James Blackmon Jr. Archive

What to watch for: Indiana in Montreal

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Indiana begins a five-game tour over six days in Montreal, Canada (with one game in Ottawa) on Aug. 8 which will be the first foreign trip for the program since 2007. Here’s a look at five things we’ll be watching for on the trip:

· How will Indiana respond to adversity? The last Indiana foreign trip in 2007 to the Bahamas resulted in three lopsided victories by an average margin of close to 60 points. This group of Hoosiers will be playing a much more difficult slate of games against some of the best teams in Canada, including Carleton University and Ottawa University, who faced off last spring for the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) title.

It’s not a matter of if Indiana will face adversity in several of these games, it’s a matter of how they will respond. With only two returning upperclassmen and seven new scholarship players, it’ll be interesting to see how quickly chemistry can begin to form against solid competition.

“I’m really anxious to see who is real up when we are playing well and who gets real down when we are not playing well,” IU coach Tom Crean said earlier this month. “And then you’ve got to have guys that can impact the game on both ends of the floor.”

· Our first look at James Blackmon Jr.: Indiana fans have followed James Blackmon Jr. since the summer before his freshman year of high school and now the Fort Wayne native is set to make his debut in an IU uniform. Blackmon Jr. looks like a pretty safe bet to start from day one as a Hoosier, but his impact on other perimeter players could be a major storyline this season.

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Video: “On the hill” with IU basketball

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Via the official IU Athletics YouTube channel, Indiana today released another video showing footage of an offseason workout with strength and conditioning coach Je’Ney Jackson:

(Previously: A look inside an offseason workout)

Tom Crean breaks down returnees, newcomers

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As part of his press conference on Tuesday afternoon at Assembly Hall, Tom Crean broke down the 2014-2015 Indiana roster on a player-by-player basis.

We’ve organized his quotes on each player below:

Yogi Ferrell

Yogi is getting a lot better. He’s getting a lot stronger. He’s benching 245 right now which is phenomenal. He’s always been a strong young man but nobody really lifts in high school like they did in college, and that wasn’t a big part of his day. I mean, he is a force in that weight room right now; and he’s not only a force with what he’s doing and the way that he’s lifting but in the way that he’s talking and leading.

What I really like about him, and I’m going to put him in front of you here pretty soon so you get a chance to see, he’s starting to grasp what he’s capable of. And I don’t think he’s even grasped what he’s capable of on the court yet and I know he’s showing flashes of it.

I had a gentleman in this league tell me that his team they had polled their team on some different questions about the season, and he said, when it came down to the hardest matchup in the league, to a man, everybody said the hardest matchup for them to deal with was with Yogi. I haven’t even told him that yet.

We want people across the country saying that when they run into him. And he’s working towards that. The keys right now, that he become as great of a lead guard in the sense of, do multiple things but make others better constantly.

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Video: James Blackmon Jr. Indiana-All Stars highlights

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Incoming Indiana freshman and Marion product James Blackmon Jr. scored 41 points last Friday as the Indiana All-Stars beat Kentucky, 104-94, at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky.

The 41-point effort by Blackmon Jr. tied Oscar Robertson (1956) for the third highest ever in the series. Only George McGinnis (53, Indiana, 1969) and Jim McDaniels (42, Kentucky, 1967) have scored more.

The McDonald’s All-American guard was 13-of-26 from the field, 4-of-9 on 3-pointers and 11-of-13 from the free throw line in 39 minutes. He also had four rebounds, three steals, two turnovers and an assist.

Selected highlights from Blackmon Jr.’s performance are available after the jump.

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Freshman Focus: James Blackmon Jr.

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“Freshman Focus” is an Inside the Hall series on each of Indiana’s five incoming freshmen. Over the past few weeks, we’ve examined the impact each freshman can have for the Hoosiers next season. Today, the series concludes with James Blackmon Jr. (Previously: Max HoetzelRobert JohnsonJeremiah April, Tim Priller.)

When Marion guard James Blackmon Jr. decided to reopen his recruitment last August, his decision had the potential to turn into a crushing blow for Indiana’s class of 2014 recruiting efforts.

Indiana began recruiting Blackmon Jr. before his freshman season at Ft. Wayne Luers, where he would go on to play his first three high school seasons, and secured a commitment from him in September of 2010. To give some perspective on just how long Indiana had Blackmon Jr. in the fold, his commitment came before Cody Zeller took his official visit to Bloomington.

But unlike other recruits across the country who have chosen to cut ties and go a different direction after making an early commitment, Blackmon Jr. still had genuine interest in attending Indiana.

“Indiana is at the top of my list,” he told Inside the Hall last August. “I still like Indiana. I wouldn’t be surprised if I end back up at Indiana.”

The Hoosier coaching staff, led by Tom Crean, continued to pursue the nation’s top shooting guard diligently as Blackmon Jr. visited Louisville, Kentucky, Michigan and Michigan State. His offer list also included schools like Kansas and North Carolina.

After official visits to Ann Arbor, Lexington and Bloomington, Blackmon Jr. set a decision date of Oct. 31. The plan was to make his decision in front of a national television audience on ESPNU.

No one had this recruitment pegged down for sure as Blackmon Jr. seemed to truly be wavering right up until the moment he was to take the air:

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Blackmon Jr. named co-MVP as Indiana All-Stars complete sweep of Kentucky

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Indiana signee James Blackmon Jr. scored 23 points as the Indiana All-Stars completed a sweep of Kentucky with a 111-99 win on Saturday night in front of 6,520 fans at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

Blackmon Jr., who was named a co-MVP of the game with Trevon Bluiett (Xavier) finished the two-game series with 64 points, tying him for the third highest all-time mark in the event.

George McGinnis (76, 1969) and Oscar Robertson (75, 1956) are the only players in series history with a higher two-game total than Blackmon Jr. and Quentin Snider, who scored 64 points this year for Kentucky.

The future Indiana guard was 9-of-19 from the field, 5-of-8 on 3-pointers and also had eight assists, four rebounds and three turnovers. In the all-star two games, Blackmon Jr. was 22-of-45 from the field and 9-of-17 from behind the 3-point line.

The win was the 13th straight in the series for Indiana.

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Blackmon Jr. scores 41 as Indiana All-Stars beat Kentucky

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Marion guard and Indiana basketball signee James Blackmon Jr. scored 41 points as Indiana beat Kentucky, 104-94, in the first of two annual all-star games between the two states on Friday night.

Blackmon Jr. scored 23 of his 41 points in the first half as Indiana built a 54-50 lead over Kentucky at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky.

The 41-point effort by Blackmon Jr. tied Oscar Robertson (1956) for the third highest ever in the series. Only George McGinnis (53, Indiana, 1969) and Jim McDaniels (42, Kentucky, 1967) have scored more.

It was the 12th straight win in the series for Indiana.

The future Indiana guard was 13-of-26 from the field, 4-of-9 on 3-pointers and 11-of-13 from the free throw line in 39 minutes. He also had four rebounds, three steals, two turnovers and an assist.

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