James Blackmon, the 6-0 shooting guard from Fort Wayne (Ind.) Bishop Luers, decommitted from Indiana Wednesday, and the word is that UCLA has a very good chance with him.
We're also hearing that UCLA is turning up the heat on Trevon Bluiett, the 6-5 small forward from Indianapolis (Ind.) Park Tudor, and that the Bluiett camp is very receptive.
Blackmon had been a long-time commitment to Indiana, having committed to the Hoosiers when he was 14, and, by all accounts, his decommitment Wednesday took the Indiana staff by surprise. Sources close to the recruitment have told us that, while Blackmon wants to weighs his options, UCLA is a major player for him now. "Watch UCLA for Blackmon," one Indiana source said Wednesday.
Blackmon's father, James Sr., told Scout.com Wednesday right after the decommitment: "After talking things over as a family we decided we needed something to compare Indiana to, so we reopened the recruitment. In terms of what's next, we're just gonna let the process play out. There is no decision on signing early or going through his senior season."
It's expected many national programs will now get involved with Blackmon.
The guard, who is ranked the #57 prospect nationally, has long been considered one of the best prospects in Indiana in the 2014 class. While he's undersized for a shooting guard, his deadly shooting from the outside has made him highly coveted. He made a very impressive recovery from an ACL tear in February 2012, and had a good showing on the summer circuit for 2013. He's considered a specialist of sorts because of his size and shooting ability.
Sources close to the Bluiett recruitment are getting a feeling that UCLA has increased its recruiting pressure on the wing, and feel that it's being received well. The word is that Bluiett has four leaders – UCLA, Michigan, Butler and Xavier, while also considering Arizona. UCLA has a connection, with UCLA assistant coach Ed Schilling having been Bluiett's most recent high school coach. But the connection goes deeper than that; people close to Steve Alford are also very close to the Bluiett family.
We've heard, in fact, Bluiett's family will be a major factor in his decision. The family is close and that is compelling for him to stay in the Midwest, and it was thought that Michigan was then the leader. But the latest is that the Bluiett family is now more open to moving to wherever Bluiett goes to college, and getting more comfortable with making the move to Los Angeles.
Bluiett has a tentative date for an official visit to Michigan August 31st, and it's believed Bluiett will take a few official visits before he decides. Even though Arizona isn't in his top four the thought is that he at least intends to visit Tucson.
Bluiett, along with Blackmon, is one of the best outside shooters in the national class of 2014, and is ranked the #40 prospect in the nation.