Four-star wing Trevon Bluiett announced his decision to commit to Coach Mack and Xavier Friday on Twitter. Bluiett had originally committed to UCLA back in early September, but decommitted a month later to find a school closer to home.
Bluiett is a wing with great size and skill that can change a team on the offensive end. An elite shooter with a well-rounded and developed game, he's a threat to score from anywhere inside of halfcourt. In addition to his long-range shooting prowess, he has the handle to get where he wants on the court and can finish with pull-ups, floaters or a variety of mid-range shots. He's a big time bucket-getter even at the high major level who can create his own offense, while causing match-up problems for the opposition because of his size and skill ratio.
While many expect wings to be slashers and elite athletes these days, that's not Bluiett, nor his game. He's not an explosive athlete, and he doesn't have a flashy style that sticks out; he just gets the job done. What he lacks in athleticism, he makes up for with his IQ and feel. He's a very good passer and a solid rebounder on the wing. He averaged 4.4 rebounds per game on the Nike EYBL circuit this summer, and dished out a team-high 4.3 assists. He uses his big body and innate feel for the game to put himself in the right position and always a step ahead of the competition. He also plays with great effort on both ends, which helps him on the glass.
The wing position is currently the biggest weakness on Xavier's roster, but with the 2014 class the staff has seemingly turned it into a strength. Recruits are just potential until they arrive on campus and prove themselves, but XU fans should feel confident that the additions of J.P. Macura and Bluiett will be a significant upgrade, especially on the offensive end. The skill level of these two players could even allow the staff to play them together at times, which would be a tremendous amount of perimeter firepower on the court together. In addition to Macura and Bluiett, the staff also added a 6-foot-4 combo guard in Edmond Sumner for 2014, which will infuse the Musketeers' backcourt with great size and length, plus 6-4 Indiana transfer Remy Abell will be eligible to play in 2014.
Despite a lot of success already in Chris Mack's tenure, one aspect where the Musketeers have struggled is 3-point shooting. Last season, the Musketeers finished 319th in the nation, with only 20.8 percent of their points coming from beyond the arc. Obviously that makes it more difficult to space the floor, cutting down on driving lanes for slashers, and operating room for post players. Adding Myles Davis this season and Abell, who has to sit out this year, already helped improve the program's perimeter shooting ability, but bringing in two elite shooters in Bluiett and Macura, plus a very good shooting combo guard in Sumner, should turn that deficiency into a strength. With all these weapons, Mack's lineup possibilities will be endless. It's hard not to think about the possibilities of putting three elite shooters like Davis, Macura and Bluiett on the floor together, or pairing those shooters with a stretch four like Makinde London, which would space the floor and allow someone like Jalen Reynolds to own the paint. There are plenty of fun options to consider with the talent Mack and his staff have assembled.
A class of Sean O'Mara, Makinde London, JP Macura and Edmond Sumner was already an impressive haul for the Musketeers' staff, but landing one of the highest-rated recruits in Xavier history just takes the 2014 recruiting class to another level. Bluiett should be an instant impact player, and will be one of the preseason favorites for Big East Rookie of the Year.