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Xavier power rankings, week seven

The team's best two players were the team's best two players again this week.

This guy is balling out right now.
This guy is balling out right now.
Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

The turn of the year is nearly upon us, and that means that conference basketball is just around the corner. With a couple of notable exceptions, every game from here on out is going to be a dogfight for Xavier. The Big East is loaded with talented teams that execute well; the Muskies are going to have to be at their best individually and collectively to make it through the conference season with their tournament resume burnished to a high shine.

Today's rankings are almost completely about the individual.

13. Makinde London
London has not participated in the collective yet this year, though he did help some kids shoot layups after the game last night, which I thought was very nice of him.

12. Edmond Sumner
Poor guy is down for the year, so he slides to this slot. Let's hope he's getting healthy, Makinde is getting big, and a whole bunch of opposing fans are going to be very upset about this time next year when they're both on the court again.

11. Larry Austin, Jr.
I was excited to see ol' Larry check in against FGCU. I was less excited to see him pick up the trillion. I still believe that he has the potential to become a very good college player, but I'm struggling to see where he fits into the squad this year or moving forward.

10. Sean O'Mara
The thing about having a team that runs ten deep is that someone who is pretty okay is also tenth on the depth chart. O'Mara is a bully on the glass - sometimes more so than the refs can allow - and surprisingly deft in the paint on offense. He is an excellent depth option in the middle, and his potential to be a Jason Love-type center in the future is evident.

9. Brandon Randolph
Last game: 6 minutes, no stats
Last seven games: 13 minutes per game, game line of 2.9/1.1/1.4

In those last seven games, Randolph does only have 6 turnovers. It's hard to know what to make of him right now, but his minutes have been on a steady decline since the team boarded the plane for California. Is this just an effect of Dee getting healthy? Coach Mack tightening the rotation? Or is he just not doing enough in practice to earn the minutes?

8. James Farr
On the one hand, Farr had nine boards - including five offensive boards - against FGCU. Xavier needs to seem him flying to the glass like that. On the other hand, he led the team in usage rate yesterday despite not shooting very well, even from the line. Teams are going to hang off Farr and dare him to shoot at this point; he needs to either be better at making them pay or better at picking his spots.

7. JP Macura
There's a theory going around - okay, it was posted by one commenter - that JP Macura's aggressiveness and swagger are the keys to this team. Indeed, Coach Mack was adjuring the team in the huddle all game to play with energy and focus, and JP could be seen verbally interacting with an opponent while the three-pointer he made was still in the air. Macura makes things happen all over the floor and the game is usually better for it.

6. Jalen Reynolds
Jalen continues to play well, but he also continues to average nearly seven fouls per 40 minutes of play. It's just not practical to leave him on the floor when he is mugging people like that. His production and playing time will - or at least should - rise and fall on the back of his ability to not foul people.

5. Myles Davis
Shooting atones for a multitude of sins, and Myles is shooting the ball as well as anyone on the team right now. The ability to bury a big three when the other team is making a run is key, and Davis has shown a knack for that this year. I'm sure you all remember how poorly he was shooting at the end of last season; let's all hope he's got more legs under him this year.

4. Dee Davis
Dee was not spectacular against FGCU, too often eschewing pulling the ball out in favor of running into a crowd of guys nine inches taller than him and throwing up a scoop shot. Other than that he was fine, so hopefully he got it all out of his system before Big East play begins.

3. Trevon Bluiett
Still the team's leading scorer, but Bluiett has been scuffling of late. His 4/5/3 with 2 steals on 2-9/0-2/0-0 shooting showed his ability to stay in the game when he's not getting buckets, but Xavier needs him to be able to provide reliable punch from the wing in the starting lineup. Since he is a freshman coming back from his first every holiday break, I'm not too concerned about his dip in form.

2. Matt Stainbrook
The top is close this week, as Stainbrook had a vintage Stain Train performance with 11/7/4 on 4-6/0-0/3-6(eesh) shooting. Doubling him is like blitzing a great quarterback; all he's going to do is keep his head and find the open man. He also felt a defender forcing him right on the post and scored with ease to his right hand. If he mixes that in more often, he may well become unplayable for opponents.

1. Remy Abell
What can you say? Bernard Thompson clearly didn't want any, and Abell went for a cool 13 points on 6-8/1-1/0-0 shooting and a microscopic 13% usage rate on the offensive end. At this point it looks like he's just picking spots in which he's almost totally sure he can score, and he's not often wrong. Abell is eating right now and is deservedly atop the power rankings again this week.