James Blackmon Jr. says he’s ahead of schedule in rehab from knee injury

  • 03/17/2016 8:59 am in

DES MOINES, Iowa – Speaking to the media for the first time since suffering a torn ACL in late December, Indiana sophomore guard James Blackmon Jr. said Wednesday that of the multiple injuries he’s suffered in his career, this one has hit him the hardest.

The Marion product averaged 15.8 points in 13 games and shot 46.3 percent from behind the 3-point line before suffering a season-ending knee injury on Dec. 28.

“It’s just hit me the hardest because it’s my college career,” Blackmon Jr. said. “Sophomore season, trying to have a big year. So it’s probably the hardest one for me.”

Blackmon Jr. was injured in practice on the Monday before Indiana’s Big Ten opener at Rutgers. When the injury occurred, he didn’t realize how significant it was going to be.

“I hopped right back up,” he said. “I thought I was good to go, but it just didn’t feel right.”

From there, Blackmon Jr. underwent tests and it was ultimately determined that he needed surgery to repair a ACL damage in his right knee.

The preseason All-Big Ten guard said Wednesday he’s doing extra rehab and trying to return to full strength as possible.

“I’m ahead of schedule, just like I was like last time,” Blackmon Jr. said. “Right now I’m going with the protocol and doing extra, whatever I have to do to get back as fast as possible.”

Last weekend, rumors began circulating that Blackmon Jr. would seek a transfer after the season, which prompted Indiana to release a statement on his behalf on Sunday afternoon.

In that statement, Blackmon Jr. said he would “be an Indiana Hoosier” moving forward.

On Wednesday, the IU sophomore reiterated that he has no plans to leave the program.

“I was hearing about it and a lot of people kept texting me and asking about what was going on,” he explained. “I’ve never really said anything about that and I haven’t even thought about that. We’re trying to win a championship and that’s what I’ve been trying to push our guys towards so I didn’t even really know that was out there.”

Filed to:

  • bphoosier

    It makes me slightly nervous the way he never seems to say conclusively that he will be back next year. Even in this statement he says things like “I never said anything about that” and “I haven’t even thought about that.”

  • TomJameson

    I believe him, but only because it doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. Missing his sophomore year, then he’d have to sit out a another year (2 in a row is tough). He’d be playing next as a senior with 2 years eligibility. Not sure if he can miss 2 years in a row and have a good enough come-back season to get him to the NBA. He best bet is on next years team as the best 3-point shooter in the NCAA (I’m betting he’s practicing his shooting … Hahaha)

  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    great news, i feel badly for the kid having to miss most of his soph season. he’s got a chance to be a big contributor on a really special team next year, that’s for sure.

  • Koko

    Okay I’m stepping out there….a wild and crazy guy…..would it not be fun to see
    him dressed for the game tonight?

  • BMusic

    I wonder to what extent these kinds of rumors and doubts about JBJ spring from the whole decommitting thing.

  • inLinE6

    If I read it correctly, transfer is not totally out of the scope. It probably depends on how he recovers and what the roster looks like next year. I could see him, RJ, and JN fighting for major minutes, with a few freshmen backing up. With recent success with JM and OA, it’s unlikely we’ll play 3-guard lineup moving forward. But if JBJ can’t get back to full strength by end of summer, he won’t have many transfer options either.

    Bottom line, if he comes back strong, he’ll stay and leave after junior year. If he can’t play much, he’ll also stay because he can’t go anywhere. But if he’s somewhere in between, he could transfer to get more playing time.

  • Koko

    I think you are reading too much into his comment. He said he hasn’t thought about it. Can he change his mind?….of course. He said WE are trying to win a championship. I think his comment is pretty much cut and dry at this point.

  • SCHoosier

    If he wants to play in a quality system that he knows and do it asap..then why would he consider sitting out a transfer year. He needs to get back at it..and will be great for IU.

  • lug

    saying the thought never crossed his mind sounds conclusive. The kid will be at IU lighting up scoreboards next year. He is an offensive player with a coach that will put the ball in his hands to score hundreds of times next year with a deep supporting cast. No way he leaves to sit out a year. He becomes a household name in Hoosierland in just under 8 months and on the big stage just a little beyond that. I just don’t see the kid walking away from that.