The first of three class of 2014 players expected to sign National Letters of Intent today with Indiana, James Blackmon Jr. made it official this morning by inking with the Hoosiers at Marion High School.
Blackmon Jr., the No. 31 player nationally according to the 247Composite, committed to the program on Oct. 31 in a televised announcement on ESPNU.
He’s the fourth highest rated recruit in the Tom Crean era (using 247Composite rankings) behind Cody Zeller, Noah Vonleh and Yogi Ferrell.
The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 33.3 points and 7.9 rebounds per game as a junior at Ft. Wayne Luers and is considered one of the frontrunners for the 2014 Indiana Mr. Basketball award.
In the closing minutes of Tuesday night’s narrow 73-72 victory over LIU Brooklyn, both the Blackbirds and Hoosiers nailed open 3-point looks to keep things interesting.
A look at how Jason Brickman worked his magic to get teammates open and how IU found some open looks in the right corner against the 1-2-2 zone in the latest edition of Film Session:
Missed free throw penetration
The Blackbirds are able to get a hand on a missed free throw, tipping the ball up and out to the perimeter:
Brickman corrals the loose ball and blows by Evan Gordon:
He comes all the way down to the baseline in the paint, and an IU defense that’s still scrambling to pick up guys suddenly has four players staring into the right corner, leaving Will Sheehey on an island:
The early signing period for the 2014 recruiting class began Wednesday and all three of Indiana’s verbal commitments are scheduled to sign National Letters of Intent with the Hoosiers on Thursday.
James Blackmon Jr. will sign at 11:30 a.m. at Marion High, Robert Johnson at 3 p.m. at GH Reid Elementary in Richmond and Max Hoetzel at 3:30 p.m. at Wilbraham and Monson in Masaschusetts.
Here’s a capsule for each recruit in the class:
Guard, 6-3, 180-pounds, Benedictine College Preparatory (Va.)
247Composite: 4-star (48); ESPN: 4-star (44); Rivals: 4-star (42); Scout: 4-star (55)
Expert opinion: “Johnson is one of the most complete guards in the country. He’s a true combination guard as he can play point guard or the role of a shooter/scorer in a pinch. The strength of his game lies in scoring, with 3-point range and a pull-up jumper along with the ability to attack, drive and finish at the rim. He is not afraid to take jumpers in transition when he is open, a sign of self-confidence. As a point-guard type, he possesses the qualities of poise, vision and the understanding of how and when to distribute and make the assist.” – Paul Biancardi of ESPN.com.
Commitment coverage: Robert Johnson: Indiana is the “best fit for me”; Q & A: 2014 commit Robert Johnson talks IU visit, future
Video: Robert Johnson at the AAU Super Showcase
It wasn’t pretty, but Indiana survived on Tuesday night and moved to 2-0 with a 73-72 win over LIU Brooklyn in the 2K Sports Classic at Assembly Hall.
Here’s a look at five takeaways from Indiana’s narrow win:
· Sheehey shines in second half: Much has been written about the role of Will Sheehey as he begins his final season in Bloomington. Will he shift to more of a scoring role? Or will his role in the offense stay the same as it always has been? Last night, we learned that Sheehey’s role may change on a night-to-night basis. In the season opener, Sheehey took just six shots on his way to 10 points.
Last night, he was far more assertive offensively, but less efficient as he finished with 19 points on 6-of-18 shooting. But when Indiana needed Sheehey to step up, he did. After shooting 0-of-8 in the first 20 minutes, the senior from Stuart, Florida hit 6-of-10 after intermission on his way to 15 second half points.
· Vonleh’s dominance continues: There will be bumps in the road as is the case with any freshman, but through two games, Noah Vonleh’s impact can’t be overstated. Vonleh logged another double double with 17 points and 11 rebounds in 27 minutes. When Vonleh gets the ball in the post, he knows how to find space and finish and he’s been excellent on the offensive glass through two games.
It started with a jump shot and ended with a 3-pointer.
Will Sheehey’s second-half performance, a 15-point and 4-assist effort on 6-of-10 shooting, propelled Indiana to its second victory of the season on Tuesday night, a 73-72 win over LIU Brooklyn at Assembly Hall. It came after a first half in which the 6-foot-7 senior went 0-for-8 from the field and 0-for-6 on 3-pointers.
When Indiana needed its senior most, he provided 19 minutes and 45 seconds of action in the second half.
“In the first half, myself, Yogi and a couple of guys weren’t letting it happen,” Sheehey said. “In the second half, we made plays for each other. And that’s why we won.”
The jump shot was Sheehey’s first. After Sheehey’s 0-for-8 first half effort in which his team was down by three points at the break, 2 minutes and 25 seconds into the second half he had the chance to give Indiana its first lead since the 12:46 mark of the opening half. It was a mid-range jump shot from the left side of the court, off a Yogi Ferrell pass. He drained it, and Indiana led, 41-40.
Tom Crean and Will Sheehey (19 points, seven rebounds, six assists and three steals) met with the media following Indiana’s 73-72 win over LIU-Brooklyn on Tuesday night at Assembly Hall.
Watch their postgame comments in the media player below:
A full transcript is available after the jump.
Check out 28 photos by Jamie Owens from Indiana’s 73-72 win over LIU Brooklyn at Assembly Hall in the embedded photo gallery after the jump. Purchase prints from J. Scott Sports.