New York — With the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden, it didn’t take long for Trevon Bluiett to find the basket.
The Xavier senior guard scored a career Big East Tournament-high 27 points along with seven rebounds in the quarterfinals victory against St. John’s Thursday. Bluiett knows that the Musketeers are on the verge of something special in his senior season, being the No. 1-seeded team in the tournament.
“It’s coming down here and trying to win one goal, and that’s just trying to win the Big East championship,” Bluiett said. “That’s just me playing my hardest for my team, making sacrifices for my team.”
The 6-foot-6-inch guard has received a lot of attention on the national level this year with the team’s success. Blueitt has been a candidate for the National Player of the Year, All-American, Big East Player of the Year and Julius Erving Award while leading Xavier to a 28-4 record this season.
Bluiett’s game has been elevating since his freshman season and has blossomed to the player he is today. His points per game have seen an increase each year from 11.9 as a freshman to 19.4 as a senior. Thursday’s game showed that Blueitt is ready for the big stage in March.
“I don’t think I’m really trying to prove something,” Bluiett said. “It’s just my confidence is how I feel.”
In one possession in Thursday’s game against St. John’s, Bluiett attempted a contested 3-point shot in front of the Musketeers’ bench. He looked back at his head coach Chris Mack and said, “Coach, we’ll get the good ones next time down the floor.”
In the next possession where Bluiett had the ball, he made a 3-pointer to crush St. John’s hopes for a comeback. Mack’s team cruised in the final minutes of the game and advanced to Big East semifinals.
“What I love about this team is the connectivity we have,” Mack said. “The togetherness that we play with.”
It wouldn’t be a surprise to many if Bluiett and Xavier made a real deep run in the NCAA Tournament. But first, Xavier will play Providence in the Big East semifinals at 6:30 p.m. Friday.
“The mountaintop for us was winning the Big East regular season championship,” Mack said. “Now we’ve got hopefully more mountains to climb.