Remy Abell and Aleksandar Vezenkov to Xavier

Joe Robbins

Coach Mack grabs a coveted transfer and lands a big man from across the pond.

In the usual off season shake up of rosters, Xavier is coming out pretty well so far. With Myles Davis, Matt Stainbrook and Jalen Reynolds ready to suit up after a year out and Kamall Richards and Brandon Randolph joining as a freshman, the future already looked bright. Edmond Sumner and Melvin Swift have also already committed for 2014.

Now, joining them in 2014 will be Indiana transfer Remy Abell. Abell scored in double figures four times last year, but the last of those came in mid-December. Still, he's a big body guard (6-4, 201) who can definitely help shoulder some of the load that Davis' and Christon's bodies seem to struggle with. Remy's line of 4/2/1 isn't that impressive, but the 48% he knocked down from deep certainly is. Abell won't shoot that over a full season in which he averages more than last year's 12.5 minutes per game, but his ability to shoot isn't a mirage.

Joining the Musketeers this year is 6-9, 200 pound Bulgarian/Cypriot swingman Aleksandar Vezenkov. This year, for Aris BC of the Greek league, Vezenkov played 14 minutes per contest and put up a 4/2.6/1 line very similar to Abell's. Of course, Vezenkov is only 17 and was playing against fully grown men when he did that. Vezenkov looks like he fits the unfortunate stereotype of a slightly apathetic, willowy, European gunner who can be a bit lax on both ends, but there is more to him than that. Unwilling, or maybe unable, to do a whole lot off the bounce thanks to a limited right hand (Vezenkov is a lefty), Aleksandar can shoot from deep with aplomb. Defensively, he doesn't shy away from contact and is quite willing to put his body on someone.

In short, Coach Mack has once again added two very useful pieces. Abell is a versatile guard who can play some defense and shoot it from deep. Vezenkov (aside from being the first Cyprus born player to suit up for X) is a rangy gunner who somewhat defies the stereotype by being a willing and able defender. After the disaster of last summer, this one is off to a good start.

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