All this week Joel is taking a look at where Xavier's current players might go as they develop. Seeing the future laid out in front of JP, Trevon, and Myles is exciting, especially considering the talent that is coming on board this season and next. Xavier looks like the program that has placed players in the NBA and just saw Derrick Brown garner another two year contract to play professionally in Turkey.
The most lauded recent player to come from the program was Semaj Christon. After the 2013-14 season, he decided to take the chance on a future in the NBA. On draft night, Christon was taken in the second round by the Miami Heat for the Charlotte Hornets, and then immediately traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Christon played for OKC in the NBA summer league and averaged 11.2/2.2/2.7 on 48.5% shooting in 26 minutes per contest. Those numbers are good, but they didn't land Semaj on the Thunder. Instead, he headed for the D League.
Semaj landed in a unique situation in the D League in that the Oklahoma City Blue play in the exact same city as the parent club. For the Blue, Semaj was the same player that Xavier fans remember, for good and for bad. A D League All-Star, he averaged 18.6/3.6/5.6 on .435/.250/.786 shooting. The three point percentage remains a concern, but Semaj ironed out the free throw issues that occasionally plagued him and earned third team All D League honors. In two games in the playoffs, Semaj went for 22.5/2.5/9 in an impressive showing.
Currently, Christon is behind one of the best backcourts in the NBA. However, there is an opening at backup point guard that it seems like Semaj could fit into. Rumors abound that Cam Payne may be involved in trying to get that spot, but Christon has several more years of experience playing basketball at a high level and seems to be better positioned.
Spending a week projecting where Xavier's current players will go lends itself to a bit of a look back as well. Semaj Christon landed at Xavier with a world full of potential and the guts to gamble on it after only two years. For now, he's stuck just below the level he left in an attempt to reach, but his future still looks very bright.