On Thursday, James Blackmon Jr. decided to open his recruitment up to other schools after being committed to Indiana since the start of his freshman year of high school. The 6-foot-3 shooting guard from Marion, Ind. is ranked as the 33rd best player in the 2014 class by Rivals.com. After his early commitment, Blackmon became the youngest player in the 2014 class to commit to a school. This same scenario happened with former IU commit Trey Lyles, who also committed very early in the process. With the defections of both players, Indiana is left without a commitment in their class.
Blackmon’s decommitment will start a media firestorm of rumors, most notably his interest in Kentucky. His father, James Blackmon Sr. played for the University of Kentucky from 1983-1987. Blackmon Jr. has said Indiana will strongly be considered in his new recruitment process, but it’s very rare for a player to commit to the same school twice. Indiana head coach Tom Crean was told of Blackmon’s decision Thursday morning. Crean was reportedly accepting of the decision but told Blackmon he thinks he should be at IU and he really wants to coach him. After Trey Lyles’ decomittment, Crean did not pursue him any longer. Like Blackmon, he also committed to Indiana very early and then reopened his recruitment. Lyles is now considering Kentucky, Florida, Louisville, and Butler.
While Blackmon is not regretful of his decision to commit early, he wants to see what other schools have to offer. It is also unclear of which schools are interested in his services. As far as Kentucky is concerned, Blackmon’s marksmanship as a shooter would be a welcome addition to the 2014 class. Kentucky has already offered the No.1 and No.2 ranked shooting guards in the class, Rashad Vaughn and Devin Booker. As of Friday afternoon, John Calipari formally extended an offer for Blackmon Jr. to join Karl Towns in Kentucky’s 2014 class.
Blackmon is currently telling all of the media that he has no leader, and Indiana will still be in strong consideration. The only reason for his decommitment was due to the decision being so early, yet Blackmon still says he plans to commit to a school in the early signing period, which is November. If he was really in limbo about which school he wanted to attend, would he need more than a few months to decide? Keeping his decision in November tells me he already knows where he wants to go to school and he may just be waiting on that offer to come. With an offer already on the table, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him carry on some family tradition.
Brian Lewis is an SEC Basketball Writer for RantSports.com. You can add him to your network on Google for more of his work.