Recruiting Notebook: Blackmon Jr. continues ascent up state scoring list

  • 02/24/2014 12:40 pm in

Future Indiana guard James Blackmon Jr. scored 53 in a pair of wins for Marion over the weekend, continuing his rise up the state’s all-time scoring list.

On Friday, Blackmon Jr. scored 24 in a comfortable 80-62 win at Muncie Central and he followed that up with 29 points in an 82-54 blowout victory over Fort Wayne Wayne on Saturday night.

Blackmon Jr. now has 2,264 career points, which ranks 12th all-time in Indiana history:

jamesb224update

With two regular season games remaining, the future Indiana guard needs 67 points to move past Brady Atkins and Delray Brooks and break into the top ten on the list .

Blackmon Jr. is averaging 33.6 points per game this season. Marion wraps up its regular season with games against Fort Wayne South and Fort Wayne Snider.

The Giants (15-4) will open sectional play on Tuesday, Mar. 4 against Logansport at Kokomo. Marion beat Logansport 98-64 on Jan. 17.

If they advance, they would face host Kokomo on Friday, Mar. 7.

Other notes:

· Future IU forward Max Hoetzel scored 24 points on Monday, Feb. 17 in Wilbraham and Monson Academy’s (Mass.) 76-70 win over Vermont Academy and 17 points in WMA’s 89-86 loss to Cushing Academy on Wednesday, Feb. 19.

· Future IU guard Robert Johnson had 28 points (6-12 FG, 14-18 FT), eight rebounds, four assists on Thursday, Feb. 20 as Benedictine (Va.) beat Millwood 70-68.

· Class of 2015 point guard Jalen Brunson, who was watched recently by IU assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Kenny Johnson, exploded for 56 points on Friday, Feb. 21 as Lincolnshire Stevenson (Ill.) beat Lake Forest, 95-93, in double overtime.

· Class of 2016 Gill St. Bernard’s (N.J.) guard Tyus Battle scored 30 points in a 77-58 win over Ridge in the semifinals of the Somerset County Tournament on Saturday, Feb. 22. Battle has visited Indiana twice unofficially and is considered a top target in the sophomore class.

· Class of 2015 center Daniel Giddens, who has Indiana among his final six schools, scored 14 points on Saturday, Feb. 22 as Wheeler (Ga.) beat Peachtree Ridge, 85-54, in a Class AAAAAA playoff game.

· Class of 2015 center Doral Moore had 15 points and six blocks as Luella (Ga.) beat Campbell, 75-73, in the opening round of the Class AAAAAA playoffs.

Filed to:

  • CreamandCrimson

    56 in a game? Who does Jalen Brunson think he is, James Blackmon Jr.?

  • Kyl470

    I know JBJ had a knee injury did that cause him to miss an entire season of high school basketball? If so I wonder how high he could have reached on the list of all time scorers.

  • He missed the final five games of his sophomore season.

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    I guess I never looked this up but I always thought Michael Lewis was a 2,000 plus guy in high school at Jasper and was once a top 10 all time scorer or close to it. Will have to check on this.

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    http://www.ihsaa.org/sports/boys/basketball/scoringrecords/tabid/133/default.aspx

    I was looking at this link when you replied. However I noticed some of the current players are not on the list.

  • They are not, so I’m keeping running totals on my end.

  • Alford Bailey

    Was at the Muncie Central game. James Sr. seems to really be working on developing a couple other scoring options for his teams tourney run. JBJ is a class act. Saw him pose for pics with many fans. Hoosier nation should be proud.

  • Alford Bailey

    I really like Battle at this point. A lot could still change with this class. Just sophs. I’m high on Vijay Blackmon. I think he will shoot up the charts when he gets out of the shadow of big brother. The kid is smooth. I am currently not as impressed with Eron Gordon. Just not seeing what all the fuss is about there yet. As I said that all could change over the next two years. Will be interesting.

  • Hoosier Hall

    I didn’t realize Bluiett was so high on this list, wow! I used to battle against Anthony Winchester in high school. He was a tough guy to guard.

  • Hoosier Hall

    Alex, are there any freshman or sophomores out there that are on pace to surpass Bailey? Or maybe come close?

  • Rie

    Have not heard much about Max lately, but his scoring stats seem to be going up a little bit. Anyone watch him play or know if anything is new with him?

  • inLinE6

    Max’s capability really took off since he received the IU offer.

  • TorontoHoosierFan

    Call me nuts, but with Blackmon and Johnson coming in (don’t think Max will contribute much at all next year), and assuming Vonleh stays (which he really should), and the continued progression of Yogi, Williams, and Robinson, I fell next year’s team is a legit final four contender.

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    Ahhh gotcha. That also shows the behind the scenes work you do that most people do not consider or realize. Maybe one day your career takes you to bigger things but I think you will own your niche in Bloomington one day and can have some legendary status in IU lore among journalists.

  • Rie

    I will not call you nuts, but I would caution to temper your expectation a little bit. While they are great players with the skills necessary to excel in Crean’s system and alleviate some pressure off of Yogi and Noah, they are still freshman. If we have learned anything from our own recent experience and from observing Kentucky the past three years, it is that you cannot place too much emphasis on incoming freshmen, unless of course they are a talent like Anthony Davis, who was rare.

    So while I am very optimistic, like you, I will expect it to take a little time for them to mesh. Final Four consideration would have to develop over a season.

  • JWaltFTW

    Going to try to watch him tomorrow at the South Side game. I’m a little conflicted though, should I wear my IU stuff or my South Side stuff?

  • HoosierHysteria5

    IU stuff..be an example of what he has to look forward to! 🙂

  • inadvertentelbows_stillhurt

    Alex..I live in Chicagoland and don’t see JB play…does he operate off the ball with screen action or ball in hand more one on one?

  • iubase

    i live in Vt and have never heard of Vermont Academy……Max scored 24 pts -must have been against st Johnsbury academy…re Brunson – how do you score 56 pts in a game? kid sounds like a hot item….excited about robt johnson and Blackmon next yr….that could be a special yr if NV and Yogi stay.

  • JWaltFTW

    I’ll wear one of my many hoodies and wear the green (school color) during the game. I’ll also see if he can remember me or not, but I highly doubt it haha.

  • iubase

    I agree with toronto…next yr will be special – primarily due to the maturation of our best players – Yogi and Vonleh (assuming they stay). You add a smart Indiana kid who has scored over 2000 pts and this team talent wise is one of the best at IU. Blackmon is smart and tough and CTC will have his niche carved out on the first day he steps on campus. He is not surrounded by 3-4 freshmen but will have an experienced team around him. CTC had a great team last yr. The shoulder injury in the NCAAs to jordan hurt us and killed our chances to progress in the tourney. Next yrs team has the depth, experience, and now with JBJ outside option which could be a final 4 contender IMHO.

  • 100% agree with you. Some folks don’t like to hear that but its just true. I dont envy James Blackmon Jr. one bit. He has some unfair expectations placed on him by our very rabid fanbase. I’d hate to see him have a normal frosh season and have us treat him like we do……well…..everyone else. Hell we dog Yogi Ferrell, as if we’d be any better off without him.

  • Just curious but where’s our depth in the post? I’d argue that its much more important than the depth at the guard position. Noah picks up 2 quick fouls in a big B1G game…. then what? If Luke would have stayed and progressed, I’d be more inclined to take your side on this. There are multiple NBA scouts that say they would take Noah Vonleh over Julius Randle, so I’m choosing to just wait this out. He is the key to our entire season next year. So many unknowns at this point.

  • 50/50… Vijay handles the ball up the court quite a bit.

  • Rie

    You are saying next year will have an experienced team, but I am having a hard time finding “winning” experience. Last year had a special team, but we had seniors who were thousand point program players and two top four draft picks. So when you say he “will have an experienced team around him”, that is just simply not true. We will have Yogi, who has proven to be our only competent and consistent player.

    What you are saying is the same narrative we had before the season. We were getting in a great recruiting class with guys like Noah and Troy, and people thought we could match or even exceed our season from last year. How can any team that has Yogi and Vonleh be so bad? It is baffling. You are ignoring the reality of the situation by assuming a freshman is going to solve all of the troubling problems with this team, and somehow, bring us from the bottom of the B1G to a Final Four. Hate to be negative, because I am truly optimistic and see the potential, but as I said, they need a season to even develop into contender material.

    If Noah leaves, things get ugly very fast.

  • Rie

    “The shoulder injury in the NCAAs to jordan hurt us and killed our chances to progress in the tourney.”
    Since this part of your post may be the most random sentence I have seen anywhere, I will just respond to it separately.

    You are right. Jordy and his shoulder injury really messed up our tournament chances. Who put him on the court? Would you agree if a coach knowingly put a walking detriment to a basketball team on the court, consistently, throughout the most important tournament ever that maybe it is fair to question and be skeptical of issues apart from the talent pool coming in? He was already a defensive liability before the injury, so rendering him useless on both sides of the ball and still playing him was odd. Do not get me wrong, I like Crean and want him to keep coaching here, but I acknowledge there are problems that I cannot even begin to explain. They can get it worked out, but based on past decisions, there is more reason to be cautiously optimistic than assume we could get anywhere close to a Final Four.

  • Alford Bailey

    Biggest thing is see with JBJ, and probably the other guys also, is they don’t have to play much defense in high school. I’ve seen JBJ out of position many times in games on D only to try to come from behind to block a shot. That won’t cut it on the college level. I’m not too worried about his offense carrying over, though. The kid can flat out score. As for Yogi you will never hear me dog him. Kid coulda went anywhere to play. I realize what we have in Yogi and also realize what this team would be without him.

  • Alford Bailey

    Max is playing better competition and having some pretty good games up there. Don’t count him out just yet.

  • Alford Bailey

    Gets double teamed alot. If he gets any space off a screen you can count it. Drives to the basket quite a bit too. Gets to the foul line alot and its automatic two points.

  • Alford Bailey

    I had the same issue. Sat in local schools section and rooted for Marion in our IU stuff. It was fun.

  • Alford Bailey

    Absolutely have shooters coming which helps but I think there are other issues with this team. This team shouldn’t be this bad with the B1G leading scorer in Yogi and leading rebounder and probably most talented big man in Noah. At this point I will be happy if they just make it to the Dance next year.

  • TorontoHoosierFan

    Fair enough. I’m not one to argue with someone named Alford Bailey, my two all time favourite Hoosiers!

  • Alford Bailey

    Battle is another kid ,similar to Malachi Richardson, who is Syracuse to lose IMO. I’m just not sure Crean goes to NJ and beats Boeheim or UCONN on too many of these kids.

  • HoosierPat

    Saw him play at Richmond. I’ve never seen a team hound a player the way Richmond hounded JBJ. But like you said, if he gets any space for a shot, it’s most likely going to fall. And at the line, I don’t think any of his first 10 free throws even touched the rim. Give him room to shoot and he’s money.

  • HoosierPat

    I was really impressed with Vijay when I saw Marion play. He plays hard and made some really big plays for Marion down the stretch.

  • HoosierPat

    If Vonleh stays, and there are little to no transfers, I think it is fair to expect a team that could contend for the conference title and make a deep tourney run (further than the Sweet 16).

  • Dave Carnes

    No big man has progressed under Coach Crean No reason for Vohleh to stay.Ever wander how the pro’s think a guy is top ten when he can only get 5 to 9 touches in college.Things that make u go HUMMM

  • Dave Carnes

    We Will be lucky to have either NV or HP next year.

  • Dave Carnes

    JB has always played for his father.He can shoot just like his dad could.I don’t think he is as athletic as people do and we know being IU fans that AAU doesn’t even mean a kid can dribble.Which of course he can.Point is we are watching a listing ship sinking and the rats that can get off will.I have watched basketball for over fifty years and boys This ain’t it.I supported Mike Davis out of emotion I won’t be fooled again.

  • CreamandCrimson

    I would certainly agree with you. However, maybe (and this is probably a stretch but it’s just a thought) the BTN’s new presence in New Jersey due to the baffling inclusion of Rutgers can help IU with a kid like Battle.

  • marcusgresham

    A good chunk of those came in the regional against North Harrison. 45, wasn’t it?

  • marcusgresham

    Winchester was tough. Did pretty well at WKU,too, and I think he played overseas for a while.

  • marcusgresham

    Yogi is the leading scorer in the B1G BECAUSE the team struggles. He wouldn’t have to shoot as much if there were other viable options. Yes, I know Noah is a scoring option but he has games where he struggles to get open and no one else on the roster other than those two is dependable from outside 15-16 feet.

  • marcusgresham

    Hanner isn’t going anywhere. He wouldn’t have been sitting on the bench at a road game if they didn’t plan to let him back on the court at some point.

  • marcusgresham

    How many big men has he coached? Zeller went #4 in the draft. Fischer had shown growth from the beginning of the season to the point he transferred.
    Tijan had far sharper elbows as a senior than as a junior (and he only had him two seasons.)

  • marcusgresham

    Rutgers is to basketball as Chevrolet is to popcorn.

  • CreamandCrimson

    That’s true…they’ve been getting destroyed in the American Athletic Conference so the Big Ten is going to be a cruel step-up for them. Like I said, my theory on them helping us in NJ/NY with elite kids was a stretch…actually, I gotta go get some IcyHot, I think I pulled a muscle.

  • Rie

    Posted this the other day in response to a similar statement:

    “There are plenty of reasons he would have for staying. Development/improvement, education, and the potential of raising draft stock all the way up to number one, which would be a significant raise. Furthermore, Cody and Vic were widely regarded by GMs as being the most draft-ready prospects, not to mention Cody increasing his stock from a lottery guy to the number four overall pick. Noah saw this unfold, so he may want to take a similar path.

    Either way, no one knows his motivations, so it is hard to be so absolute one way or the other.”

  • Wow, r u kidding? I wonder why ITH hasn’t posted anything on him.. So he does have an IU offer?