INDIANA-KENTUCKY ALL-STAR SERIES
Friday: At Transylvania University in Lexington. Girls tip-off at 5 p.m., boys to follow.
Saturday: At Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Girls tip-off at 5:30 p.m., boys to follow
COLUMBUS – Surrounded by Indiana Senior All-Star teammates posing for pictures and shaking hands after the exhibition game against the Junior All-Stars on Wednesday at Columbus North, a quiet Trevon Bluiett makes his way through the postgame throng of fans unmolested.
He does not drum up the hype of Trey Lyles, a top-10 talent heading to Kentucky. Nor does he command the attention of a James Blackmon Jr., who patiently accommodates fan after fan.
But the reality is that Bluiett is one of the best players in the state, finishing second to Lyles in Indiana Mr. Basketball voting by nine votes. He led the state in scoring with an average of 33.2 points per game while leading Park Tudor to a Class 2A state championship.
And after two more games this weekend with the Indiana Senior All-Stars against their counterparts from Kentucky, Bluiett will take his services out of state to Xavier.
Today the All-Star teams will play at Transylvania University in Lexington with a 5 p.m. start for the girls game and the boys to follow. On Saturday the showdown shifts to Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Tipoff for the girls is 5:30 p.m. with the boys playing after that game.
The attention on the 6-foot-5 small forward should be greater than it is, but the low-key Bluiett, who is rated the No. 34 player in the country in his class by Rivals.com, a national Internet recruiting service, doesn't mind.
“I don't really mind about that type of stuff,” said Bluiett. “I just go out and play and let everything take care of itself.”
There is no question that not winning Mr. Basketball hurt Bluiett. He said he congratulated Lyles and the two, as well as Blackmon Jr., have not said much about it since. To each, it was an important award, but the humble Bluiett moved on.
“I didn't weep over it too long,” Bluiett said. “I knew I had to move forward and I had a bigger and better thing waiting for me in the future with college.”
Before Bluiett heads to Xavier, he has two more games to put his stamp on his high school career. He has turned quite a few heads this week in a pair of games against the juniors, scoring 30 points Monday at Logansport and 44 on Wednesday at Columbus North.
The performance at Columbus North was particularly impressive as Bluiett finished the night 19 of 26 from the field and added 12 rebounds. He showcased the talent that was sought by dozens of Division I programs, including Purdue, Indiana, Butler and Notre Dame.
Fans of in-state programs followed his progress throughout high school, but when he committed to Xavier in November, most of the attention went elsewhere.
“I definitely feel like with James (Blackmon Jr.) staying at IU there was a lot more attention on him, just because he was (going to be) playing for an in-state program,” Bluiett said.
Never one to be comfortable in the limelight, Bluiett instead enjoyed the remainder of his senior season and won a state championship. He still enjoys putting on a show for the fans in Indiana, as he has all this week. But soon, he will join recent elite talent such as Zak Irvin (Michigan), Glenn Robinson III (Michigan) and Gary Harris (Michigan State) to leave the Hoosier State for college.
It has yet to hit him.
“Probably when I play that last game (Saturday) and I realize that I only have a week to get ready to go to Ohio … it is going to hit me,” Bluiett said. “Right now, I'm just enjoying the moment and I can't really see myself leaving as of now.”
He has just one thing on his mind heading into this weekend.
“This week the only thing I (want) to prove is that Indiana is still better than Kentucky for another year,” Bluiett said. “As far as individual things … I don't think there's anything I needed to prove.”
Simply because there is nothing left to be proved.