He was talented, poised, and no doubt one of the best to wear a Xavier Jersey, even if it was for only 2 seasons. Yes, Semaj Christon was everything Xavier fans wanted in a player and then some. But the reality is this; we knew Semaj was special from the get-go. It was only a matter of time until we got the notification, read the tweet, basically heard the news that Mr. Christon would be taking the next to the step to the NBA. Now before I get a misty eyed, let's talk 2014-2015 Musketeer Basketball.
So we already know that this incoming freshman class may be (and let's be honest, it is) the best recruiting class in Xavier Men's Basketball history. With a player for every spot, Xavier's future freshman have a lot to bring to the table. If we're looking at someone who can fill the void Semaj Christon is leaving, look no further than Edmond Sumner. It's almost as if Mack knew the time was coming that Christon was on his way out, because he found a physical carbon copy of Semaj. Ed is 6'3, Semaj is 6'3. Semaj had terrific ball handling, hey so does Ed. I'm not saying Sumner is going to come out and play like a sophomore Semaj, or even a freshman Semaj, because he won't need to.
Early assessments of the 2012-2013 Musketeers weren't at all very uplifting. Even before the season began, two recruits in Jalen Reynolds and Myles Davis were declared ineligible. Xavier had little to no front court presence. Travis Taylor was the best post scoring option. Scoring from anywhere was at a premium. Those Muskies asked a lot from Semaj and he delivered.
Sumner is nowhere near in the same position. You want to talk post presence? Let's talk post presence. Matt Stainbrook will, of course, make the wheels turn for the Musketeers in the post. However, Jalen Reynolds, after his coming out party at St .John's, will undoubtedly continue to make strides as a collegiate player and will hopefully take Makinde London under his massive wingspan. Sean O'Mara (6'9 240) also has the opportunity of a lifetime to learn under the tutelage of one of the Big East's top post men.
Likewise, with Good J-mart becoming a more and more regular thing, Xavier fans have a talented and experienced senior to look to in times of trepidation (hopefully). Speaking of talented seniors, your friend and mine Dee Davis will, without a doubt, continue to be the scrappy, energetic, and cool handed cat he's been for Xavier. Xavier also has the chance to have some serious height around the perimeter. JP Macura and Remy Abell are both 6'4-6'5 and have the ability to pour it in, along with the best pickup of the year, 6'5 small forward Trevon Bluiett.
With all things said and done, Ed Sumner is walking into a vastly different freshman year than Semaj did. We won't need him to go out and get buckets day in and day out just to compete. What Ed can do that Semaj couldn't is simply this: he can just go out and play. There's no pressure for Sumner to be a star as soon as he sets foot into Cintas. He can just get out there, play, learn, and develop.
Yes, there is quite a hole left behind by Semaj Christon,but the collection of talent heading the charge towards next season has me more giddy than a school girl who just met One Direction.