling, and improved defensive play necessary to succeed.

    It’s my understanding that his work ethic has never been questioned, so go do what you do JBJ!

  • E Foy McNaughton

    Agreed – if Yogi returns — top 10. If not, still top 15 in my opinion. If yogi returns, and TM comes, top 5…. in my humble opinion.

  • Neil

    Smart move. More fun at IU, more chicks chasing you, more time to develop your skills, not as deep of a draft next year, improve your chances of getting guarenteed money, get closer to your degree, more time to cement your name in IU basketball history, and a chance to make some noise next year.

  • E Foy McNaughton

    I just posted on his FB for Hoosiers, the number of responses for HOO HOO HOOSIERS looks to be about 5-1 …. You have to love Hoosier Nation!

  • inLinE6

    This doesn’t need to be a presser. If there’s a status change, get a presser and announce it, I get that. But there’s no change, and nobody expected it to be a change. In my humble opinion, just go back to the gym and work on your game.

  • hoosier93

    Hard to start Top 5 when 1 player won’t show up til December. If Yogi stays then we’ll be in the 10-13 range. Yogi leaves then we’re in the 20-25 range.

  • E Foy McNaughton

    Ok – I will admit I’m a tad biased. But I could see IU being a top 5 team once TM is inserted into the lineup plus a couple of weeks.

  • hoosier93

    So Thon Maker is down to Kentucky and Indiana football. I guess he can play WR? Redzone that for Nate.

  • jayrig5

    Were you forced to attend the press conference, and it was a big hassle for you? That’s the only conceivable reason why I can see anyone caring. And there’s no way it’s Blackmon’s call to do one anyway.

    I just love the irony of people on a blog that’s driven entirely by the fact that there is insane interest in college basketball (and IU in particular) complaining about things like a press conference announcement. Welcome to reality. People care.

  • DaGeneral

    I didn’t know Kansas (KU) was in contention for Thon Maker

  • Drew

    They are in contention for Thon Maker, actually. Although in this particular post I think he meant to write UK.

  • hoosier93

    We’re looking at Jamal Murray right? If Yogi leaves…. could we see Murray reclassify like Thornton for Duke and see him come to IU? I think that’d be the only way to fill the hole Yogi would leave. Can’t go into next year without a PG. We’d end up on here and Twitter saying “If only we had a PG…” But I don’t think this staff is even thinking about doing that nor has the idea to even test it.

  • Yeah, yeah, yeah. ­čÖé That’s what I get for being in a hurry.

  • CreamandCrimson

    I just looked at Jamal Murray’s profile on 247Sports (I actually have never heard of him…) and there’s not a single mention of IU. The recent predictions have him headed to Kentucky (if he reclassifies).

    As for point guard if Yogi leaves, Tom Crean said yesterday that Johnson and Blackmon would handle point guard duties if Yogi left and that “if a player leaves, you better have a Plan B and Plan C” so I think it’s fair to say they are thinking about back-up plans for all scenarios. Whether or not those plans end up working…only time will tell. Also, “testate” means to have a valid will before you die…I don’t that’s what you meant though :).

  • Rie

    Maybe I have been away too long, but I am surprised he was even considering making the jump. At this point in time, he is not an NBA player nor an overly intriguing prospect outside of his shooting. He needs a lot of work on his game. Hopefully, he has a wake up call and realizes he is not even close to being where he should be, or where he should want to be.

  • hoosier93

    I don’t trust Either to start at PG next year. Especially Blackmon. They’d average 10 turnovers and maybe an assist a game. That’d be scary. I trust Rob more than JBJ…. but it’d be scary. Very scary. Especially since we’d only have 3 guards on the team of Yogi leaves.

  • dwdkc

    I don’t see a ranked team without Yogi. Ballhandling and guard depth way too suspect. We need Yogi, really hope he stays.

  • SCHoosier

    Truth be told..the fact that JB “considered it” is no where close to being ready to actually do it. I’m sure that’s what he found out from the NBA folks.

  • SCHoosier

    Amen….IMO neither has the handle to be an effective FULL time PG. That situation would also insure that the Hoosiers would face pressure against their back court by just about everybody.

  • SCHoosier

    If the first doesn’t happen (Yogi back) probably means the second one (Thon) won’t happen either. Maker will want to be somewhere guaranteed to have a PG who can get him the ball.

  • Barancy Peloma

    To think he was even considering is what is amusing. As time went on, he looked more like bracey wright 2.0
    He has plenty to work on if he thinks he’s even close to ready for the pros.
    He wouldn’t have been drafted if he had declared.
    He’s gonna need to learn to play some pg at the next level as he is on the short end of the sg spot.

  • Barancy Peloma

    I think you are correct. No yogi and i see this team having a very similar result to what we saw this past season….. a squad desperately clawing it’s way to just squeaking in to the ncaa tourney even though they didn’t deserve it tbh.
    if he comes back (highly doubtful as you don’t wait til the day before the last day to declare to make ‘the decision’)
    This spectacle reeks of narcism as he is likely a 2nd round pick.

  • Khoosier3

    Where was Plan B and Plan C for Vonleh leaving early? He was even more of a sure bet to leave over Yogi leaving…

  • E Foy McNaughton

    I realize that RJ’s turnover ratio was high, but I guess I have more confidence in him than saying IU struggles to make the NCAA.

  • dwdkc

    Yes I posted and even sort of complimented the UK fanbase passion. Couldn’t believe what nasty cr*p the first IU student posted there.

  • hoosier93

    Exactly. This staff seems so hypocritical at times. Preach one thing but never do it. Makes no sense. If we’re going to be a Top Ten team this year (if Yogi comes back) then this staff will need to take a long look in the mirror and figure out an identity for this program.

  • This was a surprise to anyone? Now that’s over… Can we get a press conference for Tim Priller’s intentions to stay or declare for the NBA?

  • hoosier93

    He is kinda right. We’d have a huge void that we haven’t had in a long time at the PG spot.

  • TomJameson

    I agree that the guard play would suffer without Yogi, but I do expect RJ and JBJ to both make a sophomore leap. RJ will be a better ball handler, and both will be better shots and better defenders. Tougher without Yogi, but not deep in the canyon clawing our way out! LOL

  • TomJameson

    Hopefully he chooses to work more on his game that having fun and chasing women. LOL

    A little of the latter, but a lot of the former.

  • robmac10

    This ratio has easily spiked up to 15-1 range of IU to UK without even exaggerating, pretty awesome to see.

  • TomJameson

    You know that’s just wrong and revising history.

    NOBODY thought Vonleh was leaving after one year until halfway through the season. He wasn’t considered as in the draft mix until it was much too late. Even at that CTC did have a plan B, but one young man got homesick and left. That was about as blindsided as a coach could have been.

    I think that some fans are about as hypocritical as anyone can be at times and seem to forget everything that doesn’t support their opinions, or allegiances.

  • TomJameson

    Hi Rie! I was surprised as well about the announcement that he was testing the NBA waters. My theory, of course not backed by any facts, is that he was just testing the waters to get the feedback as to what he needed to work on for an entry to the draft next year. That would be a great move on his part (IMHO). I really don’t think even JBJ thought he was ready for the draft this year.

  • Corey M

    Just so you guys know, Thon confirmed last night that it is a fake Facebook account..

  • marcusgresham

    You nailed it…..and Vonleh was actually plan B himself–Trey Lyles was Plan A.

  • Corey M

    I would not call dinner with friends and family a spectacle.

  • marcusgresham

    NBA, or is he going to take his heartthrob good looks and replace that guy who left One Direction?

  • Corey M

    I think you are really underestimating RJ’s ability. I am sure with a full season under his belt and an off season to work on his craft he could be an effective point guard on a talented team.

  • Oh, alrighty. That’s the Internet for you (and I suppose it makes me gullible).

  • Khoosier3

    How could no one have seen Vonleh leaving until half the season was over? He played his best at the beginning of the season. Also, he would’ve been one of those guys to leave straight out of High School had he had the chance… I hate how people say they expected to see Vonleh stay.. Give me a break…

  • Barancy Peloma

    Well, here’s why i am seeing struggles ahead:
    If yogi is gone, we lose a high quality, experienced pg.
    Now, we got bryant coming in which is an imediate improvement on the inside which helps.
    But losing that experienced pg is a bigger loss (in my mind) than gaining a talented (but unproven) big.
    We would be swapping one problem for another if yogi leaves.
    It’s the losing not only a quality player but, the experience running the show that will hurt a bunch i think.