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Trevon Bluiett isn't about to rush. Not this. A big-time college basketball program is in his future and he wants to make sure it's the right fit.
Of course, it's hard to go wrong when coaches from Purdue, Indiana, Notre Dame, Butler, Michigan, Louisville, Florida and more are offering you scholarships.
This 6-5, 185 pounder from Indianapolis Park Tudor and the Spiece travel ball program has become a hot choice, and not just because he's rated as the Class of 2014's 49th best prospect by Rivals.com, and a top-75 choice by Scout.com. Both are national Internet recruiting services.
Bluiett is also the state's highest ranked uncommitted player in the Class of 2014. In case you haven't noticed, Indiana prep talent is traditionally pretty good.
Bluiett can score at a big-time rate. He's shown that during his Park Tudo High School career that includes a pair of state championships (teammate Yogi Ferrell, now an Indiana freshman, had a lot to do with those titles, as well). He's shown that while playing for Spiece.
In last week's Adidas Invitational in Indianapolis, he had 32 points in one game, 31 in another, and was a standout scorer every time he hit the court.
Those performances keep drawing coaches coming.
On the opening night of the Adidas Invitational, Purdue coach Matt Painter, Notre Dame coach Mike Brey and assistant coaches from Illinois, Michigan and Kansas State watched Bluiett play.
Expect similar attention this week as Bluiett's Spiece Indy Heat team plays in the powerhouse Peach Jam in North Augusta, S.C.
“It always means a lot to see those coaches are at your games,” Bluiett says, “because there are a lot of games and players they could be watching.”
The new NCAA rule that allows unlimited phone calls and texts between coaches and recruits (after their high school sophomore years) has driven up the contact, although the Bluiett family had to limit calls to just a couple of times a week.
Bluiett says he plans to start cutting down his recruiting list in August, once the July evaluation period is over.
“I listen to what the coaches have to say, but I just keep it in my head,” he says. “I'm just taking it in. Even if it's something I don't like, I don't eliminate it.”
Offers have ratcheted up since the spring. Indiana was first, which isn't surprising given coach Tom Crean's knack for offering the young and talented. And Bluiett isn't that young (he will be a high school junior this coming season) given Crean has offered four players before they've reached high school.
The latest are Indianapolis' Eron Gordon and Colorado's DeRon Davis. Gordon is the younger brother of former IU American (and current NBA guard) Eric Gordon. The 6-8 Davis is projected as a possible 7-footer by the time he reaches college.
Bluiett made an unofficial visit to IU in June. He's also visited Michigan, Purdue, Louisville, Kentucky and Xavier. He visited Notre Dame last fall during the USC football game. He hopes to visit Illinois and Kansas State next month. Then, he'll get with his family and cut down the number of college possibilities. The earliest he can sign is November of 2013.
Yes, the chance to play for Indiana with Bishop Luers guard James Blackmon and Indianapolis Tech forward Trey Lyles is intriguing. Both are Spiece Indy Heat teammates and both have already committed to the Hoosiers.
Still, Bluiett bides his time. He's recruiting coaches as much as they're recruiting him.
“I look for the relationship with the coach and the relationship he has with his players,” he says. “And academics always plays a huge part in it.”
Given the strong academic reputation of Park Tudor, that last part isn't surprising.
Bluiett has been on an offensive surge since last November. He led Park Tudor in scoring (18.7 points) and rebounding (8.9) while shooting 69.9 percent from the field, 46.8 percent from three-point range and 70.8 percent on free throws.
For the record, Ferrell averaged 17.8 points.
In last March's 79-57 Class 2A state title game win over Bowman Academy, Bluiett had 25 points, eight rebounds and two blocks in 24 minutes. That was almost as impressive as Ferrell's 17 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds.
Bluiett also has emerged as Spiece Indy Heat's leading scorer (16.5 points) despite the presence of Lyles, a top-10 Class of 2014 prospect; Evansville Bosse guard Jaquan Lyle, the No. 19 player who also is being heavily recruited by Indiana; and Northrop guard Bryson Scott, the No. 60 player who is committed to Purdue.
“It's been going well,” Bluiett says. “I had a good spring coming off the momentum from the state win. I carried over that same mentality. I've been blessed everything has been going my way so far.”
When you're hot, you see, there's no reason to rush.