Not a surprise to me. He often looked like a guy who’s mind was elsewhere last year…and remember that IU’s season took off two years ago when he got hurt.
Blackmon is a very gifted scorer, mostly a shooter really. That’s about where it ends. He’s never shown a willingness to work defensively and even with his scoring, I’ve never been convinced he’s a guy who makes the whole “better.”
On the one hand, it means Archie Miller loses a lot of production from the lineup, one more guy gone alongside Anunoby and Bryant. On the other, with this one in particular, I think it could easily be an addition by subtraction situation. IMO, probably best for IU overall as it allows a fresh start.
I put it as addition by subtraction. IU might have been “better” with Blackmon this year on the offensive end, but it has to be about a larger picture than that. Miller wants to get his culture established and his MO has been that you check in his program. Maybe he’d have gotten Blackmon to buy in but the evidence suggests that would be a tough sell. So are you better off starting over in the backcourt? I think there’s a good argument that you are, in terms of getting the program where Miller wants it to be in a quicker time frame. Honestly, if all these guys had returned to IU, yes, they would have been more talented, deeper, etc. and probably been able to win a few more games just based on that. I’m not sure Miller would have been able to get his thing going in earnest, though, and as a new coach that would be a very tough situation to go through.