Despite one of the most top-heavy classes in the state in recent years – with four of the top 50 players in the country playing in Indiana according to Rivals – the Hoosiers are still sitting at just one commitment in the class in Blackmon Jr.
Of course, top 10 player Trey Lyles of Arsenal Tech was an Indiana verbal commit for almost two years before re-opening up his recruitment last August. But since then, Blackmon Jr. has carried the cream and crimson-colored Class of 2014 banner all by his lonesome.
Part of that could be the fact that Coach Tom Crean's team will have just a single senior on next year's team in forward Will Sheehey. But the fluidity of high-major college basketball rosters dictates that there is a very good chance Sheehey will not be the lone player departing after next season for one reason or another.
Another reason is likely that in some cases, the top talent in the country tends to wait until late in the process to commit to a program.
In the meantime, Blackmon Jr. will continue to put in a good word for his future team to those recruits who will listen.
“On the AAU circuit there are a lot of guys that are getting recruited by IU,” Blackmon Jr. said. “So I just kind of talk to them and see where they are at.”
Blackmon Jr. is surrounded by Indiana targets on his 17U Spiece Indy Heat team. Jaquan Lyle of Evansville Bosse and Trevon Bluiett of Park Tudor are both top 50 talents that are being heavily recruited by the Hoosiers.
Neither seem to be close to a commitment, but they hear a lot about Indiana from a certain teammate.
“James and I talk about it all the time about how he thinks I should come (to Indiana) and how good I could fit in,” Lyle said. “He always talks to (Trevon) too.”
Blackmon Jr. verbally committed to the Hoosiers in September of 2010 and has never wavered since. He hopes to welcome some additional talent to his class in the near future.
“I feel like (Indiana) is a great place for me,” Blackmon Jr. said. “Now, I am just waiting to see who is going to come along with me.”
Indiana is targeting several top players from the Class of 2014. A trio of five-star talents are being heavily recruited in 6-foot-8 forward Cliff Alexander out of Chicago and 6-5 forward Theo Pinson out of North Carolina as well as 6-6 guard Dante Exum of Australia.
None of those top guys seem to be anywhere close to a decision.
So the waiting game continues for Blackmon Jr.
“I have been with my commitment (for so long) because I know it is a great opportunity for me,” Blackmon Jr. said. “The other guys, they are just looking at their options because they don't know where they are going yet.”