Xavier is experiencing a roster turnover not usually seen outside of Madden sessions with 16 year olds. While Coach Mack hasn't actually traded anyone, his roster for this season barely resembles the one that limped off the court in Dayton last March. Joel laid out the groundwork Monday, and we're going to spend the rest of the week taking a slightly more in depth look at Xavier's incoming talent.
In part one of the series we had a look at the players most likely to impact the team instantly. The second part of the series focused on who would take a bit longer to develop. Whichever category the new players fall into though, they will have an impact on the fans. Tu Holloway took his time developing and was beloved by the time he left (crushing UC will do that for you), Semaj Christon was ready right away and was immediately a crowd favorite.
- Who will be a Xavier fan favorite?
The numbers of Brazil have had dubious merit on the previous discussions and have absolutely no use here. Fan favorites seem to come in two forms. One is the star player who isn't too aloof to drive away fans. Holloway, Christon, and David West all fit this bill. The second kind of fan favorite is the Brad Redford mold. Redford did one thing, he did it well, and he did it with the combination of a lot of swagger and a smile on his face. That kind of thing will also win over fans who may otherwise not be inclined to overlook your other faults.
That leaves two likely candidates out of Xavier's incoming seven. Trevon Bluiett is the star of the incoming class. he's going to get buckets, and he's going to do with what appears to be ease. If he has a little bit of killer in him like Semaj and Tu did, he's going to make a name for himself, and quickly. The other player like to grab center stage soon is JP Macura. A Redford level gunner, Macura is six inches taller than Brad but possessed of the same level of confidence that when he catches the ball, it's going in.
- Who are opposing fans going to grow to hate?
While the oppositions fans will deride the same players that the home fans come to love, there will always be a special level of hate reserved for one type of player. Defensive stoppers are never much loved by the opposition, and neither are guys who get by on hustle and graft. That means that Remy Abell figures to be the target of a lot of vitriol wherever Xavier travels.
Abell is going to draw the oppositions best guard and his job is going to be to frustrate him. Abell has a reputation as being a good defender who is also something of a tireless runner. He will most likely be starting and harrying opposing players from the off. More than just being nuisance, Abell is going to be a large part of Coach Mack's gameplan. His ability to stay with smaller guards will leave Dee Davis free to sit in passing lanes or at least just get a break. That will keep Dee from suffering the fatigue and damage his body seems to accumulate toward the end of seasons.
Actually, maybe Remy Abell will be a fan favorite.