Welcome! Another basketball season has finally begun, which means it's time to update the Xavier power rankings. These rankings are cumulative for the whole season and reflect only the opinions of the author. They are based on not just a player's statistical production but also how he performs his role, how the team plays with him on the floor, and how he makes me feel when I see him checking in at the scorer's table. If you think I'm wrong, please feel free to point out how you could have done it better.
12. RaShid Gaston
By virtue of not being eligible to play, RaShid did not play this game. I suspect he will - through no fault of his own - will spend a lot of time this year at #12 on this list unless someone really hacks me off.
11. Makinde London
The fact that London was the only scholarship player not to get on the floor in the opener probably speaks volumes about how Coach Mack sees him right now. After Mack curtly dismissed playing time concerns for London in the presser after the exhibition game, it's hard to see a quick way back in for Makinde.
10. Sean O'Mara
O'Mara is averaging 20 rebounds per 40 minutes this season. He's also averaging 20 fouls per 40 minutes. If Xavier continues to run a smaller lineup, he appears to be the current odd man out in the frontcourt.
9. Larry Austin, Jr.
I really like LAJ, and I think he has a big role to play in this team. Ed Sumner played 25 minutes on Friday and Myles Davis led the team in assists while having zero turnovers. Larry had 11 minutes and his only stats were 2 personal fouls. He'll move forward from here, but that wasn't a great first step.
8. Kaiser Gates
One thing Gates isn't is shy. Depending on how you weight free throw attempts, he may have led the team in usage rate, and he certainly didn't let misses dissuade him from lifting again. He didn't shoot well, but he had four boards in ten minutes.
7. Remy Abell
Like Myles, Remy was hardly in midseason form. He shot 2-7/1-4/1-1. More importantly, he wasn't as destructive to Miami's efforts when he was playing defense as you would have liked to see. It wasn't his fault Xavier got picked apart in the man-to-man, but his calling card is defense and we needed more of it.
6. James Farr
When Xavier went big, Miami had no answer. Farr helped Jalen clean up on the glass, but he didn't score effectively and he turned the ball over three times. A couple more made baskets - or a couple fewer attempts - would be nice to see out of James.
5. Myles Davis
Myles came out of the locker room like gangbusters, drilling a three, drawing a charge, and being the emotional catalyst for the Muskies' second-half run. That was his only made basket on the evening though; he has to be a bigger part of the offense for this team to reach its potential.
4. Trevon Bluiett
Trevon had a weird game, or at least one I'm having a weird time reacting to. It's hard to say too much bad about his 10/6/3 line with a steal and a turnover. On the other hand, it was Miami (OH) and our leading returning scorer never really imposed himself on the game. I'm withholding judgment early.
3. JP Macura
#MVJP! The good: 17 points in 21 minutes, a complete fearlessness in big moments, and somehow only one foul. The bad: Coach Mack said there were a couple of occasions that Miami got open looks because JP didn't know what defense the team was in; that's obviously not good. I love his confidence and his effort though; this kid's going to be a legend.
2. Edmond Sumner
What a first game of the season for a freshman, if not a true debut. So smooth, so aggressive, so skilled. He made a couple of freshman errors, but for the most part he was the best and certainly most dynamic offensive force Xavier had on the floor.
1. Jalen Reynolds
On the other hand, 16/15/3 with 4 steals is hard to argue with. Jalen came out really cranked up, which contributed to his 6 (!) turnovers, but other than that his performance was unimpeachable. Miami couldn't stop him from doing whatever he wanted to on the glass and in the lane. Apparently he was just cruising through the preseason.