Tuesday, July 12, 2011

No Shadows – Bluiett’s Play Justifies IU Basketball Offer; Football Lineman Commits to Hoosiers

Trevon Bluiett isn’t doing all this travel basketball stuff so he can play in the shadows.

The 6-5 wing wants to make a big-time impact, especially with all the big-time events on his schedule in the next few weeks.

You’d better believe he’s doing it. He’s consistently broken the 20-point barrier this summer for Spiece Indy Heat after racking up 21 points in an Indiana high school state title game last spring.

“My mentality is, go and score,” he says. “Whenever my team needs me, I gotta be there, be the leader, be able to score and get our team where it needs to be.”

Bluiett has had an offer from IU for the last year, but that won’t keep him from visiting Butler soon, and likely some other colleges, including Purdue (he was there a couple of weeks ago). Boiler coach Matt Painter has told Bluiett he wants him to make another visit. IU coach Tom Crean has a similar request. Marquette, Baylor and Florida State also are interested.

Who knows? Bluiett might hit 6-8 by the time he’s finished growing.

Bluiett plays his high school ball at Indianapolis Park Tudor, which also has a pretty decent player named Yogi Ferrell, a point guard who is committed to IU for the Class of 2012. For now, Ferrell is the catalyst for a high school program that has a state runner-up finish and a state title in the record books over the last two years, and is look for one more championship.

On most teams, Bluiett would be THE guy. On the Park Tudor team, Yogi has that role and the younger Bluiett (he’s in the Class of 2014) is fine with that.

“During high school you let Yogi do his thing,” Bluiett says. “That’s his team and he’s the leader. When I come over here (to Spiece Indy Heat), I show what I got.”
What’s he’s got, Bluiett’s father and Spiece coach Reynardo Bluiett says, is impressive.

“Trevon is multi-dimensional,” the father says. “Whatever the team is lacking at that time, whether it’s bringing the ball up, shooting the ball, rebounding or defending, he gets it done. He has a lot of talent, and he’s working on getting stronger and quicker.”

Trevon Bluiett and P.J. Thompson give Spiece Indy Heat a formidable presence. When you consider James Blackmon, Jaquan Lyle and Trey Lyles (Blackmon and Lyles have committed to IU; Crean has offered Lyle) also are on this Class of 2014 roster, you wonder what can stop them.

Tough competiton, for one. Spiece Indy Heat are getting ton of it this summer, especially considering they are playing a year up. Yeah, they want to win, but developing themselves as players and people also are part of the mix.

“These guys have been around each other for a while,“ Reynardo Bluiett says. “With this college opportunity being a reality, it brings an edge to these guys when they go home after the tournaments are over. That’s when a lot of people don’t see these guys working. And they’re really working hard.”

Does all this work and travel events get fatiguing?

Are you nuts? Research shows that teenagers never, ever get tired unless asked to do chores.

Basketball is not a chore.

“Basketball is my life,” Trevon says. “I grew up playing it. I never get tired of playing the game.”

That’s expecially true when big-time coaches such as Crean are watching, although Trevon downplays that significance.

“It’s been a good experience. I’ve been playing in front of college coaches since the seventh grade. I’m used to it. They’re just people in the stands. I have to play my game and not show off for anybody.”


And then there were 12.

Coach Kevin Wilson now has a dozen football recruits committed to his IU program. The latest is Wes Rogers, not to be confused with Mister Rogers, who was a meek, mild-mannered, sweater-wearing guy children loved to watch back when TV was just three networks and nobody had even thought of something like ESPN.

Wes Rogers is a 6-5, 275-pound lineman from Indianapolis Lawrence Central. He has a mustache and goatee, which as everyone knows makes him a manly man, although he’d be even more manly if he shaved his head, not that we’re recommending that.

Anyway, Rogers plays offense and defense for the Bears, but will likely stick with offense at IU, either at center or guard. Rivals.com listed him as a three-star prospect and the nation’s No. 8 center. He’s the third offensive lineman to commit to the Hoosiers for the Class of 2012. Figure a year or two in the Hoosier weight program will get him above 300 pounds.

Rogers attended an IU one-day camp last month. New offensive line coach Greg Frey made a big impression, and not just because he’d spent the previous three years at Michigan.

Rogers had gotten scholarship offers from Cincinnati, Air Force, Army and a bunch of Mid-American Conference schools. Iowa and Northwestern were interested. He comes from the same high school that produced Tre Roberson, last year’s Indiana Mr. Football and a freshman for the Hoosiers. He and Roberson are good friends, which just might have contributed to his college decision.

Wilson’s uptempo system needs fit, fast, strong and nasty offensive linemen. Rogers seems to fit that mold -- even with a full head of hair.

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