For the figurative dozens of you who asked (the literal number of you who asked isn't meaningful right now), we pushed back the power rankings a day because Xavier played on Monday. Now the Musketeers are rising from their beds and - much like they did with the AP poll yesterday - checking their phones and twitter accounts to see where they have landed in this most important of numbered lists. Without further ado, here are this week's Xavier power rankings.
12. RaShid Gaston
I'll be honest, the gap from here to 11th has shrunk significantly since last time we did this.
11. Sean O'Mara
Grabbed three minutes last night and handled the ball like it had been
thoroughly greased. A tough showing for him so far. I believe in you, Sean; I just need you to show me a little something. Anything, really.
10. Kaiser Gates
Positives: energy, effort. Negatives: looking like he knows what he's doing or what is going on around him. He's not bashful, I'll give him that. The game has clearly sped up on him a bit, which is natural for a freshman.
9. Makinde London
Just by virtue of not making a negative contribution, Makinde was the standout of the bench bigs (non-Farr division) over the past week. Beyond that, it's hard to make too much of a judgment on a guy who has played 6.2% of the available minutes. Maybe that number is a judgment in and of itself.
8. Larry Austin, Jr.
Larry played last night like a guy feeling the heat of a younger, taller, more explosive player slowly taking his minutes. What Xavier needs out of him is for him to be the safe option, like he was against Michigan. He doesn't need to run through traffic making plays and stocking a YouTube reel; 12-15 minutes of low-turnover ball and hard-nosed defense will help Larry carve out his niche on this team.
7. Edmond Sumner
To me, there's a big gap between the top seven, then LAJ, then the bottom four. Sumner has been basically exactly what we thought he'd be: a dynamic, game-changing point guard who suffers from the kind of mistakes freshmen make from time to time. He's often overeager heading into the lane and he's prone to overdribbling, but he's also occasionally unstoppable. You take the good with the bad and let him grow at this point.
6. JP Macura
Even with last night's lackluster performance, JP has been a sensation off the bench. He leads the team in ORtg and is third in OReb%, behind only Jalen and James. He excels at drawing fouls and does pretty well at caring for and distributing the basketball. Defense remains a work in progress, and his DReb% is almost comically low because he can really only be safely deployed at the top of the 1-3-1.
5. Jalen Reynolds
Jalen is shooting 42.3% from inside the arc, which I don't have to tell you is horrible. It's too early in the season to be super concerned about that, but it's far enough in to make that something to keep an eye on. He is 1-2 from deep and fairly dominant on the glass though. He'll move up when he starts being the reliable post scorer that Xavier needs him to be.
4. Remy Abell
I don't know why this guy doesn't hunt shots more, but he scores really efficiently in the opportunities that he does take. He struggled to handle Caris LeVert, but there's not too much shame in that. Other than that, he has been solid defensively, avoided foul trouble, and scored big baskets when the team has needed them. On a squad full of scorers, he's a perfect perimeter glue guy.
3. Myles Davis
Yes, he's shooting badly. On the other hand, he has taken a bigger role in initiating the offense without increasing the rate at which he turns the ball over. He's third on the team in assist rate and is clearly the emotional leader on the floor. The shots will start falling; he appeared to kind of turn the corner with a 2-5 from deep last night.
2. James Farr
Maybe I'm getting carried away, but James has been huge so far this year. He is crushing the boards at both ends, playing high-intensity basketball, and even showing some moves around the rim. That 10-11 mark from the line is pretty sweet, too. If he can develop a counter move for when opponents take him off of his left hand, he'll break out in a big way for his senior year.
1. Trevon Bluiett
Xavier's leading scorer is also the team's second-best defensive rebounder. This is especially important with Trevon working as a small four for most of the time he's out there. He never looks like he's trying to take over a game on the offensive end, but he's certainly not shy about getting his shots up. His shooting is down a tick from where we expect it to be, but he has been Xavier's most consistently valuable piece through four games.