No. 3 Indiana bounced back from an upset loss to Fort Wayne by blowing out an overmatched Mississippi Valley State team at home on Sunday night, 85-52.
And while there’s not much to take away from a game like that, we did learn that Indiana’s loss on Tuesday may have been more costly than anyone realized at the time.
Star guard James Blackmon Jr. did not play on Sunday night. He sat out with an unspecified knee injury, which is concerning for Indiana fans. Not only did Blackmon end up missing the second half of the 2015-16 season after undergoing surgery to repair a partially torn ACL in his right knee, he had surgery on his left knee in the summer of 2015 to repair a torn meniscus. Blackmon also tore the ACL in his left knee as a sophomore in high school.
Blackmon is averaging 20.5 points this season. He had 26 points in Indiana’s win over Kansas.
Head coach Tom Crean spoke about the injury after the game and was not overly concerned with Blackmon.
“This was not a situation where […] we don’t expect him back, it’s not like that at all,” Crean said, adding that it was “too early” to predict whether or not Blackmon can suit up for North Carolina on Wednesday. “He’s better every day. He hasn’t practiced. So it — it’s not like it’s anything that anybody’s looking at saying there’s surgery involved here or anything like that. He took a shot in that game and we just got to overcome it.”