James Blackmon Jr. wasn't in the starting lineup for Wednesday night's McDonalds All-American game in Chicago, but he was on the court when it mattered most: during crunch time.
Blackmon Jr. played for the East squad down the stretch with the game in the balance. He had an off-balanced 3-point attempt with his team down three in the closing seconds, but it was off the mark. The West escaped with a 105-102 win.
Blackmon Jr. finished with 13 points, the second-most on the East team. He had 10 points in 10 minutes in the second half after scoring only three points in limited action in the first half.
Blackmon was 5-of-11 from the field and 1-of-4 from beyond the arc. He also had an assist and two rebounds.
"I think I played alright," Blackmon said afterward. "It just went so fast. I feel like we had a chance at the end, but unfortunately we couldn't pull it off.
"When I stayed in a little bit, I kind of got a groove and got it going (in the second half)."
When he first got on the floor in the first half, ESPN commentators Jalen Rose and Jay Williams -- former McDonalds All-Americans -- had positive things to say about the Marion product.
"Every time Blackmon shoots it, you think it's going in," Williams said. "He's got one of the purest jump shots I've seen."
Rose was quick to reply.
"He's got an unfair advantage," Rose said. "He's from Indiana."