The Blackmon name needs no further introduction in Indiana basketball circles. We described the IU / Blackmon connections last summer when we first introduced you to the youngest member of the family.
After a prolific sophomore season, it is time once again to check in on Jalen Blackmon.
The Marion, Ind. native averaged 22.3 points per game as a freshman, leaving no doubts about his abilities as a scorer.
Year two saw Blackmon further validate his ability to get points, but he also demonstrate more versatility including facilitating the offense and leading a successful team.
Marion went 19-8 last year, but that only tells you part of the story. After a sluggish 2-4 start, the Giants got things rolling, winning 11 of their next 12 contests. The first team they defeated during that stretch was Class 4A No. 3 ranked Valparaiso.
The game might have been Blackmon’s best of the season as he poured in 37 points going up against Purdue bound Brandon Newman.
Marion continued to play well throughout the remainder of the season, advancing to the Class 3A final four where they fell to Trey Galloway and Culver Academies.
Blackmon finished the season with a 26.9-points per game average while shooting 44% from the field overall and 37% from three-point range. Blackmon also made 86% of his free throw attempts.
Despite being the primary focal points of opposing defenses, Blackmon was held under 20 points just five times in Marion’s 27 games according to his stats on MaxPreps.
The 6-foot-1 shooting guard was named Honorable Mention on the 2018-19 Max Preps Boys Basketball Sophomore All-American Team
Blackmon is on pace to shatter his school’s scoring record, and he will pass some familiar names along the way including former Hoosier stars Jay Edwards and Lyndon Jones,
He now has 1,327 points in two seasons and is currently 10th on Marion’s all-time scoring list. Blackmon’s father and Marion head coach James, Sr. sits atop the list with 1,897 points — a mark that appears destined to fall during Jalen’s junior season.
Damon Bailey’s Indiana boys all-time scoring record of 3,134 points is within reach as well, and Blackmon may have competition in his own class along the way.
More than just a scorer, Blackmon also contributed 3.8 assists, 2.8 rebounds, and 1.6 steals per game while also turning the ball over 3.3 times per contest for the 2018-19 season.
Looking forward, Jalen told the Chronicle Tribune that he wants to keep improving every aspect of his game while also getting bigger and stronger physically:
“I feel like I was a lot better passer this year and my IQ is just getting higher,” Jalen said. “I’m just going to keep working on my game and keep growing from everything I’ve done my freshman and sophomore years.”
“I’m going to try to gain 10 pounds this (summer),” Jalen said. “Get a lot stronger so that physicality, I’m used to it now, so I won’t be phased by it next year.”
As part of that development, Blackmon has been playing AAU for the U16 All Ohio Red. While statistics are not readily available, there are indications such as this that he is performing at a high level.
2021 Marion (IN) G @Jalenblackmon1 takes home Nike Cup MVP honors. #AOR pic.twitter.com/NC0BfjWU9G
— All Ohio Red E16 (@AOR2021) April 8, 2019
According to the 247Sports Composite, Blackmon is currently the No. 106 player in the country in the class of 2021.
Indiana has not offered Blackmon to date but he is on the radar. Blackmon and Marion participated at an IU team camp in Bloomington recently.
His most high profile offer to date has come from Kelvin Sampson and Houston.
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