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Xavier 2015-2016 Player Preview: Trevon Bluiett

Trevon carried the load a lot of the time last year before he hit the freshman wall. This year he'll be doing the heavy lifting again, can he withstand the load?

That's the gamer against UC, in case anyone was wondering.
That's the gamer against UC, in case anyone was wondering.
Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

For a large portion of last year, Trevon Bluiett led the Xavier Musketeers in scoring. A freshman leading any team in scoring is rare enough, but to do it in the Big East is something special. Starting in February though, Bluiett's efficiency began to drop. Starting with his 0-6 in a loss to Creighton to open the month, Bluiett made half or more of his shots from the field only twice for the rest of the year, shooting 35% from the floor and 33% behind the arc. Hitting the freshman wall clearly had an effect on on the combo guard, who worked more away from the bucket and became less efficient because of it.

That somewhat overshadows the good news though, which was that Bluiett was very close to excellent on the whole. His ORtg of 109.9 was fourth on the team but came with the highest usage rate. He grabbed defensive rebounds at a higher rate than anyone but Xavier's three massive bigs, and his offensive rebounding numbers were fourth highest on the team as well. Bluiett's TO rate of 14% was good for 350th in the nation (a solid number for a ballhandler) and he excelled at both getting to the line (41.3 FT Rate) and finishing when he got there (75%). That all leaves a very good base to build from.

Best case scenario:

I'm almost afraid to type anything here. Prior to hitting the wall, Bluiett had moments of being nearly unstoppable. 20 games of double digit points and 18 games with five or more rebounds speak to that, as does a season line of 11/4.2/1.9. With some consistency and better conditioning, Bluiett could be a 18/6/3 kind of player with games where he really explodes. He's going to be option 1A on the offense, so he'll have the chances to do it. Best case scenario is a complete horse who can carry a team.

Worst case scenario:

Last year again. If Trevon was lazy all summer and just coasted, he'll do what he did last year again. I know that seems like an oversimplification, but it isn't. Trevon is going to help set the tone with this team. If the incoming class or the returning youngsters see him willing to not work, it will trickle down. I don't see that happening, though.

Most likely scenario:

Maybe not fully the best case scenario, but I see a jump forward coming from Bluiett. Chris Mack generally doesn't accept players resting on their laurels and, even when things went south for him last year, Trevon doesn't seem like the kind of guy who is unwilling to work. Like I stated above, he's going to get the touches on offense to be a real monster. I think that this year, that will happen more often than not.