The rotation is really tightening up as Xavier heads into the middle of the conference schedule. As discussed elsewhere on this site, the number of guys who are viable against Northern Arizona at home is necessarily larger than the number of guys who can hold their own at Georgetown. Does this mean the team is less deep than we first imagined, or just that Coach Mack is trying to leverage his resources to get the most bang for his buck? I suppose that depends on what you think of Mack himself. Meanwhile, he is where the roster stands in my mind.
13 and 12. Makinde London and Edmond Sumner
Both of these guys are not contributing much right now. It should be noted that London will step into a frontcourt populated by James Farr, Jalen Reynolds, Sean O'Mara, and Kaiser Gates next year, while Sumner will be fighting for a point guard position that could very well be a one on one battle between him and Larry Austin, Jr.
11. Sean O'Mara
With the bigs settling into their roles and the team looking increasingly like it will only play one true post at a time, O'Mara finds himself the odd man out in the shuffle for minutes.
10. Larry Austin, Jr.
Starting against Nova. Has played three minutes since. Part of that is down to his ankle injury, but it's still not immediately clear to me that he's bringing a vital contribution this year.
9. Brandon Randolph
Randolph played eight minutes against DePaul. Without peeking, when do you suppose the last time he played that much was? I'll answer in the Dee Davis section. In the meantime, me and @muskiefan3 still believe he might have something to offer, but Chris Mack and most objective observers seem to agree he's headed out the door.
8. James Farr
His rebounding rates are still strong and his shooting numbers have actually come up recently, but he's just not in on that much action on the offensive end. With defense being the buzzword for the team going forward, James is going to be the third of three big men at this point.
7. JP Macura
A 44-minute week isn't bad for Macura. His defensive game is built for a zone. Not only does he struggle to defend a man, but he sniffs out action in the passing lanes very well. He's shooting 53% from inside the arc in conference play but only 26% from beyond it; it's probable that he may be running into the same freshman wall Myles did last year.
6. Jalen Reynolds
Reynolds is now only four boards off of James Farr's pace for second-leading rebounder on the team. His playing time is largely dependent on his ability to stay out of foul trouble and avoid doing anything stupid. The technical he picked up at the end of the first half on Saturday was not an auspicious sign for either, but he has shown real growth in both areas this season.
5. Myles Davis
Myles has really shown a more varied offensive game this year, and it was on full display against DePaul. He was nails from the line, kept the team in the game in the first half, and relentlessly attacked the rim when it was clear his jumper wasn't falling. To top it all off, he defended with energy in the second half and did work on the boards. Shooting 14-25 from the floor on the week doesn't hurt.
4. Trevon Bluiett
Bluiett is warming back up on offense, and a lot of it has to do with shot selection. He's doing better the closer to the rim he plays (obviously), and a combination of cutting off the ball and attacking the offensive glass has allowed him to shoot layups. His talk about trying to lock in on defense and let that spill over into his offensive play is also encouraging to hear.
3. Dee Davis
The last time Brandon Randolph played at least eight minutes in a game was against Auburn on 12/20/14. Dee is averaging 35:24 of playing time in games played in 2015. He's shooting over 50% from inside the arc in conference play, but his total efficiency is dragged down by a horrible 5-27 mark from deep. Beyond that, nobody on this roster comes close to pulling the strings like Dee does.
2. Remy Abell
This one is tough for me. If I were the coach, he'd be averaging 39 minutes and 40 seconds of playing time a game and be doubtlessly the most vital part of the machine. I'm not the coach though, so I'm just stuck here trying to figure out why the team's best defender and most efficient scorer is only getting three more minutes per game than JP Macura over the last four games.
1. Matt Stainbrook
The Stain Train is back. After a slow start to the season that saw him as only the second or third least replaceable player on the team, Stainbrook has regained the top spot. Defense is going to be the key to the season for Xavier, and Matt Stainbrook can be the key to the defense. Not just that he is a good interior defender, but that his prowess on offense allows Coach Mack to put the four defenders who fit the best around him and trust that running the offense through Stainbrook will still lead to points. The inside-out game he played against DePaul fueled that second-half rally, and there's not a single other player on the roster who can make that happen.