What do you think of when you think of New Jersey? Probably the boardwalk, or that one reality show, or the questionable nature of the nickname "the Garden State," or gambling. I'll tell you what you should think of: 8 PPG, because that's what a New Jersey native's value to the Xavier program is.
|New Jersey totals||137||49||3088||1095||551||153||8.0||4.0||1.1|
Not only did those guys combine to average 8.0 PPG, they each averaged 8.0 PPG on their own. That's obviously likely to change as Myles keeps playing for Xavier, but it's an interesting statistical artifact right now. Anyway...
Travis Taylor's path to Xavier was non-traditional even by transfer standards. After leaving Monmouth, he considered offers from Seton Hall and Temple before signing with Boston College. BC then announced that it had not been aware that Taylor was suspended for 7 games while at Monmouth the previous season and nullified the arrangement. Taylor then visited Xavier and Cinci while also receiving interest from Florida and Arizona State before signing with X. He came in with a reputation as an athletic and energetic player who could score the ball.
Taylor averaged 4.5 points his junior year before throwing up 11.9 per game as a senior. That jump was as much about opportunity as development; while he was admittedly not dynamite in his first year in the A-10, he averaged 12 and 10 per 40 minutes as a junior and 15 and 11 per 40 as a senior. He was one productive bright spot in an otherwise fairly dark season at X.
Myles Davis also didn't follow the normal path to campus. Like Jalen Reynolds, he used a prep year and then was ruled an academic non-qualifier by having his named pulled out of a hat by the NCAA. Myles was recruited primarily as a shooter, but scouting reports late in his pre-college career showed that he was trying to add some point guard skills as well. On-ball defense was cited as his greatest weakness, and Xavier beat out interest from Georgetown, Nova, and Pitt to sign him.
When Myles finally was allowed to play, the scouting report as a shooter with some point guard skills and slow feet on defense held true. What has been nice to see for Xavier fans is Myles's competitive spirit spill over into the Dante Jackson role as de facto on-court leader. He will cajole, remonstrate with, and occasionally berate his teammates into their best results, and he's so committed to team unity that he'll dap them up even when they aren't there.
I've liked what has come out of New Jersey for Xavier. Both players have been hardworking, energetic, and oriented towards team first. They also keep themselves out of trouble off the court, which is nice to see. I'm not sure everyone from Jersey is like that - Sterling Gibbs would seem to indicate to the contrary - but a few more Myles Davises or Travis Taylors wouldn't break my heart to see at X.