Future Indiana guard James Blackmon Jr. scored 53 in a pair of wins for Marion over the weekend, continuing his rise up the state’s all-time scoring list.
On Friday, Blackmon Jr. scored 24 in a comfortable 80-62 win at Muncie Central and he followed that up with 29 points in an 82-54 blowout victory over Fort Wayne Wayne on Saturday night.
Blackmon Jr. now has 2,264 career points, which ranks 12th all-time in Indiana history:
With two regular season games remaining, the future Indiana guard needs 67 points to move past Brady Atkins and Delray Brooks and break into the top ten on the list .
Blackmon Jr. is averaging 33.6 points per game this season. Marion wraps up its regular season with games against Fort Wayne South and Fort Wayne Snider.
The Giants (15-4) will open sectional play on Tuesday, Mar. 4 against Logansport at Kokomo. Marion beat Logansport 98-64 on Jan. 17.
If they advance, they would face host Kokomo on Friday, Mar. 7.
Wednesday evening held a lot of importance for future Indiana guard Robert Johnson.
The 6-foot-3 Benedictine Prep (Va.) standout was one of six seniors honored at senior night for the Cadets and on the court, Johnson led his team to its 23rd win, an 81-64 triumph over Pope John Paul the Great (Va.).
Johnson scored a game-high 26 points and added 12 rebounds and five assists with Tom Crean and Kenny Johnson in attendance at Memorial Gymnasium.
He hit 10 of his 18 shots from the field, including 4-of-7 from behind the 3-point arc.
“Robert had the challenge of being the only returning starter this year from a state championship team that graduated four division I guys,” Benedictine coach Ryan Marable told Inside the Hall. “He has embraced that challenge not only statistically by carrying much of the scoring and rebounding loads while guarding the other teams best player night in and night out, but also by providing leadership and guidance to our guys on a daily basis in practices and games.”
Through 27 games, Johnson is averaging 24.4 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.1 assists.
Indiana’s recruiting efforts for the class of 2014 have continued into the late winter as the Hoosiers look to add to a three-man class that features James Blackmon Jr., Robert Johnson and Max Hoetzel.
One of the targets who will be on campus for one of IU’s remaining home games is Sunrise Christian Academy (Kan.) forward Marvin Clark, a 6-foot-7, 225 pound forward.
According to Sunrise Christian Academy coach Kyle Lindsted, Clark has already visited Kansas State, Iowa State and Seton Hall and also has interest from Michigan State. He’ll visit Bloomington for the Ohio State game on the weekend of March 1-2.
“(Indiana’s interest) probably started about a month or a month and a half ago,” Lindsted told Inside the Hall. “They just recently came in and we nailed down the date for the visit on the first weekend in March.”
Clark, who was originally a member of the 2013 class, moved to the 2014 class upon arriving at Sunrise Christian. Since that time, Clark has undergone plenty of growth both on and off the court, according to Lindsted.
Many of the obstacles he’s overcome off the court are documented in a short film released in May of last year on YouTube.
“I think the growth of him as a player and as a person go hand in hand,” Lindsted said. “Since the first time we laid our eyes on Marv, he’s been exceptionally talented and very athletic. When he came to Sunrise, obviously the work ethic had to change. It was the first time he had to just do more than just be more talented than everybody else.”
Lindsted admitted there were times he believed that Clark would not last with the structure and hard work that is required at Sunrise Christian.
Indiana’s need to land a big man in the class of 2015 is no secret and the Hoosiers are involved with several elite prospects who have high interest in the program.
But one prospect who has flown a bit under the radar until recently is Louisville Trinity (Ky.) forward Raymond Spalding. The 6-foot-9, 205 pound big man was scouted by Tom Crean on Jan. 28 and visited Bloomington on Feb. 2 for IU’s win over Michigan.
Inside the Hall watched Spalding on Feb. 7 and he finished with six points, six rebounds and four blocks in a 62-39 win over Western. It was just his second game back following a toe injury.
Rated the No. 111 prospect nationally in the 247Composite, Spalding, who has a 7-foot-2 wingspan, already has eight scholarship offers and interest from several high major programs.
“I talked to Indiana all through the summer. It’s a great program,” Spalding told Inside the Hall. “Coach (Tom) Crean is a great guy and coach Tim Buckley is a great guy, too. Their interest level is very high. I talked to them after the (Michigan) game a lot and they seem really, really interested in me.”
Class of 2014 IU signee James Blackmon Jr. continues to rise in the Indiana all-time high school career scoring list.
Despite scoring a season-low 18 points in a 67-48 win against Madison-Grant this past Saturday, the 6-foot-3 senior Marion guard jumped former Notre Dame guard Chris Thomas (Pike ’01) for 17th all-time in the state’s career list.
Blackmon now has 2,163 career points and is only 16 points shy of topping former Indiana guard and current New Orleans Pelican Eric Gordon (North Central ’07) for the 16th spot.
In his senior season at Marion, Blackmon is averaging 33.6 points per game with another six remaining until postseason play. Next up for the Giants is a matchup at home with Huntington North at 8 p.m. on Thursday.
Hoetzel heating up of late
Another class of 2014 Indiana signee, 6-foot-7 Wilbraham and Monson (Mass.) forward Max Hoetzel, has been on a tear of late.
Indiana is one of six schools still being considered by class of 2015 Wheeler (Ga.) center Daniel Giddens, he announced on Thursday night.
The 6-foot-10, 225 pound big man announced his list of six finalists via his Twitter account in no particular order: Arizona, Georgia, Florida, Indiana, Kansas and Ohio State.
“Thanks to all the schools thats recruited me over the years and the coaches that took the time out to recruit me,” Giddens said before revealing his list of finalists.
Indiana offered a scholarship in late November.
In a text message to Inside the Hall on Thursday evening, Giddens mentioned two things that are standing out for the Hoosiers.
“Their business school is top 5 in America,” he said. “And coach (Tom) Crean is an amazing coach that helps you become the best you can be.”
Giddens is rated the No. 22 prospect nationally by the 247Composite and was a member of USA Basketball’s 2013 FIBA Americas U16 Championship team last summer.
He has not taken any official visits yet, but took an unofficial visit to Ohio State in December.
After a 36 point, 22 rebound performance in front of Tom Crean on Wednesday night, Morgan Park (Ill.) class of 2014 forward Josh Cunningham is the latest prospect to receive a scholarship offer from Indiana.
Cunningham confirmed to Inside the Hall via text message early on Thursday morning that the Hoosiers extended an offer to join the 2014 recruiting class.
His performance came in the opening round of Chicago’s public league playoffs as Morgan Park (16-5) crushed Dunbar, 105-28.
The No. 122 player nationally in his class according to the 247Composite, Cunningham is one of the best remaining players available for 2014 and has offers from Bradley, Creighton, DePaul, Oklahoma and South Carolina, among others.
“I’m still open to any school,” Cunningham said via text.