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Xavier basketball 2016 player preview: Trevon Bluiett

Trevon returns as the leading scorer on a team that will need to establish offense early.

NCAA Basketball: Xavier at Georgetown Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

It really doesn’t matter how you care to slice it, Trevon Bluiett did a lot of the heavy lifting for Xavier’s offense last year. When he was on the court, he took 25.5% of the Musketeers shots, the highest rate on the team. In doing that, Trevon averaged 15.1 points per game on a shooting line of .424/.398/.770, a step up from his previous year’s numbers in every regard. In addition to that, Trevon grabbed 6.1 rebounds per game and chipped in 2.2 assists.

So why jump straight into Trevon’s numbers without much preamble? Basically because that what Xavier is going to be doing again this year. Yes, Edmond Sumner is going to be better and yes, JP Macura will be filling it up again. Thus end the sure things on Xavier this year. RaShid Gaston will probably be very good, Quentin Goodin looks to be excellent, and that’s just scraping off the top layer of talent on this team. Still, with Myles Davis missing, Bluiett is far and away the focal point for the offense and the one player that Chris Mack can count on as a consistent scorer.

How consistent? Trevon scored in double figures in all but three games last year. He took double digit shots in all but seven. This is why Luke Winn and Sports Illustrated project him as the 20th leading scorer in the nation with 16.9 points per contest. When the Musketeers start gameplanning offensively, it’s going to start with Trevon Bluiett.

Best case scenario:

Even a bit more than what Winn and SI are projecting. If Trevon gets rolling against Lehigh, Buffalo, and Missouri, he could command the ball even more in an offense trying to fit new pieces in. He’s always an efficient scorer, so even more shots could, hopefully, just mean an increase in scoring. Trevon shot 39.8% from behind the arc last year and figures to have plenty of penetrate and pitch opportunities from Sumner and Goodin. All that could point to north of 17 points a game.

Worst case scenario:

Defenses aren’t being stretch by Myles, JP isn’t hot to start the year, and defenders collapse on Trevon. He’s still going to score, but it’s his efficiency that has made him so good in the past two seasons. Forced to get more shots up from angles he doesn’t like or with more defensive pressure, Trevon’s efficiency, and that of the Xavier offense, could fall off. How far could depend on how long it takes for offensive help to establish itself.

Most likely scenario:

It’s hard to conceive of a situation in which Bluiett looses the smoothness that has become something of his trademark. Defenses are going to key on him early in the season and see if Goodin, Sumner, and Macura can slash and shoot them into honesty. They can, which sets Trevon up for a lot more games where he scores 15 points on shots and stuffs a stat sheet in his quietly effective way.