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Eyeing IU

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James Blackmon Jr. sticks with Hoosiers

James Blackmon Jr. is an Indiana commit once more.

Blackmon announced his decision Thursday night on ESPNU.

Blackmon, a former Bishop Luers star, committed to the Hoosiers before playing a high school game. IU coach Tom Crean held on to that commitment through an anterior cruciate ligament tear in Blackmon's sophomore season, but the five-star 2014 prospect decided to re-open his recruitment and look at other options in August.

Kentucky, Kansas, Louisville, Michigan, Michigan State, North Carolina and many others offered Blackmon a scholarship after his de-commitment, but Crean and his staff were not deterred. The Hoosiers continued to recruit Blackmon, a 6-foot-3, 180-pound guard who averaged close to 30 points as a junior.

They were rewarded Thursday.

Blackmon is the No. 31 player in his class according to the 247Composite, a service from 247Sports that aggregates the rankings of Rivals.com, Scout.com, ESPN.com and 247Sports.com into one consensus ranking. He is considered the No. 12 shooting guard in the country and the No. 2 player in Indiana.

Entering Thursday, Blackmon was considered a lock for Kentucky, which was the favorite in Blackmon's recruitment since he decided to de-commit. But the Wildcats received a pledge from Devin Booker, a fellow shooting guard in the 2014 class, earlier Thursday, and the focus shifted from Big Blue Nation to Hoosier Nation in a hurry.

The 247 Crystal Ball, another offering from 247Sports.com that allows analysts to predict where recruits will wind up, was 98 percent in favor of Kentucky entering Thursday with 45 picks made. After Booker's announcement, evaluators shifted focus, and the Crystal Ball shuffled to just 56 percent in favor of the Wildcats.

The Hoosiers climbed to 44 percent of the vote. And at halftime of the Louisiana-Monroe game against Troy, Blackmon settled the matter with his announcement.

Once again, he was Bloomington bound.

Blackmon is the third commit of the 2014 class for IU. The Hoosiers also have commitments from Virginia guard Robert Johnson, the No. 47 player in the class, and California native Max Hoetzel, a three-star power forward.

IU is still pursuing JaQuan Lyle, the No. 22 player in the country and an Evansville native. The 6-5 guard can also play small forward and played with Blackmon on the AAU circuit for the Spiece Indy Heat the past two years. Lyle is a former Louisville commit.

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