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Player Preview: Edmond Sumner

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The lanky combo guard has electrifying upside, especially on offense, but where does he fit in to a crowded backcourt at X?

Edmond came here to do two things: score points, and make ridiculous faces.
Edmond came here to do two things: score points, and make ridiculous faces.
USA TODAY Sports

Edmond Sumner is a name that should have been on the minds of Xavier fans for the better part of 18 months by the time he finally suits up for the Muskies. Sumner is an electrifying 6'5" combo guard from Detroit who boasts a wide array of offensive talents, enough so that he spurned his home state's two Big Ten giants, Michigan and Michigan State, to commit to Xavier way back in May of 2013. For X fans looking forward to this season, Sumner has been a name that is somewhat under the radar but, according to scouting reports on the young man, maybe he shouldn't be.

To see Sumner's upside is also to see the areas where he is raw, as well. First of all, Sumner is explosively athletic, boasting elite level quickness and leaping ability. The main reason for this quickness is Sumner's six and a half foot frame is only graced by a lean 170 pounds, up about 20 from when he first committed to X. Sumner's main struggles will be twofold: he is still a bit lightweight for the physical guards Xavier sees in Big East play, and he is still a work in progress when it comes to taking care off the ball. His stats in Brazil emphasize his strengths- he scored 33 points on 15 field goal attempts, shooting .600/.500/.923- and his weaknesses- he pulled down 5 rebounds, the fewest of any of the ten players who logged 50 or more minutes, and turned the ball over 15 times to only 6 assists, obviously not good. Sumner's rather all or nothing performance in Brazil gave hints to his talents, and showed Xavier fans what he is capable of, both good and bad.

Best Case Scenario:

Luckily for Xavier, Sumner walks into a situation more reminiscent of Dee Davis or Dante Jackson as a freshman than, say, Tu Holloway. Edmond will not be required to be the primary ball handler, with several players on the roster being suited for that role, Sumner only does what he is good at. That happens to be scoring a lot in a short amount of time and his mercurial bursts of offensive output make Xavier fans ignore that he employs a very non-discriminatory passing policy at times. Sumner becomes a vital cog on offense by the end of the year as a quick, dependable scoring option to pair with a more steady hand in the back court.

Worst Case Scenario:

Sumner's lack of bulk can be worrying and, if the zebras are not sympathetic, could exacerbate his turnover problems. Losing confidence early on, Sumner's hesitant when it comes to scoring as well and becomes lost in the shuffle of backcourt talent. While we are being negative, we'll say all tv's turn black and white for no reason as well.

Most Likely Scenario:

Probably closer to best case, if I had to guess. Sumner could conceivably be deployed as a 3 if X went extremely small, but if his early season showings give him confidence that he can perform at this level, he could be a viable bench scorer, deployed best in some of the barn burner-type games Xavier had last year against Creighton.