clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Xavier’s ’15-’16 question marks shouldn’t overshadow the team’s certainties

LAJ brings aggression to the fast break
LAJ brings aggression to the fast break
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

If you don't know what Xavier's question marks are at this point in time, it's likely because you haven't been paying attention. If you're in that boat, let me recap for you: it's not entirely clear who will be the point guard, it's not entirely clear what the defensive strategy will be or if it will be effective, and it's not entirely clear what the front court depth chart looks like behind Jalen Reynolds and James Farr. There, now you're all caught up. Let's talk about what we do know (or at least think we know) about this team.

This team will be able to score the basketball

Jalen Reynolds can go off for big points at the drop of a hat, but he's the team's only established scoring big man. The array of guys on this roster who can get the ball outside of five feet and remain a scoring threat is just shy of staggering. Trevon Bluiett is the leading returning scorer; he can shoot from the catch or the dribble and has a certain guile about his game that can't be taught. It's hard to imagine a man of JP Macura's demeanor and skill set not continuing to progress. Myles Davis wants the big moment and generally knows what to do with it when it arrives. Remy Abell almost never hunts shots but is instead one of the most efficient passive scorers you're likely to find, and none of this factors in the talents of newcomer Kaiser Gates or the newly eligible duo of Edmond Sumner and Makinde London.

This team will be able to push the pace

Veteran floor general Dee Davis has gone the way of Lionel Chalmers and the dinosaur, leaving behind only Larry Austin, Jr. at the point. LAJ was unconvincing at times in the half court, but he was direct and aggressive in fast break settings. His potential understudy/replacement Edmond Sumner has athleticism and straight line speed that you have to go all the way back to Semaj (okay, that's not that far back) to find in a Xavier point guard. Throw in the fact that Matt Stainbrook - for all his quality - was not exactly getting up and down like Jalen Reynolds can and you've got the makings of a team that's going to be shooting a lot of uncontested right-handed layups.

This team has an exciting future

This is the last go 'round in Xavier colors for Big Game James and Remy Abell. If Jalen plays like we're all hoping he will, there's a strong possibility that he too will play his final home game at Cintas this season. Even if all three of those guys take off, we'll still be watching a team comprised mostly of core players who will be back again next season. If someone steps up in the front court to show himself the heir apparent to Reynolds and Farr, there's a very good chance that the '16-'17 Musketeers will be heading into the season with a buzz that even ESPN can't ignore.