In this edition of the show, Morris and Inside the Hall editor Alex Bozich are joined in the first segment by Neosho County Community College coach Jeremy Coombs to discuss Freddie McSwain. In the second segment, Inside the Hall editor Ryan Corazza joins Morris and Bozich to discuss James Blackmon Jr.’s decision to declare for the NBA draft without hiring an agent.
Among the topics discussed:
· McSwain’s skill set and how it can help Indiana
· The path McSwain took to get to junior college
· When McSwain’s recruitment took off
· Why Indiana was able to separate from other schools and earn his commitment
· What McSwain is like off the court
· Where he needs to improve to reach his ultimate goal of playing professionally
· The decision of Blackmon Jr. to enter the draft and whether it’s a good one
· How Blackmon Jr. will impact next year’s team if he returns to school
· Whether Blackmon Jr. is underrated now because of all the criticism his defense took last season
In a Monday evening release, the Indiana men’s basketball program announced James Blackmon Jr. will declare for the NBA Draft, but won’t hire an agent.
From the release:
“James is going to test the waters and see where he stands in the eyes of the NBA at this time,” Tom Crean said. “He is going to go through the process with both eyes open with the goal of receiving the most complete and current evaluation possible.”
Blackmon Jr.’s decision to not hire an agent allows him the option to attend next month’s draft combine (if invited) in Chicago (May 11-15) and interview and work out for NBA teams while still being able to return to the Hoosiers next season.
The sophomore will get 10 days after the draft combine to make a decision on whether to stay in the draft or return for his junior season.
The Marion product played in just 13 games a sophomore before suffering a season-ending right knee ACL injury on the Monday before Indiana’s Big Ten opener at Rutgers.
Blackmon Jr. tore his left ACL while during his sophomore season at Fort Wayne Luers and also suffered a torn meniscus in his left knee this past offseason in Bloomington.
He averaged 15.8 points per game and shot 46.3 percent on 3-pointers in his second season.
Indiana junior forward Troy Williams has also declared for the NBA draft without hiring an agent while Thomas Bryant and OG Anunoby both announced they will return to school next season.
The Inside the Hall Mailbag is a collection of questions tweeted to us via Twitter (@insidethehall), via email, submitted on our premium forum and sent to us via our Facebook page. Submit your questions and we’ll answer as many as we can.
THowenstine on the premium forum writes: Assuming that all BIG 10 players that have not hired an agent stay in college, and looking at the in-coming freshman, how would you rank the top 5 teams in the BIG 10 next year?
Starting off with a bang in this mailbag. I think the top three teams right now, in no particular order, are Michigan State, Indiana and Wisconsin. The Spartans lost a ton of pieces, but are adding the Big Ten’s best recruiting class and the league’s best coach, Tom Izzo, is still at the helm. Given your caveat, I’m assuming Nigel Hayes is back in Madison and if he is, the Badgers will have everyone of note back from a Sweet 16 team that improved as the season moved along. Indiana’s roster, that will be headlined by Thomas Bryant, is well known around these parts.
Welcome to “That’s A Wrap,” our player-by-player recap of the 2015-2016 Indiana Hoosiers. Today: James Blackmon Jr.
Blackmon Jr. (13 games): 15.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 60.2% eFG, 85.2% FT, 46.3 3PFG% in 24.5 minutes per game.
In a non-contact drill during practice on Monday, Dec. 28, James Blackmon Jr. suffered an injury that ended his sophomore season.
Although the extent of the damage wasn’t known until several days after the injury occurred and some held out hope that it would be a minor setback, Indiana announced on Jan. 5 that he would have surgery.
“After thorough testing and evaluation, it has been determined that the best solution for James Blackmon Jr., and his immediate and long-term health, is to undergo surgery on his right knee this afternoon that he injured last week in practice,” an Indiana release said on that Tuesday afternoon.
At the time of the injury, Blackmon Jr. had been off to a very good start to the season offensively. He was shooting better than 46 percent on 3s and averaging 15.8 points per game, second on the team.
DES MOINES, Iowa – Speaking to the media for the first time since suffering a torn ACL in late December, Indiana sophomore guard James Blackmon Jr. said Wednesday that of the multiple injuries he’s suffered in his career, this one has hit him the hardest.
The Marion product averaged 15.8 points in 13 games and shot 46.3 percent from behind the 3-point line before suffering a season-ending knee injury on Dec. 28.
“It’s just hit me the hardest because it’s my college career,” Blackmon Jr. said. “Sophomore season, trying to have a big year. So it’s probably the hardest one for me.”
After rumors surfaced on Saturday stating that James Blackmon Jr. would seek a transfer after the season, the Hoosier guard released a statement via IU media relations regarding his future:
Indiana University sophomore guard James Blackmon, Jr. is focusing on helping his team get ready for the upcoming NCAA Tournament and the rehab of his surgically repaired knee so he can return to full health and resume his playing career next season.
“There is no validity to anything being said about my future other than I will be an Indiana Hoosier,” said Blackmon prior to practice on Sunday. “Besides working to get healthier, I’m going to help my teammates prepare for the NCAA Tournament. I’m obviously disappointed I can’t play, but the players and coaches have helped me through my injury and I want to be a leader for them.”
He was averaging 15.8 points per game prior to being hurt before the teams Big Ten opener at Rutgers., IU is 21-0 anytime he shot 47.0 percent or higher from the field. He is the Big Ten sophomore class career leader in scoring averaging 15.7 ppg.
Indiana sophomore guard James Blackmon Jr. will undergo surgery on his right knee, the program announced today. Indiana did not release specifics of the injury, but did say that he is not expected to play again this season.
Blackmon Jr. missed significant time this offseason after undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee.
Indiana sophomore guard James Blackmon Jr. will not play in the team’s Big Ten opener today at Rutgers after suffering a knee injury in practice on Monday.
The Marion product underwent offseason surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee, the same knee in which he suffered a torn ACL in high school. This injury is in Blackmon Jr.’s right knee, according to Zach Osterman.
Blackmon Jr. is the second leading scorer for the Hoosiers at 15.8 points per game.