James Blackmon Jr.’s three years with the Indiana Hoosiers were filled with plenty of up-and-downs. His freshman year started with a bang, he was second on the team in scoring (15 points per game) and helped Indiana reach the NCAA Tournament. His sophomore year was more of the same, he was once again the second leading scorer on the team (15 points per game), but his season was cut short after a season ending torn ACL.
In his junior season, Blackmon was the team’s leading scorer (17 points per game). He also improved his efficiency, shooting 47% from the field and 42% from three — both career bests. Blackmon’s final season was left with a sour taste as Indiana missed the NCAA Tournament, ending his collegiate career.
Blackmon is at his best on the perimeter with his ability to space the floor. Blackmon was one of the better shooters in the Big Ten from beyond the arc. He shot 42% from three during his sophomore and junior seasons.
His quick release and deep range will be important skills that NBA teams will be looking at when evaluating Blackmon. Most of Blackmon’s three-pointers came in catch and shoot situations, making him an reliable floor spacer at the NBA level.
Besides his shooting, Blackmon is also a reliable ball handler and has the ability to knock down pull-up jumpers and floaters.
Blackmon’s lack of size and athleticism will give him troubles at the next level. He is only listed at 6-foot-4, making him a bit undersized at the NBA level. Athletically Blackmon isn’t all that special compared to NBA players. He doesn’t have a quick first step and he isn’t an elite leaper.
The lack of athleticism will make it difficult for Blackmon to finish around the rim — something he struggled with in college. Blackmon also played a more finesse type of game in college, which will make it even more difficult for him to adjust to the physicality of the NBA.
Lack of size and athleticism will also make it very difficult for Blackmon on defense. Blackmon worked hard at times at Indiana on the defensive end, but he wasn’t the greatest at stopping dribble penetration. And the fact that Indiana was one of the worst defensive teams in the Big Ten last season only hurts Blackmon’s transition to learning NBA defense.
-Potential Best Fit:
NBA teams that might be looking to select Blackmon or invite him to their Summer League Team, will be bringing him on board because of his elite shooting ability. Two teams that need shooting are the Orlando Magic or Memphis Grizzles.
Other teams targeting Blackmon will be teams that are looking to revamp their bench. Early in his career Blackmon will need to be a player that has the ability to provide scoring off the bench.
Blackmon chances of hearing his name called on 2017 NBA Draft night aren't the greatest. The former Indiana shooting guard will most likely go undrafted, but he might get selected very late in the second-round of the draft.
However, should Blackmon go undrafted in the 2017 NBA Draft, his NBA dreams will not be over. Some NBA teams will give him a chance in the NBA Summer League based off of his scoring and shooting talent. If Blackmon knocks down three-pointers and improves on his weaknesses, that will give him the best chance to earn a roster spot with an NBA team.