It looks like Xavier will be without their leading scorer on Wednesday night at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. Chris Mack told FanragSports.com’s Jon Rothstein that Trevon Bluiett is “doubtful” against the Friars tonight. This news comes a few hours after the betting line opened late with Providence showing as a 3-point favorite, which didn’t line up with the analytics sites like Kenpom.com who was predicting a 70-69 Xavier victory. A 4-point difference in the Kenpom number and Vegas is rare and was a clue that Bluiett would at best be limited in this game. Since this news broke the line has climbed to Providence being favored by 5 and even 5.5 points in some places.
Bluiett has played in all of Xavier’s 25 previous games and started 24 of them. He re-aggravated the ankle early in Xavier’s most recent game on Saturday against Villanova. He played 19 minutes in that game and didn’t score on 2 field goal attempts. Bluiett’s 447 points this season have accounted for 22% of Xavier’s scoring. The Musketeers are already without starting point guard Edmond Sumner who tore his ACL back on January 29th and Myles Davis who missed most of the season due to a disciplinary issue and left the team after playing 4 games from January 7th through January 16th.
Xavier currently sits in a tie with Creighton for 2nd place in the Big East at 8-4 in league play. Both teams trail Villanova by 3 games and they hold a half game advantage over Butler who is 8-5. With an RPI 13 heading into this game with Providence and the 3rd best Strength of Schedule in the country, the Musketeers are in good position for the NCAA Tournament. It will be interesting to see what Mack opts to do with Bluiett as this game is the beginning of a 3-game road trip with stops at Marquette and Seton Hall on the docket.
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