Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
James Blackmon Jr. is getting close to a decision and could pull the trigger sometime in the next couple of weeks.
The 6-foot-4 shooter from Marion (IN) High School says he’s not certain when exactly he will decide, but he’s getting close.
“I really don’t have a timetable in mind but it should be before the November signing period, but I’ll probably commit before then,” he told SNY.tv by phone from USA Basketball in Colorado Springs, Colo. “I really don’t have a date set up, I’ll probably know that in the next week or so.”
Blackmon Jr. decommitted from Indiana in August, but is still considering Indiana, along with Michigan, Michigan State, Kentucky and Kansas. He has only visited Michigan officially so far since the decommitment.
“Right now I just have a Kentucky official set up for Oct. 18,” he said. “I might have Kansas and Michigan State, I don’t know if I’m going to set those up yet or not. I’ll probably know in the next week or so.”
Blackmon’s father, James Sr., went to Kentucky and they remain a strong contender for his services, especially since they need a shooting guard in 2014.
“I like that it’s one of the biggest places in college basketball,” he said. “Coach [John] Calipari gets players better and where they need to go, where they want to be, so that’s always appealing.”
He added of Calipari: “He said he can prepare me for the NBA and that if I come in there and work hard and do what I’m supposed to do, I’ll be looking in the Green Room. But he also says that it’s going to be real tough and going to Kentucky is probably one of the hardest things I will do.”
Kentucky is also recruiting Stanley Johnson, Devin Booker and Kelly Oubre on the wing, and is looking for their first commit there to complement Tyler Ulis at the point and Karl Towns Jr. down low.
“That’s something that I looked at, but he also said I can play the one and two so that’s really what I want to do in college,” he said. “I’ll probably transition over to the one a lot. That’s something I want to do because my ball-handling is there. I just want to keep working on my point guard skills.”
As for the Michigan visit last month, he enjoyed that, too.
“I enjoyed it a lot,” Blackmon said. “The coaching staff is just real down to Earth there and they told me that I could come in and make a big impact as a freshman and sophomore year maybe even run the team if I work hard and they get you better.”
Recent Michigan commit Kameron Chatman has also been recruiting him.
“Actually, right after he committed he gave me a call and he was selling Michigan and saying how good it was and saying how they want me to be there with him,” he said.
“I was liking that, that was appealing to me. Michigan is a great program.”
Despite the decommitment, he is still considering IU.
“A lot of people think just because I decommitted from there, I’m not looking at them,” he said. “But they’re still one of my top five and if it’s the right fit for me I’ll definitely go back because I love that place. I’m from Indiana so that’s always a plus.”
He said he speaks with coach Tom Crean “every day or every other day.”
“He told me to play like I’m the best guard here,” he said.
He said he plans to sign in the early period in November.
Photo: USA Basketball
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.