NCB On The Trail: Trevon Bluiett

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Making jump shots is one of the most important skills in basketball. It might look easy, but it’s hard to become a consistent shooter with range.

Taking open shots is a big part of becoming a great shooter, as well as moving without the ball. High-level shooters are ready to shoot the ball as soon as it’s passed to them.

There are many outstanding jump shooters in the Class of 2014, but here are my top five.


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2014 ESPN 100: 10 things to know 

January, 30, 2014
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Here are 10 things to know about the updated 2014 ESPN 100 player rankings.


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Three ESPN 100s highlight Xavier class

November, 13, 2013
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On Thursday, Xavier head coach Chris Mack announced the signings of ESPN 100 SF Trevon Bluiett (Indianapolis/Park Tudor), ESPN 100 PG Edmond Sumner (Detroit/Country Day) and ESPN 100 PF Makinde London (Thompson's Station, Tenn./Montverde Academy) along with three-star SG J.P. Macura (Lakeville, Minn./Lakeville North) and three-star C Sean O'Mara (Glen Ellyn, Ill./Benet Academy).

"This is an awesome day for Xavier Basketball," Mack said. "While many recruiting experts have labeled our five-man class as a top class nationally, we feel we have the best shooting class in the entire country. My staff worked very hard to identify talented players with tremendous character. The five-man class of Edmond Sumner, JP Macura, Makinde London, Sean O'Mara and Trevon Bluiett has the makings of a special one."
With seven ESPN 100 commitments in as many days, the last week has been incredibly busy on the recruiting wire, but the best could still be yet to come with Reid Travis, Cliff Alexander, Jahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones all likely to make decisions in time to sign during the early signing period, which begins next week.

In case you missed any of last week’s headlines, here’s a rundown: Devin Robinson chose Florida over Indiana on Wednesday; later that night, big man Michael Humphrey picked Stanford over Arizona; Devin Booker started a busy Thursday by picking Kentucky over Missouri; James Blackmon Jr. pulled a surprise by spurning Kentucky to recommit to Indiana; Kevon Looney’s commitment to UCLA was equally surprising, with most predicting Duke, Florida or Tennessee; former UCLA pledge Trevon Bluiett picked Xavier over Butler and Michigan State on Friday; and Trey Lyles chose Kentucky over Louisville on Tuesday.

That flurry of activity, along with the upcoming announcements, has brought more clarity to a lot of top national programs. Here’s a look at some of the implications:


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ESPN 100 SF Trevon Bluiett made a verbal commitment to Xavier on Friday, simultaneously ending what has been a long and complicated recruiting process, and giving Musketeers’ coach Chris Mack a major addition to his frontline.

Trevon Bluiett
Dave Telep/ESPNESPN 100 SF Trevon Bluiett rounds out Xavier's class with commitments at all five positions.
Why he committed: When it was all said and done, the opportunity to stay close to home and step right into immediate minutes was too much for Bluiett to pass up on. Distance was a big factor in his decommitment from UCLA, where his former high school coach Ed Schilling is now one of Steve Alford’s assistants. Since that point, Butler Michigan State and Memphis to a somewhat lesser extent, made pushes for Bluiett, but it has been Xavier in the driver’s seat. Recent on-campus visits sealed the deal for Xavier.

What he brings: Bluiett is an elite level shot-maker, who drills deep threes and pull-ups with equal ease. But more than that, he’s a true scorer, with plenty of mismatch potential. He understands how to come off screens away from the ball, utilizes his thick lower body to create space, and is very poised and crafty when operating in the mid-range area. While he might not be a blow-by driver, he’s capable of getting himself into the lane and is also a good passer off the bounce. He’s going to bring even more versatility, because he’ll be capable of seeing time at either forward position, allowing Mack the flexibility to go with a bigger lineup with him at the three, or go with a smaller, quicker group with him as a floor-spacing four.

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Hoops recruiting class analysis 

October, 23, 2013
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What do the commitments of Ahmed Hill and Marial Shayok mean for Marquette in the RecruitingNation class rankings? Which conference needs to step it up? What's the bold prediction for this week? We take a look at those questions and more.

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#AskCoachB: Latest on Bluiett

October, 14, 2013
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Want to ask ESPN RecruitingNation national recruiting director Paul Biancardi a question about basketball recruiting? Tweet it to @PaulBiancardi using the hashtag #AskCoachB.



I spoke with Trevon's dad, Reynardo Bluiett, just a few days ago and he mentioned the following schools for his son: Butler, Memphis, Xavier, Michigan State and Purdue.

This past weekend, Bluiett (Indianapolis/Park Tudor) made an official visit to Memphis. A significant factor in the favor of Memphis is assistant coach Jason Gardner, who was Mr. Basketball in Indiana in 1999 and became an All-American at Arizona. Butler also seems to be right in the thick of it, as they are the local school that is now in the Big East. Michigan State is in the hunt to go along with ESPN 100 PG Lourawls Nairn, who we like to distribute the ball. After speaking with his dad, it looks as though there is a good chance Bluiett will make his decision in the early signing period.

Weekly Commitment Roundup

September, 6, 2013
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American Athletic Conference
Louisville
Jaylen Johnson | PF | Ypsilanti, Mich./Ypsilanti
HT: 6-9 WT: 210
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 15
Stars: 4
ESPN 100: 62

Big Ten Conference
Illinois
Leron Black | PF | Memphis, Tenn./White Station
HT: 6-7 WT: 215
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 6
Stars: 4
ESPN 100: 36

Big 12
Baylor
Mark Vital | SF | Lake Charles, La./Washington-Marion
HT: 6-4 WT 215
Class of 2016
Positional Rank: NA

West Virginia
Jevon Carter | SG | Maywood, Ill./Proviso East
HT: 6-2 WT: 180
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: 3

Big East
Marquette
Phillip Flory | SG | Wisconsin Rapids, Wis./Wisconsin Rapids
HT: 6-3
Class of 2017
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Conference USA
East Carolina
Lance Tejada | PG | Hollywood, Fla./Blanche Ely
HT: 6-1 WT: 175
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 22
Stars: 4
ESPN 100: 96

Glenn Bryant | SF | Marietta, Ga./Kell
HT: 6-6 WT: 180
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Southern Miss
Willie Carmichael | PF | Apopka, Fla./Wekiva
HT: 6-7 WT: 195
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: 2

ACC
Virginia
Isaiah Wilkins | SF | Norcross, Ga./Greater Atlanta Christian
HT: 6-7 WT: 185
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: 2

Wake Forest
Isaac Haas | C | Piedmont, Ala./Hokes Bluff
HT: 7-1 WT: 275
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 18
Stars: 4

Pac-12
UCLA
Trevon Bluiett | SF | Indianapolis/Park Tudor
HT: 6-5 WT: 205
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 10
Stars: 4
ESPN 100: 41

Utah
Kyle Kuzma | SF | Burton, Mich./Rise Academy
HT: 6-8 WT: 200
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 27
Stars: 4

Isaiah Wright | PG | Boise, Idaho/Borah
HT: 6-2 WT: 175
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: 2

Stanford
Robert Cartwright | PG | Pasadena, Calif./Flintridge Prep
HT: 6-2 WT: 165
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 34
Stars: 3

SEC
Auburn
Sam Logwood | SF | Indianapolis/La Lumiere
HT: 6-7 WT: 205
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 20
Stars: 4
ESPN 100: 78

Jack Purchase | PF | Melbourne, Australia/Carey Baptist Grammar
HT: 6-10 WT: 200
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Vanderbilt
Wade Baldwin | PG | Hillsborough, N.J./St. Joseph
HT: 6-2 WT: 180
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 29
Stars: 4

South Carolina
TeMarcus Blanton | SG | Locust Grove, Ga./Luella
HT: 6-4 WT: 185
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 37
Stars: 3

Atlantic 10
Virginia Commonwealth
Justin Tillman | PF | Redford, Mich./Pershing
HT: 6-8 WT: 175
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 29
Stars: 4

George Washington
Paul Jorgensen | PG | Ramsey, N.J./Don Bosco
HT: 6-3 WT: 185
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 45
Stars: 3

Horizon League
Illinois-Chicago
Tai Odiase | C | Chicago/Homewood-Flossmoor
HT: 6-9 WT: 195
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: 2

Ivy League
Pennsylvania
Mike Auger | PF | Hopkinton, Mass./New Hampton
HT: 6-6 WT: 205
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: 2

Cornell
Jordan Abdur-Ra'oof | SF | Rockville, Md./Gonzaga College
HT: 6-7 WT: 200
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: 2

Yale
Eric Anderson | PF | West Chester, Pa./The Haverford School
HT: 6-6 WT: 200
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: 2

Sun Belt
Georgia State
Jeff Thomas | SG | Norwalk, Ohio/Norwalk
HT: 6-5 WT: 185
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Jordan Session | SF | McDonough, Ga./Eagles Landing
HT: 6-9 WT: 190
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Colonial Athletic Association
College of Charleston
Evan Bailey | SG | Massillon, Ohio/Jackson
HT: 6-6 WT: 185
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: 3

Atlantic Sun
Mercer
Jestin Lewis | SG | Richmond, Va./Wallace State C.C.
HT: 6-2 WT: 170
Class of 2014
JUCO

Jacksonville
Tim Bond | SG | Baltimore/City College H.S.
HT: 6-4
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

MAC
Buffalo
Mory Diane | SG | Detroit/Country Day
HT: 6-3 WT: 170
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: 2

WAC
Cal State Bakersfield
Sadiq Inuwa | PF | Houston/La Lumiere
HT: 6-7 WT: 200
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Starting 5: Kuzma grows on Utes 

September, 3, 2013
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Each week, Starting 5 takes you on a tour of the recruiting landscape. It delves into topics, recruiting trends and stories. This edition focuses on the Utah Utes' recent run of commitments, emotional toughness in recruits and tells you what happened on last weekend's commitment spree.

Utah could have one in Kuzma

[+] EnlargeKyle Kuzma
Dave Telep/ESPN Kyle Kuzma grew six inches and became a bigger prospect. Utah noticed early.
The Utah Utes last weekend added a player that isn’t nationally known – yet – but is significant to the future of the program. Small forward Kyle Kuzma (Burton, Mich./Rise Academy) is one of those neat stories that manage to fly under the radar until that first breakout week on the scene in college. Consider yourself warned.

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New UCLA coach Steve Alford has gone back to his Indiana roots by landing No. 41 senior Trevon Bluiett (Indianapolis, Ind./Park Tudor). Here's a breakdown of how and why the shooting guard landed with the Bruins.

Why he committed: "Everything felt right about UCLA," Bluiett said. "Coach Alford has a plan for me and made me feel very comfortable. The support they give their program -- from academics to strength and conditioning -- it's all set up for me to be successful."

Perhaps the biggest factor was UCLA assistant Ed Shilling, who was Bluiett's high school coach for three years at Park Tudor. "Coach Shilling is a big reason why I chose UCLA. He is a mentor to me," Bluiett said. "I have known him since the sixth grade and have played for him since the ninth grade. Coach Shilling always has the right intentions and I trust him."

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It was an incredibly busy weekend of action on the recruiting front, not just because of the series of high-major commitments, but also because of trimmed lists, scheduled visits, and scholarship offers, all of which have the potential to create multiple ripples on the pending domino effect.

Commitment Catch-Up

• ESPN 100 PF Craig Victor (New Orleans, La./Findlay Prep) commits to Arizona: The 31st-ranked prospect and 5th best PF in the country announced on Saturday he was heading to Arizona, giving coach Sean Miller his third high level combination forward in as many years.


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Pinson, Russell shine at Adidas Nations 

August, 6, 2013
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LONG BEACH, Calif. -- We’re a long way from the postseason all-star games, but watching the championship game of the Adidas Nations on Monday night, I couldn’t help but think there’s a lesson here.

Of the 21 players who took the floor in the title game, 18 were ESPN 100 prospects (Emmanuel Mudiay would have made it 19 but missed the game due to injury). And with all that massive talent on the court, the integrity of the game stood up.

I listened into the huddles of Don MacLean, the former UCLA star who coached USA 2014 Blue to an 81-77 win over USA 2014 Red in the title game, and he had the focus of his players and command of his team. What could have easily disintegrated into an all-star game never did. On both ends of the floor, I saw many of the best players in the country compete -- and compete hard.

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Notebook: Recruiting notes from July 

August, 2, 2013
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Thanks to a busy July and a run of news this week following the end of the July evaluation periods, the return of our weekly Friday recruiting notebook has no shortage of big-time recruiting info. From a big decommitment for Louisville to a host of trimmed up college lists to notes from a busy month on the road, we’ve got you covered.

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Top 10 lessons learned in July 

July, 31, 2013
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To understand what just happened in college basketball recruiting, let me use a golf analogy. In golf majors, Saturdays set the players up for the final round and determine the pairings for the homestretch.

In college basketball, the month of July is like that Saturday of a golf major. Coaches fly coast to coast, some to evaluate and others simply to babysit prospects. It’s a grueling 15 days on the road -- separated into three different five-day open evaluation periods -- and even the seasoned veterans will tell you that. Technology has made it easier to keep track of the recruits, but travel is travel, and so much time in different cities is rough on the bodies of the players and coaches.

Still, July remains the single most important month on the recruiting calendar. It sets the tone for in-home and official visits. It helps set up the final round and determines the pairings for the homestretch.

For the better part of July 6-28, I was on the road. Every day was something new and an opportunity to gather intelligence on players and pay attention to the world of college basketball recruiting. If you didn’t learn something daily, you weren’t doing your job.

Here are 10 key things I learned this month on the recruiting trail, from package deals to the loaded 2016 class and everything in between.

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Top 10 things from the first half of July 

July, 17, 2013
7/17/13
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The first half of a July on the recruiting trail was more of a sprint than anything else. July 6-14 was a convergence of talent and time zones. From Las Vegas to North Augusta, S.C., to Indianapolis, I felt like I was in a new city daily with waves of players being tossed at me.

After having a chance to get my bearings, here are 10 things that stood out from the cross-country travel assignment. This entails info not only from the Nike Peach Jam and adidas Invitational during the first open evaluation period (July 10-14) but also from the LeBron James Skills Academy (July 6-8) before the live period began. The second half of July includes two more open eval periods July 17-21 and 24-28.

1. White was on the verge of elevating his game

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