Today was the Indiana State Finals at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Our Boilermakers may not have a solid commitment playing here like Terone Johnson two years ago, but one of our top targets for the class of 2014 played in Saturday afternoon's Class 2A championship game. Trevon Bluiett is an up and coming sophomore that has now won two state championships in two years with Park Tudor. Yes, it has helped that Kevin Ferrell, Troy Spears, and Paul Bayt have been on his team as Division I signees each of the last two seasons, but Bluiett has done more than enough to earn his own praise.
First off, you have he rankings. Yahoo has not rated the 2014 class yet, but he is probably going to at least be a four-star commit, with potential to rise to five stars. He's already receiving a ton of interest from all over, with Indiana and Purdue already having offered. Michigan State, Notre Dame, Oregon, Texas, and Ohio State are among the many programs that have expressed interest. Scout lists him as a three star and at 6'5", 185, but today's program had him at 6'6" and he has to be at least over 200. ESPN lists him as also having offers from Butler, Xavier, and Illinois as well.
Bluiett has a huge upside and he is a player that is getting better every year. He was the leading scorer for Park Tudor in last season's state finals with 21 points as a freshman as they won 43-42 over Hammond Noll. Today, against a team with three Division I players, he was even better.
Kevin Ferrell was the best player on the floor today for Park Tudor with 17 points, 12 assists, and nine rebounds, but Bluiett was not far behind. He was very impressive with 25 points, eight rebounds, and two blocks as Park Tudor blew out Bowman Academy 79-57. The game wasn't even that close. Bluiett had six points in a 17-0 run that saw Park Tudor break the game open in the second quarter.
Bluiett was a beneficiary of many of those Ferrell assists, but he could also do plenty of creating on his own. Paul Bayt shot the lights out from three for 18 points on 6 of 8 shooting, mostly on drive and kickouts from Ferrell (which the Big Ten must stop him from doing next year). Bluiett hit a pair of threes, but he also got the basket on his own. In the second half he had at least three baskets where Ferrell drew in the defense only to drop the ball off for Bluiett coming in behind him.
On defense it is hard to judge where Bluiett would fit in at Purdue because Park Tudor played mostly a 2-3 zone. Still, he was active on the glass. I like him because he's a big guard that we lack. He has more size than any of our current guards, and I liken him in body type to D.J. Byrd with a better inside game. He can get to the basket and create his own shot inside or outside the three point line. He can use his body to work on the glass.
Again, this was against a team that has three Division I commits. Elijah Ray is going to IUPUI, DeJuan Marrero to DePaul, and Steve Hawkins to Robert Morris. With plenty of other talent on the floor Bluiett was still dominant. He was 11 of 15 from the floor, making him a very smart player that is efficient with the opportunities given him.
My only concern is that with Ferrell already at IU, Bluiett obviously has a good friend in his ear to come join him in two years. The Hoosiers do already have two commits for 2014 in Trey Lyles and James Blackmon. We currently have our entire 2014 class open. If nothing changes, we have three spots for that year with Sandi Marcius, Travis Carroll, and Terone Johnson as the outgoing seniors before he would get there. We only move to four spots if someone behind them would leave early. Anthony Johnson and Jacob Lawson would be the seniors when Bluiett is a freshman, with Donnie Hale and next year's freshmen as juniors. The chance of an early departure to the NBA is unlikely.
My verdict on Bluiett is that he is a good, versatile player we should go after hard. He can play inside or outside, shoot the three, rebound, and create his own shot. He's active defensively and he still has room to get bigger. When Kelsey Barlow had his give-a-shit turned on he gave us that big, penetrating guard that can be a difference-maker. Well, Bluiett's give-a-shit is always turned on.
Best of all, this is the third time I have seen Bluiett play and he has played very well each time. Earlier this year I saw him take on Ronnie Johnson's North Central team and he was stellar in that game. In last year's state finals game he may have been the best player on the floor, and that was with him playing more as a forward. Both times this year he's played as a three, where he would thrive in Purdue's offense.