Leading the way for the Hoosiers is four-star shooting guard James Blackmon. Blackmon stayed at the No. 33 spot in the rankings on the strength of a very good senior season. There is no doubt that Blackmon is a premier shooter, and arguably the best in this class. In catch and shoot situations he is absolutely dynamic, and also he has a quick release.
With Blackmon he was seen multiple times in person throughout the season and then also evaluated during the McDonald's All-American Game practices. There is no doubt that he can really shoot the basketball, however relative to five-star status there are a few concerns. He doesn't create well for himself off the dribble, he is short for a shooting guard (6-foot-3 in shoes), and he struggles some on the defensive end.
We have absolutely no question that Blackmon will be a very productive player for the Hoosiers over the course of his career, and his elite shot making ability will translate right away to what Indiana needs. However long term upside did limit him in terms of being bumped into the five-star range.
Making a move up was Robert Johnson. Johnson was bumped up from No. 55 to No. 47 on the strength of a very good season. He is one of the best shooters in the class, and Johnson looked a bit more comfortable handling the ball as a point guard, though his future is likely still off the ball.
We just felt with Johnson's versatility defensively along with his shot making that he was a bit better than a few others that were previously ahead of him. While the bump is modest, we felt it was right, and that he clearly deserved to be in the top 50.
After those two, Indiana has three prospects who were not considered for the top 100. Max Hoetzel had a solid year of prep school, and is no doubt a good shooter, but he struggles to create for himself and isn't a great athlete limiting his upside. Jeremiah April is a long term project who needs time, and Tim Priller fits that same description. Both were evaluated by us and determined to be lower level players than their high-major commitment would suggest.
Overall the combination of Blackmon and Johnson gives Indiana some serious firepower in the backcourt. You just don't see that kind of shooting ability often in one class from two kids, and if the frontcourt kids surprise, this could end up being a very good long term class for the Hoosiers.