James Blackmon Jr. to hire agent and enter NBA draft, won’t return to IU


BLOOMINGTON, IN – DECEMBER 28: James Blackmon Jr. #1 of the Indiana Hoosiers reacts in the second half against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Assembly Hall on December 28, 2016 in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Don’t expect James Blackmon Jr. to return for the Indiana Hoosiers next season.

The junior guard will hire an agent and stay in the NBA Draft. He confirmed the news on Twitter Monday.

Blackmon joins fellow IU players O.G. Anunoby and Thomas Bryant in signing with an agent and going pro. Robert Johnson also declared for the draft but hasn’t hired an agent. He can return to IU if he withdraws by May 24.

Blackmon’s departure means new IU coach Archie Miller no longer has to worry about having more players than scholarships. IU was oversigned by three players, but the impending departures of Blackmon, Bryant and Anunoby will take care of that.

Miller convinced all three of Tom Crean’s 2017 recruits to stay with the program after IU fired Crean in the wake of a disappointing season that saw the Hoosiers finish near the bottom of the Big Ten and miss the NCAA tournament.

Blackmon entered the draft last year but eventually withdrew. He never hired an agent last time, meaning he could return to Bloomington.

He averaged 17 points and 4.8 rebounds per game for the Hoosiers last season after missing much of his sophomore campaign with a knee injury. He also missed three Big Ten games this past season after experiencing knee soreness.

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