James Blackmon Jr. Archive
As Tom Crean and his assistant coaches Steve McClain, Tim Buckley and Kenny Johnson addressed the media about a 2014 recruiting class in which James Blackmon Jr., Robert Johnson and Max Hoetzel all signed their National Letter of Intents on Thursday, Crean emphatically repeated the phrase on multiple occasions.
“We addressed our needs with a capital ‘N’,” he said.
That need that was so effectively filled by a class with two 6-foot-3 guards and a 6-foot-7 forward?
“Downhill players that can make shots,” Crean said.
With a team that made only 2-of-24 3-point attempts in its first three halves of the season, Indiana’s 2014 recruiting class, ranked No. 17 according to the 247Composite, is regarded for its shooting. Blackmon and Johnson each have elite shot-making skills. Indiana focused on recruiting Hoetzel because of his size and long-range shooting ability, in addition to his athletic upside.
But with a team that might not have the shooting weapons it wants now, Indiana’s staff has found them, and they are only a year from donning the cream and crimson.
The Indiana coaching staff met with the media on Thursday to discuss James Blackmon Jr. and Robert Johnson, who both signed National Letters of Intent with the Hoosiers earlier today.
Max Hoetzel, who also signed with Indiana, was not discussed because his Letter of Intent was not received at the time of the press conference. Hoetzel’s letter is expected to be received in the coming days after his parents, who live in California, sign it.
Here’s the complete press conference of Tom Crean, Kenny Johnson, Tim Buckley and Steve McClain discussing the 2014 class:
A full transcript is available after the jump.
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.
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
In a decision that literally came down to the final moments before going on air on ESPNU, James Blackmon Jr. committed to Indiana on Thursday night.
Inside the Hall talked at length with No. 31 player in the 247Composite on Friday evening about a variety of topics and a full transcript of our conversation is included below:
Inside the Hall: What was different about the decision making process this time aside from the fact that you’re three years older? When you committed the first time, I’m not sure how many schools you’d visited at that point, but what was different about the process this time than the first time you made your decision?
James Blackmon Jr.: This time, I looked around, I looked everywhere and I found some good schools. They were great. I felt like my top five, all of them would have fit me well and I would’ve had great careers at all of them. It just came down to where I was going to feel the most comfortable, the most at home and had the best relationship with the players and coaches. That’s what it came down to.
ITH: How much did the visits to the other schools give you a better appreciation for what you had at Indiana? I know you said you liked what you had at those schools, but did that help you realize that maybe what you had at Indiana was a little bit different than those places?
Following his original commitment to Indiana in September of 2010, Inside the Hall began collecting video of James Blackmon Jr.
With his decision to commit to Indiana last night, here’s a look at some of our Blackmon Jr. footage, displayed here in chronological order:
Class of 2014 Marion guard James Blackmon Jr. committed to Indiana at halftime of a college football broadcast on Thursday night at ESPNU.
Watch the replay of the No. 31 player in the 247Composite choosing the Hoosiers over Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan and Michigan State below: