clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Where is Xavier Without Semaj?

The Muskies' point guard just jumped to the draft. Where does that leave the team heading into next year?

Lots of Xs there.
Lots of Xs there.
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The good news, of course, is that Xavier's roster crunch has cleared up. With Semaj gone, there are now 13 scholarship players for 13 scholarships. Perfect. With the amount of talent coming in and returning, it was easy to dream of a big season for the Musketeers. Now what?

We could be looking at a frontcourt dominated team the likes of which we haven't seen during the Coach Mack era. Matt Stainbrook is almost unquestionably the most important returning player now. Justin Martin will have to build on the strides he made this year but will come back as the team's most explosive returning scorer.

Jalen Reynolds has the most breakout potential of the returning players, but it will also be interesting to see which James Farr shows up for the season. None of these guys is a guard.

Dee Davis is, though. He will be the man at the helm for Xavier in his senior year. The rest of the returning backcourt players are question marks. Myles Davis's shooting ability would be a huge plus, but I think the real key will be Brandon Randolph. He will be the only other ballhandler with experience in the system. He has to be able to gives Xavier viable minutes alongside Dee or to give him a rest.

The reason shooting will - or at least should - be less of a concern is the depth of shooters coming in for X. Indiana transfer Remy Abell is a big-bodied two guard who can really shoot it as well as being a good defender. Freshman JP Macura and Trevon Bluiett can both fill it up from deep. Macura is a shooting guard and Bluiett is a wing who can also score by putting the ball on the deck.

Finally, freshman Ed Sumner is a lanky point guard with great handle and plus athleticism who can score at the rim with both hands. With Semaj on the floor, he would have been in position to get good minutes backing up the guard positions. Now he may well be thrown directly into the fire.

This is still a stacked roster at this point, but the ceiling on the season is lowered with Semaj gone. A lot will hinge on how the players develop over the summer and how soon the freshmen are up to speed.