The long summer is not entirely over, but the first unified steps towards the beginning of basketball season are finally being taken. Xavier began practice today, marking their first time together as a team since having their tournament hopes undone at the hands of TJ Warren and NC State 126 days ago. If that seems like a long time, that's because it is.
Since then, Xavier has added seven new uniformed players to the roster, welcoming a heralded freshman class of guards Ed Sumner, Larry Austin, Jr., and JP Macura, wing Trevon Bluiett, and big men Makinde London, and Sean O'Mara, as newly-eligible guard Remy Abell. Departing are graduating seniors Isaiah Philmore and Erik Stenger, post-graduate transfer Justin Martin, regular transfer Kamall Richards, and NBA draftee Semaj Christon. We'll cover all of the new players and the roster action in more detail as we get closer to the actual season, but that's a quick and dirty look to get you up to speed. Consult the chart below for Xavier's current scholarship status.
The Muskies are preparing for a nine-day "cultural and athletic" trip to Brazil that will run from 8/3-8/12. They will play four games against top level Brazilian club and professional squads as well as earning three credit hours by participating in a program that will blend an understanding of business with an emphasis on cultural competence and social justice. The students will prepare for the trip during the month of July by studying the cultural, political, economic and consumer climate in Brazil.
Obviously, the Brazil trip should prove to be a very valuable tool in helping a team that is adding more new players than it has returning ones. An early chance to bond on and off the court could help this collection of talented players turn into a team that is capable of doing damage in the NCAA tournament. In the meantime, though, it's just nice to be able to talk about them back together and on the court.
Xavier practicing today in new jerseys that they'll be wearing in Brazil http://t.co/WE2YCnPMn3— Rick Broering (@RickBroering) July 21, 2014
James Farr gets his dunk on at #xavier's first practice. pic.twitter.com/77JaTEGTa9— Shannon Russell (@slrussell) July 21, 2014