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Xavier power rankings, week nine

The Muskies continue their home/road holding pattern as a team, but the individual contributions keep shuffling.

Playing defense makes you stand out on this team.
Playing defense makes you stand out on this team.
Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

Xavier wins at home in the middle of the week and then loses on the road, erasing the previously established momentum/good feelings. That has been the Musketeer's pattern this season, but I predict it's going to end this week. I don't have a big bomb to drop on you or anything, it's just that Xavier's road loss is scheduled for this Wednesday against 'Nova to lead up to their home win over Marquette rather than the other way 'round.

Xavier is going to have to pick up some wins away from home at some point, as Cintas is not a host city for the NCAA tournament. Rather than dwelling on that unpleasant reality, why don't you read this week's power rankings?

13 and 12. The redshirt guys
My goodness do we ever look like we need Edmond Sumner right now. I'm not sure how much of a difference Makinde London would make on the glass since he is redshirting to get bigger, but Xavier is crying out for a backup point guard and Ed Sumner could possibly be that. I know he got the redshirt because he's not healthy enough to play, but I wish he were.

11. Sean O'Mara
O'Mara hasn't been getting off the bench lately. With how hard Xavier got beaten on the glass against Butler, I wouldn't have minded seeing him get a bite of the action there.

10. Larry Austin
The fact that he is still not getting minutes despite Xavier's deep need at point guard is probably not an encouraging sign regarding his current capabilities.

9. Brandon Randolph
In the last 5 games, Randolph has gotten 22 minutes, capped by his DNP against Butler. He hadn't been playing that poorly heading into Christmas break, but apparently Coach Mack didn't like something he saw over the holiday, because Randolph has scarcely touched the floor since.

8. JP Macura
As play gets more physical, JP gets more peripheral. He's a freshman in a freshman's body, but he's working hard out there and isn't backing down. There are big things to come from this kid, but he's having a little bit of trouble in his first trip through the Big East.

7. Myles Davis
Did basically nothing this week, putting up a total of 8/2/4 on 1-8/1-6/5-6 shooting in 42 minutes played. He didn't get a whole lot of time against Butler, likely tied into the fact that he can't really defend. He shoots too early in the possession from time to time, but it's hard to say I wouldn't have the confidence to do that if I weren't shooting a cool 45% from deep on the year.

6. James Farr
Farr has started to come out of his season-long shooting slump. His production on the glass has faded a little bit, but he is still an elite rebounder. Defense is an issue for him, but that doesn't make him unique on this roster. Adding consistency is the next big step for the Xavier junior.

5. Jalen Reynolds
When Jalen is engaged, he's as hard to stop as just about anyone in the league. Unfortunately, sometimes his concentration seems to wane. Other times his propensity for fouling keeps him from finding a rhythm. If he doesn't derail himself, there aren't a lot of players in the league who can do it for him.

4. Trevon Bluiett
Still the team's leading scorer. He followed the second-half explosion at DePaul with a very solid 13/7/2 against Seton Hall this Wednesday. His 9/5/2 against Butler came on 4-10/1-5/0-1 shooting, which obviously isn't sterling, and he also fouled out. Defensive issues keep him from being #3 this week, but the guy is just a freshman and already is showing a world of potential.

3. Dee Davis
Dee had a very good game against Seton Hall and was right around average against Butler. More importantly, he can handle the ball and initiate the offense, which is a skill apparently nobody else on the roster has. He still drives into traffic without a clear plan too much, but the questions we had in the preseason about how the minutes were going to get divided in the back court have been answered at this point.

2. Matt Stainbrook
It turns out that, when he gets the ball close to the basket, Matt Stainbrook is still a powerful offensive force. None of the big men exactly bathed themselves in glory on the glass against Butler, but Stainbrook was the best of a bad lot there and was also solid in his rebounding efforts against Seton Hall at home. The big lefty remains a key cog in the machine.

1. Remy Abell
Where would this team be without Remy? A game after hectoring Sterling Gibbs into a poor performance, he was closer to Kellen Dunham than his own shadow through most of the game at Butler. A combination of defensive letdowns in the few moments Abell was off the floor and the defensive insufficiency of the rest of the team made that a moot point, but his work on top perimeter scorers has been amazing. He also continues to score the basketball in an incredibly efficient manner.