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How concerned should we be about Trevon Bluiett?

Xavier’s leading scorer hasn’t been himself lately, and that’s in keeping with every January in his career.

NCAA Basketball: Xavier at Providence Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Trevon Bluiett is in a slump. There’s no point dancing around it anymore, Xavier’s best player just isn’t playing very well recently. In Big East play, he’s shooting .351/.292/.833. That’s not just a bit off, it’s fully bad. For comparison, Quentin Goodin is shooting .500/.286/.833 in that same time span. When your leading scorer and unquestioned fulcrum of the offense is shooting the same thing as the guy who occasionally glasses a three pointer, that’s not good.

It’s also not exactly unexpected. Trevon Bluiett is somewhat, despite what his consistent end of season numbers indicate, prone to losing his shooting form during a season. Last year, as Xavier lost three straight in early January, Tre shot a not at all blistering .281/.125/.782 and turned the ball over at least three times in all of those games. His offensive rating in those games went 76, 62, 104. Late in the year, in three Xavier wins, Tre shot .367/.269/.724.

The nice thing about Bluiett is he doesn’t stay down for long. To break out of the early season slump last year, he dropped a rather memorable 40 on UC in the Crosstown Shootout after getting 24 against Georgetown. That end of season slump ended when Trevon went for 21 against Maryland and then 29 against Florida State. Last season, when Trevon was the unquestioned focus of the offense, he shot himself out of any slumps he was in.

And he hasn’t just slumped when he was the focal point. In the 15-16 season, Bluiett was fourth on the team in usage rate, but had the same sort of problems with losing his shot from time to time. In a three game stretch again near the start of January, he went 2-15 from behind the arc as the team lost to Nova, then rolled Butler and St. John’s. In Trevon’s freshman year, he went 7-33 on three point attempts in the month of January (a real pattern is emerging here) with a 1-17 stretch thrown in. Tre’s sophomore year he rebounded with 24 against DePaul and then eight straight game of an offensive efficiency over 100.

In short, every January Trevon Bluiett loses his shot. As his role on the team has become larger, that inability to connect has been more and more glaring. The good news for Xavier fans is that, as sure as Tre’s shot goes away, it comes back. Bluiett never stops putting the ball up and relying on himself to find his release point again. And, like the swallows at Capistrano, it always comes back. The times between can be stressful, but there’s no need for Xavier Nation to panic.