Jim O'Connor-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
Media Day used to be the first step in Xavier's march toward another Atlantic 10 championship and NCAA tournament appearance. This year, though, it served as a grim reminder of everything that has gone wrong.
Media Day used to serve almost as the beginning of the coronation ball for the Xavier Musketeers. Several players were guaranteed spots in the All Atlantic 10 teams, someone would appear on the all-defensive team, there would be an appearance on the all freshman team, and of course to cap it off, a consensus pick to win the conference. Sure, there would be years that interlopers like Temple or Dayton would garner some votes or that number one spot, but like the other guy in romantic comedies, they mostly existed to play a foil to the crown prince of the A10.
If anything, then, encapsulates Xavier's immediate and often embarrassing fall from grace, it is the 2012-13 season media day for the Atlantic 10. The biggest lights in college basketball reporting were on scene. Andy Katz represented ESPN, Jeff Goodman was there for CBS, and Jeff Borzello from NBC was all over Twitter. Adding Butler and VCU will do that for a conference, but the team that they came here to challenge has vanished. Xavier was mentioned mostly only for their drop off the radar. Events of recent weeks have turned this conference upside down to the point that six different teams received more than one first place vote.
Not among those six were the Musketeers of Xavier. XU was picked to finish ninth in the conference this year. (It is is some consolation that a rotten year from Xavier lands them only spot behind Dayton, but I digress). Xavier hasn't finished that low in the Atlantic 10 ever. Dating back to my birth, Xavier's most significant blemishes are a fifth place finish in the MCC in 84/85 and a seventh in the A10 in 05/06. Both of those marks would represent a positive surprise this year.
That wasn't the only downer on the day, though. Usually Xavier players are speckled across the all conference teams like sprinkles on the cookie of an enthusiastic four year old. This year, nary a Musketeer appeared. The only things Xavier from a complete shutout was Semaj Christon being selected to the all rookie team.
Official Atlantic 10 Media Day picks:
1. Saint Joseph’s (11)
2. Saint Louis (10)
3. VCU (3)
4. Temple (2)
5. Massachusetts (2)
6. Butler (2)
7. La Salle
11. St. Bonaventure
13. George Washington
15. Rhode Island
All Atlantic 10 teams:
First Team: Kevin Dillard (Dayton), Chris Gaston (Fordham), Chaz Williams (UMass), Kwamain Mitchell (Saint Louis), Khalif Wyatt (Temple).
Second Team: Rotnei Clarke (Butler), Chris Braswell (Charlotte), Ramon Galloway (La Salle), Langston Galloway (Saint Joseph’s), Carl Jones (Saint Joseph’s).
Third Team: Darien Brothers (Richmond), C.J. Aiken (Saint Joseph’s), Halil Kanacevic (Saint Joseph’s), Scootie Randall (Temple), Juvonte Reddic (VCU).
All-Defensive Team: Roosevelt Jones (Butler), Pierria Henry (Charlotte), C.J. Aiken (Saint Joseph’s), Jordair Jett (Saint Louis), Briante Weber (VCU).
All-Rookie Team: Kellen Dunham (Butler), Jordan Hare (Rhode Island), Daniel Dingle (Temple), Melvin Johnson (VCU), Semaj Christon (Xavier)