Former Indiana guard James Blackmon Jr., who went undrafted on Thursday night in the 2016 NBA draft at the Barclays Center, has agreed to a free agent deal with the Philadelphia 76ers. – Inside The Hall (Alex Bozich)
So here we go… Yeah sure OG Anunoby as well as Thomas Bryant were drafted. Immediately following the draft James Blackmon would get his call from the Philadelphia 76ers to get a shot to play for a spot on the roster. And all I’ve got to say is I don’t have the best feeling about this…
James Blackmon Jr. is a great college basketball player. For much of that college career though, he was sidelined with an injury. I can’t give a totally non biased opinion here because screw that, this is my blog so I’m gonna write what’s on my mind. I thought this kid was plain out of his mind to sign an agent and look to the NBA. One more year at IU, even with a new coach could have left both him and the Indiana University Basketball program better off.
If James Blackmon Jr could have stayed healthy next year, he could have further developed his game, because as far as I’m concerned he hasn’t displayed much to separate himself as anything other than a spot up shooter. Now trust me, I totally know you can never, NEVER, have to much shooting in the NBA. But if he would have been able to display a growth in his decision making, hell even his own mental fortitude. Sometimes when things weren’t going IU’s way he’d just pout (him and Thomas Bryant both) and I knew then in a game it was a wrap.
These guys didn’t have the intangibles of a Yogi Ferrell, a mental strength that Yogi acquired from developing not only his game and confidence by staying in the program, but also developed a leadership. Not only that, he developed a want to set the standard for his team. A God damn fire grew in Yogi over his time at IU. A fire with the heat of a thousand suns, and every one of those suns hating Kentucky basketball more than the last.
That’s the kind of intensity and mental strength it takes to play your way onto a team. Look at Yogi now, showing all the doubters wrong. I hope for the same with James Blackmon Jr. I hope something in his mind can switch and drive him to improve his game and prove he’s got the natural talent to play in the NBA because I believe if he’s healthy and focused he totally can. Best of luck to this Hoosier, we’ll all be cheerin him on.