Robert Johnson wins MVP of Bullis Holiday Classic

  • 12/16/2013 10:38 am in

It was a highly productive weekend for a future member of the Indiana backcourt.

Class of 2014 Benedictine (Va.) guard Robert Johnson led the Cadets to three wins in the Bullis Holiday Classic in Montgomery County, Maryland and was named the MVP of the three-day event.

In Sunday’s championship game, Johnson scored 28 points and added five rebounds and four assists in a 76-73 win over Genesis Academy. Tom Crean and Kenny Johnson were both in attendance.

In Saturday’s semifinal, Johnson had 20 points, five rebounds and four assists as Benedictine beat the Westtown School, which features Maryland recruit Jared Nickens, 49-48.

In a Friday win over Archbishop Spalding, the future IU guard had 24 points, seven rebounds and five assists.

Future IU forward Max Hoetzel was also in action over the weekend as Wilbraham and Monson Academy played three games at the Peddie School in Highstown, New Jersey.

Hoetzel had seven points in a 54-44 win over the Hun School on Friday, 12 points in a 75-66 win over the Phelps School on Saturday and five points in a 61-59 loss to the Peddie School on Sunday.

James Blackmon Jr., who is averaging 46.5 points through two games, did not play over the weekend as Marion’s game with Columbia City was canceled due to weather.

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  • victorbear

    Won’t matter how good Robert Johnson is Crean will still only play him 25 minutes a game.

  • Hoetzel averaged 8 points per game? Those look like my stat lines from high school. Wish I’d gotten a scholarship to IU! 😉

  • Sam

    25 minutes? That’s a lot of court time for a freshman and considering Yogi gets 30 a game, I highly doubt he’d get more than 20 a game. IMO, I’d think JB would get the majority of the minutes between the two.

  • Sam

    I’d like to see his shooting average over the amount of points he gets, he might not get as many tries as others.

  • Rie

    It depends whoever is doing better or on a hot streak. If one of them starts doing well, Crean will send him to the bench. If they both earn their minutes through playing well/hard, then expect to see them in minimal roles. If they play like crap, then expect to see them log about 27 minutes per game. They are both guards as well, so I would only expect to see them on the court with four small forwards/power forwards and no real centers or guards.

    That is our formula for rotations/substitutions, right?

    On a side note: Johnson and Blackmon are studs! Cannot wait to see them in college basketball action.

  • Oldguyy

    I’ll bet the other kindergartners consider you to be quite the raconteur.

  • Rie

    They actually do not like me much, because I am calm and attentive in the class, and respectful of my peers. There is this other child though, who acts like a big baby; always stomping around and clapping and waiving his hands around… I think he might be insane, because he does the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result. He yells at other kids in the class for things they weren’t even responsible for, during what should have been a special moment in history. He blames everyone but himself for what takes place in the classroom. He is really great at everything (seriously everything), except designating play time for those who deserve it or those who continue to fail after continuously getting better opportunities than they deserve. I believe in the kid, but man sometimes I am so confused with what he is trying to do.

  • inLinE6

    “he might not get as many tries as others”…

    That’s not a good sign either, my friend. You’re supposed to be a star in HS to be able to play in D1, let alone for a program with 5 national champs. I’m a bit disappointed.

  • Alford Bailey

    Ahhh. Nothing like a nice recruit thread to get your mind off of the problems at hand. Good call, Alex.

  • Nicholas Allen Cotner

    This shooting that is coming in is very much needed

  • Alford Bailey

    Does this kid like to go zone in order to help the opposition get a wide open three?

  • Alford Bailey

    Yea, I can see RJ guarding the 5 spot.

  • ForeverIU

    I’m sorry, but this comment is quite a downer, even if in some remote miserable existence it is true.

  • HoosierTrav

    As excited as I am to have the shooters get here next year, I’m not convinced its going to make us a title contender. Our problems are much more extensive than just adding 1-2 shooters. We are a mess. I’m not gonna sit around and lie…. I hate watching Indiana basketball the way its played right now. I hate playing the 11 player rotations. I feel like I never see continuity in our offense bc of it. The timeouts, the substitutions, the standing around the perimeter looking lost has taken its toll on me this year. Sometimes I watch and wonder what planet our coaching staff and players are on. Calipari likes to rant and rave about non traditional scheduling and Crean continues to make every basketball purist scratch their heads until they’re bleeding, from his non-traditional coaching approach.. I have to ask myself sometimes: Is it me? Do I know nothing about the game of basketball? Or is this Coach really out of his mind? Why does everything he does (strategy and preparation) seem so trivial? Is it the players?……… Please don’t get angry with me. I was one who consistently passed the buck from Crean to the players, in years past.. I felt in my heart that he was going to bring us multiple national championships. I really appreciate the man for all he has done here. I really am. I’d be lying if I said that I still felt that he’s the man to hang banners in AH. I love B1G championships, but I want to contend for National Championships and Final Fours every other year, like the other “bluebloods”. I dont know…. maybe I’m crazy.

  • Rie

    Well I hate to be such a downer, so let me offer some optimism.

    We are a really young team, with players who are eager and willing to learn. This group of guys is very athletic and each seem to posses skills that complement one another. While our stats and shooting is not where we want it to be, I have complete and utter faith that our player development is so elite that these numbers should level out. Kentucky, apart from the Anthony Davis team, always starts their seasons out shaky. They have mostly younger players who are very adept at playing high school basketball style hoops, but are limited in their defensive and offensive iq; however, as the season wears on, they start to improve in these facets of the game. This is a testament to having a good system, with strong player development, goals and coaching. If they struggle with same while having the best talent year after year, why should we expect our young team to overcome it immediately, before conference play even starts? We shouldn’t expect it, but our team last year spoiled us in terms of having such a great team with such great players. We will continue to get great talent, but expecting perfection off the bat is going to lead to what we are seeing with our fan base now.

    While some people believe our recruiting has taken a hit , I believe it is right where we want it to be. Crean is getting top players, which appear to be good system fits as well as high character guys, and seem to care about the classroom more than the average college basketball player. They do not talk about the NBA as if it were their ultimate goal (which it could be), they talk about our team and their personal development. A guy like Crean is perfect for these high-character guys. He puts tons of energy in his work, which sometimes can be misguided, but he truly does what he believes is best for the individual and for the team. Since I am an IU fan, I obviously am willing to overlook things like him yelling at the Michigan assist coach, not really shaking hands after a bad loss, throwing our players under the bus, etc., but I do acknowledge that these practices are not a good reflection on our program. On the other hand, none of this extra stuff matters as long as we are winning, which I think we can get back to sooner than later. I do believe Crean is a good Xs and Os coach. The execution might not always be there, but I do see an effort to overcome things that have stumped our team in the past. My only gripe currently is our player substitution/rotation and use of timeouts. Call it what you want, but it is baffling. At some point, you have to wonder if you are watching the same game as the coach. This has lead to people like me criticizing same, almost in a joking way, but it is a really troubling issue. It will turn out to be a wait and see type thing, but as a fan base we should really expect better by conference play. I would bet on a major improvement by the end of the season and a product that we can be proud of, both in terms of coaching and play.

    Sorry for writing a book, but I did not want to just appear negative and ignore the things that are so great about our program. We really have not seen a six player freshman class and what happens when you replace elite players and experience with great, young, and inexperienced talent, but I think everything we are seeing so far is indicative of this. So as much as I hate to use them as an example, just remember that these young Kentucky teams, save one, are usually in this same boat. They have the talent and system, but sometimes it just takes longer than a fan base would like. I need to remind myself of these things from time to time, but seeing these rotation problems over and over sometimes clouds my optimism, since they are so detrimental to what we are trying to accomplish. I honestly believe Crean and the team will take a giant leap at some point this year, but I am afraid it could end up being too late to grab a better seed than we deserve.

  • Gregory Spera

    Yes, even I am optimistic about how talented this team could be next year. There is no arguing with Crean’s recruiting.

  • WhatsUpKnight

    yeah, it’s like a game of ‘find the one that doesn’t match’

    rj – 20+ points, a game and tournament mvp
    jbjr – averaging over 40 pts a game, mr. basketball candidate
    mh – 5,12,7 pts


  • Gregory Spera

    You’re not crazy.

  • CrimsonBill

    No you aren’t even a little crazy. I’ve been saying this stuff for years, and even posted a few things only to get blasted by people exhilarated to be making Sweet 16s and hanging on the edge of national relevance. I don’t care what shape it was in – how hard can it be to resurrect basketball in Indiana? The fan support is unparalleled and the resources are unlimited. Took four years to make a Sweet 16 and then the program failed to move beyond that in what was its best shot in a decade. Last year’s team was NEVER as good as it should have been. And that’s coaching, because I don’t doubt for one second the work ethic and drive of those players.
    As I stated before – what we are is Marquette when Crean was there. It’s been six freaking years and this is where we are? The resurrection never came. And we’ll wait forever if we don’t cut our losses and go on. Bash me and tell me I don’t know basketball or don’t care about IU. I’ve been watching since the early 80’s. Played and coached. If you think we’re where we need to be after six years, you’re wrong and there’s no justification that excuses it.

  • Michael Whelan

    I am still upset we didn’t hire Steve Alfred, Crean is not the answer, He still starts Jeremy Hollowell. The kid can’t drive without loosing the ball and plays lousy defense. We have had 11 pre big ten games with same starting lineup. Lets try to see what we have by giving the players that produce more playing time.

  • Gregory Spera

    Who is this Steve Alfred? Never heard of him.

  • ForeverIU

    Yes! You have been Rie-born. LOL. Thanks for the optimism.

  • Snookafly

    I think he played at Texas Tech.

  • steve

    Max H averaging 8 points a game. I am not sure what the big rush was to offer this guy last fall. Not like the big boys of college were lining up for him. Everyone always says we need to trust crean but this one is really head scratching.

  • ForeverIU

    LOL. I just knew it. You are a comedian.

  • Alford Bailey

    Thats as well as it could be said and the number of fans that feel the same is growing by the minute.

  • N71

    I’m not sold on Steve Alford…I am though on Brad Stevens.

  • Gregory J. Haggard

    This kid is good, I think he is the uknown great from his recruting class.
    He has a knack of finding his own shot.
    Reminds me very much of Trey Burke, not saying he’s as good, just saying he reminds me of him.

  • Alford Bailey

    Agreed RJ is very good and check out the UNC blogs to see just how bummed those guys are about not getting RJ.

  • Andrew

    After six years? I didn’t realize this season was over. In fact, I thought B1G play hadn’t even started yet. Why don’t we wait 3 more months before deciding if we’re “where we need to be” after 6 years. Chances are this team improves. Just a hunch.

  • Andrew

    Do you know how many coaches have won multiple national championships, out of the THOUSANDS who have coached? 14. FOURTEEN! And nearly half of the guys on the list (Wooden, Rupp, Iba, Jucker, McCracken, Woolpert) did it so long ago that it’s not even the same game anymore (the most “recent” title of anyone mentioned above is Wooden’s in 1975, which for the math-challenged happened 39 seasons ago).

    The point is that you set yourself up for disappointment. Very few programs contend for NC’s and F4’s every other year. I mean, UNC doesn’t seriously contend for a F4 every other year, and they are as blue blood as it gets. They even (gasp) were relegated to the NIT in 2010, as UK was last year. Question: if we were serious NC contenders every 4 or 5 years, would that be enough for you? It would for me. Besides, Crean has been here 5 and a half years. Who knows, maybe he will win bring you the multiple titles you felt in your heart. Let’s say it takes him 20 years at IU to do it. That would be ok, right? It would be for me.

  • Alford Bailey

    You are absolutely right. When you are an IU basketball fan these days and you expect more than mediocre play out of this team you are setting yourself up for disappointment.

  • Ole Man

    Might have been some panic there; but who’s to know or say. Just an opinion; obviously.

  • Ole Man

    Glad you can wait 20 years. I’m too old to wait that long! LOL!
    Also, IU fans don’t have that much patience.

  • Ole Man

    Yea; wasn’t his coach some guy named Knight when he played at Tech?

  • Ole Man


  • Andrew

    Obviously that’s not what I meant, but OK.

  • Ole Man

    No; and yes.
    Let’s see how it plays out with last year’s and this year’s class.
    I expect them to develop; but time will tell.

    Also, I’m glad Crean took the job and rebuilt IU and is known as a good recruiter.
    However, it’s not as if another coach could not have come in and done the same thing.
    As Crean himself has said, “Because it’s IU.”

    And before it gets started, I wasn’t on the search committee so I don’t know what other candidates were available.

  • Andrew

    That is an understatement. It took Pitino 12 years to win a title at L’ville, and I’d assume most on here would consider him a better coach than Crean. That kind of puts it in perspective for me.

  • Alford Bailey

    Andrew, that is a Purdue philosophy on basketball. Bottom line, Indiana fans, in general ,expect more. Always have and some of us always will.

  • Michael Whelan

    He beat the hell out of Indiana when He was at Iowa, He made a winner of New Mexico and now He has the UCLA job. Stick it to IU Steve

  • Andrew

    Did you even read what I wrote? The only thing Purdue about this thread is your comprehension. You really wouldn’t be OK w/ being a serious NC contender every 4 or 5 years? You’ve been watching IU the last 20 years, I assume. What I laid out would be a slight improvement.

  • IULore

    Hoetzel might not be great, but he could also be a Kyle Couric type guy. Who knows?

  • IULore

    “It’s Indiana” didn’t work so good for some years before. I mean, aside from Eric Gordon, who have we really landed since the 02 team? This makes 5 good classes in a row, plus Oladipo, Zeller, Vonleh, and JBJ.

  • SCHoosier

    Johnson and Blackmon will make their own laying time..but like any freshmen will go thru a growing period. Both are great shooters..but when the game speeds it will in college..the shot speeds up. Adjustments have to be made. These two kids are so good I believe they will do it quickly. The guard positions will be in good of the team..maybe not so much. I just hope Troy, Luke and HMP can improve as much as Yogi has between his fresh and soph years.

  • Hoosierfan88

    Alford was fantastic at New Mexico, and he may be at UCLA but let’s pump the brakes a little. In 8 seasons at Iowa, Alford went 152-106 (58.9%) and 61-67 (47.7%) in Big Ten play. 3 NCAA tournament appearances in 8 years never advancing past the 2nd round.

  • IUDan

    You are absolutely right on all counts – some people on here will never be satisfied … If you don’t realize last years team had some seriously limitations, you’re nuts …

    I watched the B10 elite shows on the 81 and 87 teams – those teams won it all an had some serious issues at times in the season … It’s an imperfect game

  • WisconHoosier

    Pitino at Kentucky: In 1989, he took over a program that was on probation. Results:

    1993 Final Four.

    1996 NCAA champions.

    1997 NCAA runners up.

    The then left, and Kentucky won the championship again in 1998.

    At Louisville, he began in 2001. Results:

    2005 Final Four.

    2008 Elite Eight.
    2009 Elite Eight.
    2012 Final Four.

    2013 NCAA champions.

    Recruit elite kids. Play great basketball. Beat people. Win championships.

    IU fans should not apologize for having high expectations.

  • MillaRed

    Come on man he played with Keith Smurt.

  • MillaRed

    Some pretty solid programs offered this kid.