James Blackmon Jr. selected for USA Basketball Junior Select national team

  • 12/17/2013 8:32 pm in

For the second straight year, an Indiana signee will play in the Nike Hoop Summit.

As announced earlier tonight on his Twitter account, class of 2014 Marion guard James Blackmon Jr. has been named to the 2014 USA Basketball Junior Select national team.

“Blessed to have these opportunities, it’s an honor,” Blackmon said on Twitter.

The team is comprised of 11 of the best high school seniors in the country who will compete in the Nike Hoop Summit in Portland, Oregon against a team of the best 19-and-under players from around the world.

Current IU freshman Noah Vonleh was on the 2013 USA Basketball Junior Select national team. Before Vonleh, D.J. White was the last IU player to play in the Hoop Summit back in 2004.

Through the first two games of his senior season at Marion, Blackmon Jr. is averaging 46.5 points and the Giants are 1-1.

The Nike Hoop Summit will be played at the Rose Garden on Apr. 12, 2014.

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  • CrimsonBill

    It’s not really a battle. I certainly appreciate the care and thought you have obviously put into your response. And I didn’t mean anything personal. I’m very defensive when I post things that can be construed as negative because when I do so, I am usually blasted by people who really seem to blindly defend the direction of the program, when the truth is that I care as much as anyone here and I don’t think questioning things like a Sweet 16 exit with two top-4 draft picks or this questionable signing is improper.
    Do me a favor though and look at the top 10 recruits in any given class. We’re never in serious pursuit of any of these guys, with the exception of Noah. Even Cody was in the 15-20 range, as was Yogi. Why don’t these guys come here? Why can’t IU have a Randle or a Wiggins? Now obviously, not everyone can, but if SMU can get a top-3 guy, why can’t we?
    I get all this about wanting certain kids for your system and high-character kids. That’s great…but what’s Crean’s system? I have watched every IU game since the 85 season, played in high school, coached a little and was a sportswriter for years. I know the game as well as any person here, so what’s the answer? Because it seems to be the “Try to avoid the half-court with transition offense, but without a press or anything to jump-start the tempo.” It seems to be no system at all. It’s an abysmal failure against any defense that isn’t man and can’t be adjusted on the fly in any meaningful way.
    The whole point is max hoetzel will never see the floor at IU and was a waste of resources and time. A guy gets rated the No. 60 SF because that’s what he is. Not every guy has to be five stars and I love Johnson, but you shouldn’t go to a high-major if you can’t play at that level. No amount of research changes that, although, again, I respect your well-informed opinion.

  • g. mann

    He will.

  • TomJameson

    I’d be happy with just the two shooters, but I think max will see a 5 minutes or so the first year and grow his minutes every year. Of course that depends on how well he shoots and the position he’ll end up playing (depending on how tall he really is or gets to be). Now that might be your definition of “rarely” also.


    I for one was one of those that never had that misconception and stated it more as my personal opinion and not as a knock on him, but took a lot of flak for doing so. The heck of it is 99 % of it came from a very small number of people each time.

  • TomJameson

    Panic, lol, come on Ole Man. Do you really think Crean would just run around in his office in a panic and just OFFER somebody? Obviously he had a lot of choices, and one of those was to NOT offer Max. I’m sure he saw something that most didn’t. I really think he is a good judge of talent, and future talent. Agree with that or not, but I seriously doubt Crean would make an offer because of “panic”. LOL

    Unless …. that was sarcasm??

  • Eggman

    Preach it. You will take flak for saying it, but I think you are spot on.

  • Victorbear

    So if we don’t make the final four then it must not have been one the best 50 college teams ever, isn’t that what you said about last years team with #2 and #4 overall pick; will next years team have that, I doubt it.

  • Victorbear

    If Crean starts Bkackmon, Yogi, Vonleh, Williams and whomever and doesn’t make final four it’s time to make a call to Boston.

  • Ole Man

    It wasn’t sarcasm. I just have no other way of understanding the offer.

  • ScoopGeoff

    No sweat… I’ve never said anything like “better come stronger than that son” without a little wink after it… I take my basketball seriously, but not myself…

    Anyway, I don’t disagree with your points on Crean or the system, but I think very few people on here are well-informed when it comes to Hoetzel. Not sure anyone ever thought Luke Hancock was going to be the MOP of the Final Four… Point is you have no idea whether he’s a waste or not. The only opinion offered up as an “authority” on this blog was from some LA-area sports writer who covers as much girls golf as he does boys basketball. No one has seen him play… No one, to my knowledge, except me, has had a non-interviewee conversation with his current coach about him, where he doesn’t have to put on his coach face and give coach speak… Right now everyone’s opinion on here as far as I can tell is formed from a couple “highlight” videos and stat lines from his first games at a new level of comp… It’s just not reliable info make a “decision” on what he will or won’t be at IU.

  • WisconHoosier

    I can only speak for myself, Scoop, but I think part of what’s going on here (big picture) is that we have some current players that people praised just as much as you are Max, who now seem to be role players or projects.

    Worse, it now seems they’re going to stay that way. It’s not that they need more time. They’re just not as good as many said, and probably won’t be. Hard reality is crushing wishful thinking.

    Max is getting the backlash from that.

    There is also disappointment that Crean didn’t capitalize on last season’s #1 ranking, and two of the top 4 in the NBA draft. Recruiting-wise, there was a window of opportunity that now seems to be closed. We expected more.

    For 2015, I’m not very confident about most of the elite recruits on our list. I’m not the only one who senses something is amiss. It seems like the program has lost momentum.

  • Snookafly

    Yeah but only because Crean seems to be passing.

  • Snookafly

    It’s a little bit of the buckshot approach, too. Trying to find the next diamond in the rough.

  • ScoopGeoff

    Hmmm… I’m not sure I’m praising Max all that much. I’m just saying they have zero to go on to believe he’ll be a wast of a scholarship.

    As far as the big picture and people’s motivations I’m sure you’re right.

  • Snookafly

    I agree on wanting the top prospects. Jaquan Lyle is said to be a legit 5-star whose probably shown more interest in us than we have in him. He’s ranked as high or higher than anyone coming in and now Crean’s largely stopped recruiting him.

  • ScoopGeoff

    As far as ’15 goes… Recruiting is so fluid. It’s just hard to say right now. We had no idea who Johnson was at this time last year. 2 years ago at this time we thought we had Lyles, but a year later we end up with Vonleh. We thought we lost Blackmon, but now we have him back. We could lose out on every guy on our current offer list and still get a McDonald’s AA for the 5th straight year along with another top-50 guy…

    Why do yon sense something amiss in recruiting? Anything you can put your finger on?

    In the last 4 classes we’ve signed 4 McDonld’s AA’s, 8 top-50 players, and 10 top-100 guys…

  • drewheck

    im wanting to say 24 plus alternates so unless rob jumps major in rank its not likely for both to be considered but james is pretty much a lock

  • WisconHoosier

    You asked about my feelings of something amiss. No, I can’t define it. “Loss of momentum” is the closest I can say.

  • TomJameson

    You know Scoop, I’ve come to trust your calm analysis, especially with the corroboration of a coach you’ve known so long. Thanks for the calm. LOL

  • TomJameson

    Okay, I can go with that honest answer, thanks for that. My take on the offer is that Crean saw something he liked, talked to Max’s coach who (according to Scoop) says it like it is, and decided to trust his judgment and Max’s coach’s appraisal and extend the offer. It may or may not pan out because of the big step from high school to college, but I’ll take my chances with the judgments of those who made that decision.

    I do keep in mind that not all prospects pan out, either lower rated players like Max who some think can really flourish, or top ranked players that stumble after taking that next step (see the movement). Like Snookafly said, a buckshot approach, but I’m hoping the talent appraisers help aim that buckshot a bit too. LOL

    The thing is that (IMO) not all expectations will be met, but there is always room for a few good surprises.

  • CreanFaithful

    Max went for 33 pts last night.
    9-11 from three point.

  • TomJameson

    I agree. I want him to stay, I think he will stay for many reasons, but it can go either way. And I’ll understand whichever way he decides. (subliminal message following .. STAY NOAH!!!!)

  • TomJameson

    Just have to say … That is some darn good analysis Scoop!

  • Ole Man

    Good thoughts. Hope you’re right, Tom.
    And it has nothing to do with Max, who from all reports, is an outstanding young man. (I rarely say this, but) Just the character that we expect and enjoy with IU basketball.

  • Ole Man

    And honestly, I don’t know why he is passing. He’s already over the limit, so one more really won’t hurt.
    Dang, wish we had the MH scholarship now.

  • CreanFaithful

    In a 2011 survey, they found that there are 1,850 high school boys basketball teams. That’s approximately 22,200 high school players. With all the scrutiny around college basketball, I’m not sure “experts” could come up with a consensus top 100. A league that we have much better access to in order to analyse. In comparison, there are about 4,200 DIV I basketball players.

    Could it be that the high school ranking services could overlook players? Look at the crystal ball predictions… basically, a bunch of guys that base their prediction on what others are saying. Not because they are really in the know. Just as there cannot be a uniform ranking service that can evenly gauge high school basketball talent. They have to go by what they are hearing from “regional experts.” And those regional experts have no way of comparing their regional talent nationally. It’s just a lot of speculation that is used to fuel fan interest. I highly doubt college coaches care at all what a kid is being ranked by said experts… Bottom line, we have little to no knowledge on the player that Hoetzel can become. So why not trust CTC for now and judge once we’ve seen him play a couple years of Hoosier basketball?

    BTW – Max went for 33 points last night (9-11 from three)

  • ScoopGeoff

    Not that this will become the norm, but I feel somewhat vindicated by Max going 9-11 from 3 last night…(!) 🙂

  • ScoopGeoff

    I predict that Max will go for 30+ points by hitting at least 80% of his 3’s from here on out…

  • CreanFaithful

    60% of the time, you’re right every time…