Seniors leave lasting impact on hoops program

Bluiett, Macura, O’Mara and Kanter made this season one to remember

Newswire photo by Sydney Sanders | Seniors Trevon Bluiett, J.P. Macura, Sean O’Mara and graduate transfer Kerem Kanter played their hearts out for the basketball team this year. They led Xavier to one of its most decorated years in program history.

In the blink of an eye, the careers of four Xavier Musketeer basketball players have come to an end. After a shocking loss to Florida State on Sunday evening, it is time to say goodbye to these young men as they continue into their futures.

This senior class saw oncourt success: four NCAA tournament appearances, including spots in the Sweet 16, an Elite Eight, and a Big East regular season title.

The Xavier nation can now look back and salute Kerem Kanter, Sean O’Mara, Trevon Bluiett and J.P. Macura for what they have done for the Xavier basketball program, setting the standard for what is to come.

#11 Kerem Kanter

Kerem Kanter was only a Musketeer for one season after becoming a graduate transfer from Wisconsin-Green Bay. Kanter came into a tough situation when he arrived at Xavier, needing to earn the respect of not only his coaches and teammates but also Xavier nation as a whole.

He brought instant offense into the game with crafty post moves while also providing a soft touch from outside, especially from long range. His impact went far beyond his actions on the court. He was a valued teammate and always walked around with a smile on his face. Kanter came to Xavier and was a key member on one of the best teams in school history.

#54 Sean O’Mara

Without a doubt, the big man was one of the most underappreciated players to ever wear the Xavier uniform. O’Mara improved each and every year he was a member of the Xavier basketball program.

He always did the right thing. He came on the court and did what he was asked to do and never complained about his role. It is fitting for a player like this to have one of the most memorable shots in program history. That came last year when he made the game-winning, double clutch layup against Arizona to send Xavier to the Elite Eight. Catchphrase: “And O’Mara Scores!”

#5 Trevon Bluiett

Coming in his freshman year as one of Xavier’s most prized recruits of all time, Trevon Bluiett lived up to all expectations. He leaves Xavier as the second all-time leading scorer with 2,261 points.

He is also one of three players in Big East history to be placed on the first-team All-Big East three times in his career.

Bluiett holds the single season three-point record with 105 three-pointers made. The list of accomplishments for No. 5 are extensive.

After testing the NBA waters twice, Bluiett made the decision to return to Xavier and in the process continued to get his body into better shape to improve his game.

During his junior season, he battled injuries and pulled through with clutch performances that carried Xavier through the Big East and NCAA tournaments.

In his senior season, he did all one can ask for, scoring more than 600 points while averaging almost 20 points a game on top of Xavier’ first Big East regular season title.

There is no question that one day his No. 5 jersey will hang in the rafters of Cintas Center.

#55 J.P. Macura

Macura will go down as a Xavier great for his competitiveness and grit. For four years, he put his body on the line and would do anything to pull out a victory for the Musketeers.

We may never see a player like J.P. Macura suit up for Xavier again. He had a knack for exciting the crowd at home, and he was beloved for his intensity.

But on the road, he was criticized for the toughness and passion he brought to the floor.

Macura will always be remembered for the heart that he showed. He instilled memories in all Xavier fans, whether it was his heat-check three against Villanova as a sophomore or the several interactions he had with opposing fan bases.

Macura defined what it is to be a member of the Xavier family.

I think I speak for all of Xavier nation when I say thank you to these four seniors for their time here and the unforgettable memories they have given Xavier fans.

By: Tim Kramer ~Staff Writer~