James Blackmon, Jr. commits to Indiana.

Inside the Hall has the news and some video.  Blackmon, the son of Marion High School and University of Kentucky star James Blackmon, is a 2014 recruit, meaning, yes, he hasn't yet played a high school game.  Blackmon is a freshman at Bishop Luers High School in Fort Wayne, where his dad is the basketball coach.  To the extent that rankings have any value for kids so young, it's worth noting that ESPN ranks him as the #1 shooting guard in his class nationally. 

It's hard to know what to make of this.  First, signing day for Blackmon's class is three years away.  Much can happen.  He may change his mind for any number of reasons.  He may not become the player that current projections suggest.  When they come this early, I tend to view such commitments as an indication that we are the leader for the player, not that he is guaranteed to enroll at IU four years from now.  Recall that in 2000, Gene Keady received verbal commitments from Robert Vaden and Desmond Gadis, two incoming freshman at Indianapolis Cathedral.  Three high schools later, Vaden ended up enrolling at IU and played for the Hoosiers for two years before transferring to UAB with Mike Davis.  On the other hand, DeShaun Thomas committed to Ohio State after his freshman year of high school, and he's now beginning his freshman year in Columbus. 

Most importantly, for all of the hand-wringing and doomsaying in the media about Crean's efforts, this is a positive sign.  Regardless of whether the commitment holds up, it's a sign that a blue chip recruit, a coach's son, no less, is high on the IU program's long term prospects, and this will have a PR benefit for IU even if Blackmon never enrolls. 

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