The news that James Blackmon Jr. re-opened his commitment Thursday sent shock waves through the Hoosier Nation.
First Trey Lyles and now Blackmon Jr.
A class that at what time looked like it had the makings of being something special all of a sudden is empty. This isn't to say that Tom Crean and his staff won't be able to fill it up with big time players as there are several on the radar.
What it does mean, for now, is that IU is lacking that cornerstone player in the class to build things around.
So what happened? Until all the details come out, that remains to be seen. The easy initial answer is that Blackmon Jr. committed on Sept. 3, 2010 when he was 14. A lot changes in three years. Perhaps he just felt he needed to take a step back and make sure he was doing the right thing. One would think he's had a lot of people in his ear telling him to re-evaluate his situation.
But even more than that, what does his decision mean to Indiana's recruiting? Blackmon Jr. was the No. 43 ranked player in the nation by Scout.com and the No. 9 ranked shooting guard in the class. He was a four-star recruit. The ability to bring in another player of that caliber in that next class won't be easy. It's just three months until the November signing period begins.
The obvious primary target now for Indiana at the shooting guard spot is Robert Johnson. Johnson just announced this week that he will make a visit to Indiana on Aug. 24. He's a 4-star recruit from Benedictine High School in Richmond, Va. The 6-3 guard has a long list of schools who have offered him. He's listed in many places as a point guard, but Scout national analyst Brian Snow insists that Johnson is a shooting guard and one that the Hoosiers now need to bring on board.
"No kid is a true must get but the one thing Indiana needs right now are guys that can make shots,'' Snow said. "You look at the class of 2013 and they have a lot of great players there but not a lot of great shot makers. With Blackmon gone, that leaves a big hole on their roster.
"Robert Johnson can really make shots. He can really fill it up. IU needs a true offensive weapon on the perimeter.''
Another shooting guard that IU has offered is Ahmed Hill from Aquinas High School in Augusta, Ga. He's a 4-star recruit and the No. 11 ranked shooting guard in Scout's class. He has a bunch of major offers, too, including Indiana, Kansas, Marquette and North Carolina. It's believed that Indiana is in on him but it's not clear IU's level of interest. But that interest level may have changed based on Blackmon's decision.
We'll have more on this story in the next 24 hours as our national analysts will weigh in as well.
Follow Terry Hutchens at Twitter.com/foxsportshutch