Of the nearly two dozen Muskies who have agreed to come to Xavier to play under Coach Mack, only two have come from either California (Brandon Randolph) or New York (Kamall Richards). Plenty of good ballplayers come out of those two states and it's never bad to have a presence in two of the larger markets to be had, but - from a basketball perspective - it's hard to see how Xavier's forays to the coasts could have turned out much more empty than they did. We're going to be counting up through each state in reverse order of points scored for Xavier; it's probably not a good sign that combining these two states still leaves them in last place.
|New York totals||7||23||5||4||2||0.7||0.6||0.3|
Scout, ESPN, and Rivals all had Kamall Richards listed as a three-star recruit, citing his toughness and athleticism on the wing. He featured good one-on-one skills and a quick first step, but his shooting was highlighted (highlit?) as an area of concern. Penn State, Saint Joe's, Seton Hall, and Duquesne were all in on Richards before he chose Xavier.
Ultimately Kamall was underwhelming and unlucky at Xavier. He had few chances to get real minutes despite not playing on a deep team, then he had a season-ending knee injury. Richards transferred out after one year, landing at Harcum College. In 24 games there last season, he put up 16.6/6.4/2.2 on .422/.293/.724 shooting.
Brandon Randolph was an ESPN100 guard out of California and a consensus four-star player when he signed with Xavier. He was scouted as a shot-hunting point guard with the ability to get onto his right hand against almost anyone to get to the rim or pull up in the mid-range. Ball distribution, long-range shooting, and the weak hand were all considered to be works in progress, but his skills when running at a defender were unquestionable. The fact that Arizona State, Missouri, Providence, and Virginia Tech led a long list of schools Xavier beat for Randolph's signature only heightened the anticipation of his arrival.
For the life of me I'm still not sure what happened. Randolph started both of his seasons at Xavier fairly brightly before watching them fade into a lengthy stretch of limited minutes and DNP-CDs. There must have been something showing up in practices or on deep film study that doomed him, because it was never clear (at least to me) that his output merited being consigned to the bench for periods of time more traditionally measured with calendars than clocks. For my part, I still clung to the notion that he had something to offer the program long after the evidence indicated that he didn't.
I'm not sure what to make of the success (or lack thereof) of Xavier's forays into New York and California for talent. The results seem to indicate that going far from home leaves Xavier with less leverage to land top-notch players, but that ignores how in demand Brandon Randolph was when he signed on for X. I like the idea that Xavier's recruiting footprint stretches from coast to coast and into the biggest markets out there, but there is certainly question to be raised regarding whether or not it's worth the effort for the Muskies to trek around the continent to pursue recruits.