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Kareem Canty and the Risk of Recruiting Rankings

This probably isn't news to anyone, but there is a lot of variability in the rankings of national recruiting services. It is really exciting to see that Xavier is talking to or has a verbal from a highly touted young man. It's easy to dream on the scouting reports on Dez Wells or Justin Martin or Sim Bhullar, and to see one or more of them leading Xavier to future glory.

The dark side to this dream is two-fold. The first - and most obvious - downside is what we just witnessed with Bhullar. The player gets cold feet, or gets a better offer elsewhere, or his family talks him out of the commitment, and Xavier is left following other recruits. As Xavier continues to compete for better and better recruits and against more high-profile programs, we're probably going to see this happen more often.

The other problem is even more insidious: the player comes to Xavier, but he's not the player Muskies fans were expecting. This can obviously happen when a player isn't able to make the transition from high school to college, or finds out he doesn't fit in the program like he thought he would. When this is the case, hopefully the player and the program recognize it in time for the player to transfer out.

It's even more frustrating when it happens before the player gets on campus. As Ballin' is a Habit took pains to work out, players can move up and down the rankings at the drop of a hat. During the month of July, former Xavier recruit Kareem Canty dropped from being a consensus top-100 player to not being ranked by any of the five major scouting services. During that time, Xavier chose to sign Semaj Christon instead. This isn't to say that Christon will be better than Canty in college or that either or both will go on to have a good career. It's just a word of warning that not every player who projects as All-Conference in the summer will be so highly touted when he gets to campus. Some of them won't even carry that regard through the fall.