Who’s Got Next? Trevon Bluiett to Xavier, Kevon Looney Going West, and More…Posted by Sean Moran on November 4th, 2013
Who’s Got Next? is a weekly column by Sean Moran, the RTC recruiting guru. Once a week he will bring you an overview of what’s going on in the complex world of recruiting, from who is signing where among the seniors to discussing the recruitments of the top uncommitted players in the country. We also encourage you to check out his contributions at The Intentional Foul dedicated to recruiting coverage and analysis. You can also follow Sean at his Twitter account @Seanmohoops for up-to-date news from the high school and college hoops scene. If you have any suggestions as to areas we are missing or different things you would like to see, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Trevon Bluiett Now Off to Xavier
It’s been a whirlwind two months for four-star forward small forward Trevon Bluiett. On September 3, the No. 12 ranked small forward and No. 41 overall in the class of 2014, announced his commitment to UCLA. One month later on October 3, Bluiett decided to re-open his recruitment and look for a college closer to his hometown of Indianapolis. On Saturday, Bluiett ended his recruitment for a second time and chose to play for the Xavier Musketeers. The commitment gives Xavier one of its top overall recruiting classes along with a big-time scorer.
Bluiett stands at 6’5” and 185 pounds and is one of the top wing scorers in the class of 2014. This past summer, Bluiett played on the Nike EYBL AAU circuit and averaged 19.3 points per game while shooting 38.4 percent from the three-point line and 80.4 percent from the free throw line. He scored 20-plus points in 10 of his 22 games; including one where he went off for 41 points. Not only can Bluiett put the ball in the basket but he also contributes in other ways shown by his 4.4 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game.
With Bluiett’s announcement, Xavier now has five commitments from the senior class. Bluiett is the headliner, but the class also includes four-star power forward Makinde London (#71 overall, #17 PF) and four-star shooting guard J.P. Macura (#89 overall, #20 SG) to go along with three-star center Sean O’Mara (#25 center) and three-star shooting guard Edmond Summer (#27 SG). The additions of Bluiett, Macura, and Summer will help tremendously with the Musketeers’ outside shooting. Last season only three Musketeers hit 10 or more three-pointers, and only one of those, junior guard Dee Davis will be around when this renowned recruiting class arrives on campus.
Looney Heading West to UCLA
While Steve Alford might have lost four-star recruit Trevon Bluiett just one month after his commitment in September, he offset that loss this past week with another player from the Midwest in five-star forward Kevon Looney. Just last Thursday, Looney committed to UCLA from his Hamilton (WI) High School in a decision that caught most everyone by surprise. The No. 14 ranked player in the country chose the Bruins over Tennessee, Duke, Florida, Michigan State, and Wisconsin.
Looney will bring a strong work ethic to Westwood along with an ability to stretch the floor at the power forward position. At 6’8”, Looney can affect a game on both ends of the floor. On the defensive end he can guard big men in the post or small forwards on the wing. What he lacks in strength he makes up for with length and his quick jumping ability and shot-blocking. On the offensive end, Looney has range out to the three-point line but is most effective from 15 feet inward. He uses his ball-handling and quickness to drive by bigger defenders and knows how to finish at the rim. Upon arrival at UCLA, Looney will be a threat for a double-double every time he steps out on the court.
The decision to play for UCLA came as a surprise to most, however, once you understand Looney’s rationale, the decision makes perfect sense. First off, there will be plenty of playing time in the frontcourt available for Looney when he arrives in Southern California. With the departure of the Wear twins after this season, the only power forward on the roster in 2014-15 will be current redshirt freshman Wannah Bail. Looney can step in and get significant minutes while also being surrounded by a talented team with center Tony Parker and guards Jordan Adams and Isaac Hamilton (a 2013 McDonald’s All-American). The second reason that Looney chose UCLA was for the campus itself. “UCLA is a great campus, the most beautiful I’ve ever seen,” said Looney. The commitment of Looney is a huge win for Steve Alford as he enters his first season under the bright lights at UCLA.
Top Shooter Lands at Kentucky
John Calipari added another piece to his 2014 recruiting class in four-star shooting guard Devin Booker on Thursday. The smooth shooting Booker chose the Wildcats over Missouri, Michigan, and Michigan State. While this recruiting class lacks the star power of the 2013 class, the Wildcats have quietly put together a three-man class that currently ranks as No. 3 in the country.
Booker is currently ranked as the No. 5 shooting guard in the country and No. 31 prospect overall. At 6’5”, Booker has solid size for a shooting guard and also owns a 6’7” wing span. He is best known for his ability to put the ball in the basket to go along with his outside shooting prowess. During his junior year, Booker averaged 29.7 points per game for Moss Point (MS) High School and was named as Mississippi’s Gatorade Player of the Year. Throughout the spring and summer, Booker played AAU ball on the Nike EYBL circuit and averaged 16.8 points per game. While he only shot 33.7 percent from the three-point line, there is no denying that Booker has the smoothest stroke of any high school prospect. Along with his deep range, Booker also showed off an improved overall offensive game. In 2012 Booker was mostly a standstill shooter; however, this past summer Booker displayed an expanded pick-and-roll game along with an ability to get to the basket off the dribble. He also has a strong off (left) hand which can be used to finish layups, dunks, and even floaters from the paint.
Upon choosing Kentucky, Booker indicated that his choice was partly based on the ability to play with 5’9″ point guard Tyler Ulis (#29 overall, #6 PG). While undersized, Ulis plays taller than he is and is one of the few point guards who can consistently deliver the ball to a teammate in the perfect position to score. Ulis and Booker might not be the one-and-done recruits that Wildcat fans are used to, but the four-star guards will turn into one of the top backcourt duos over the years.
Other Notable Commitments
- Four-star shooting guard James Blackmon Jr. re-committed to Indiana last Thursday. The commitment came almost three months after his initial de-commitment from the school. Upon re-opening his recruitment, Blackmon drew interest from Kentucky, Michigan and Michigan State. The No. 33 player in the country and No. 6 shooting guard will join another guard in Robert Johnson (#55 overall, #9 SG) and three-star forward Max Hoetzel for the Hoosiers’ 2014 class.
- Michael Humphrey, a 6’9” center from Phoenix, committed to Stanford this past week. Humphrey is currently the No. 10 center and No. 80 player in the country and was one of the hot names during the summer period. After strong play during the live recruiting period, Humphrey picked up interest from Vanderbilt, Notre Dame, UCLA and Arizona. Humphrey joins point guard Robert Cartwright (#51 overall, #13 PG) in the Cardinal’s 2014 recruiting class.