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Report: Blackmon Jr. to enter NBA draft


Junior guard James Blackmon Jr. looks to pass on the perimeter during IU's game against Wisconsin in the Big 10 Tournament. The Hoosiers were eliminated after losing to the Badgers 70-60. Victor Grössling and Victor Grossling and Victor Grossling

Junior guard James Blackmon Jr. will test the NBA waters and declare for the draft, per a report from Gregg Doyel of the Indianapolis Star.

However, Blackmon will not hire an agent, which means he can return to the collegiate level for next season if he chooses. After the NBA draft combine May, Blackmon will have 10 days to remove his name from draft consideration to maintain his collegiate eligibility.

This will be the second consecutive season Blackmon will test NBA waters after he went to the combine following his sophomore year despite playing just 13 games before a season-ending knee injury.

During his junior season, Blackmon averaged 17 points and 4.8 rebounds per game while shooting 42.3 percent from beyond the arc in 30 games. He was also named to the All-Big Ten Third Team by the media.

The draft combine is a way for collegiate players to gain advice from professional scouts so they can work on certain skills for the future. Former IU coach Tom Crean said in October that Blackmon’s combine experience was a positive one and he learned a lot in the process.

IU has two more potential NBA draft picks, sophomore forward OG Anunoby and center Thomas Bryant, who have not made decisions about the 2017 draft yet.

Senior forward Collin Hartman announced this morning he will return to IU for another season after missing all of the 2016-17 year with a knee injury.

If Blackmon withdraws his name following the combine, he would join Hartman, forwards Freddie McSwain and Tim Priller and guards Josh Newkirk and Robert Johnson as part of a six-man senior class. Hartman was the lone senior on the Hoosier roster this past season.

Zain Pyarali

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