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Player Preview: Makinde London

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Makinde London comes on to campus the beneficiary of an eight inch growth spurt. Will the guard turned big man become the stretch four that Coach Mack desires?

Why are my bigs 30 feet from the bucket? Isn't that a foul?
Why are my bigs 30 feet from the bucket? Isn't that a foul?
Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

Makinde London is the beneficiary of something that most basketball players dream about and pray for, but never receive. As a 6'1" freshman in high school, London was a decent player but not really on the radar of the major programs in the nation. Then he grew eight inches. After playing as a guard for the start of his high school career, London suddenly became a player who could handle the ball and shoot but had the body of a big. He also doesn't struggle for jumping ability.

Well, kind of in the body of a big. Now standing 6-10, London still only weighs 210 pounds. Not a star for Montverde Academy, London put up a .441/.380/.741 shooting line for a team that went 28-0. London is an extremely developed shooter for a big man and can still run and move with the agility of a guard. For comparison, London weighs in at four pounds less than Georgetown's star guard Devauntes Smith-Rivera. Whether or not Makinde's slight frame can stand up to a season full of Division One beating will become one of the major questions of the Xavier season.

Best case scenario:

A stretch four who can set the high screen and linger 21 feet from the basket must be the kind of thing Coach Mack creates when he plays NBA 2k15. Anyone who remembers Kenny Frease standing, usually befuddled, out near the top of key will be excited at the thought of someone who can shoot the ball being out there. London fits that bill and, with his ability to move, can get free to fire away. Creating even more slashing lines for Xavier's plethora of skilled guards would, in turn, lead to even more pick and pop situations and treat Musketeer fans to the site of two 6-10 chucking it from the cheap seats. In that scenario, London could average ten plus minutes and knock in a bucket or two per game.

Worst case scenario:

The James Farr virtual redshirt. Farr played 42 minutes his freshman year and basically spent last year trying to acclimatize to the game after having burned a season of eligibility. Hopefully Coach Mack has learned from that mistake and doesn't do the same thing to Makinde London. While it's tempting to have the big man's touch and game changing shooting ability on the floor, that can't be allowed to turn into a situation that leaves London playing two minutes here, a minute there, and nothing once the Big East starts.

Most likely scenario:

Coach Mack mentioned that redshirts may occur, and it seems Makinde London could be a candidate for one of them. 210 pounds stretched across six feet and ten inches of human being doesn't leave a lot of bulk to go around. While London has to be commended for his work in the weight room, he's still rail thin. A redshirt would give him a chance to develop his body to catch up to his skill. If he does play, his shot will get him the time needed to score two or three points per game while he grabs a rebound or two. He'll also generate a lot of excitement when he's on the floor.