On Thursday afternoon, Indiana guard James Blackmon, Jr. officially announced that he would forego the 2015 NBA Draft and return to Indiana for his sophomore season. Blackmon has played just one season in Bloomington and earned All-Big Ten Freshmen honors last season.
Blackmon announced his decision in a release from Indiana. Blackmon talked about his decision.
"After talking about the situation with coach Crean and my family, I thought the best situation for me is to come back next year," Blackmon said during a Thursday press conference.
Before announcing his return, Blackmon had been considered a borderline 2nd Round prospect. He was not listed on either the CBS or DraftExpress 2015 Mock Drafts, but he was the #61 overall prospect for the 2015 NBA Draft according to ESPN's Chad Ford.
This is significant news for Indiana as Blackmon was one of the team's biggest contributors last season. He played in 72.5% of the team's minutes with a 114.3 offensive rating in 2014-15. His return is also key for Indiana's lineup next season as he will likely allow Troy Williams to remain at the power forward position and allow the Hoosiers to avoid having to insert one of their wing bench options into the starting lineup. Yogi Ferrell has yet to make his decision, but Indiana could be set to have a very strong lineup with Blackmon's return next season regardless.
For Blackmon, this is a chance to build off a bright 2014-15 season and improve his stock for the 2016 NBA Draft. Either way, Indiana fans have to be excited about what Blackmon can offer the team next season.