Yesterday's discussion of whether Larry Austin Jr. is developing into Xavier's next point guard came to, ultimately, no real conclusion. The minutes played by Austin are both the reason he may not be the starting one at the end of the year, and the reason for hope that he will be and Edmond Sumner can play something of the Semaj Christon role. What that ignores is the idea that it's possible neither Austin or Sumner will be the point guard next year.
Myles Davis has spent the first two years of his Xavier career being something of a sharpshooting guard. He shot 38.4% from behind the arc last year and was an extremely dependable 87.2% from the line. What that overshadowed is the fact that Myles Davis is very dependable with the ball, sporting a TO rate of only 15.4% and coughing it up only 1.4 times per game. Xavier's actual point man, Dee Davis, had a turnover rate of 22.5% and turned the ball over 2.4 times per game.
There are some caveats to those numbers. Chief among them is that Dee faced a great deal of pressure as the primary ballhandler. Some of his increased turnover numbers simply come from him having the ball in his hands most of the time. Dee also had an assist rate of 33.5%, good for 49th in the nation, and averaged six assists per game. When you pass the ball that much, even that well, you are going to turn it over on occasion. It's just a function of the position.
With those disclaimers aside, we get to the point position for Xavier this year. LAJ is the only true one guard on the team. He's decidedly more pass and defense oriented than anyone else on the team or even for the usual point guard in the college game. Back in 2008-2009, Xavier faced this same issue. Tu Holloway was the only actual point guard on the team, and he barely played 50% of the minutes. That left Sean Miller with Dante Jackson, BJ Raymond, and Brad Redford as other point guard options. With none of those exactly an appealing choice, Miller had the options that Mack does now.
That brings us back to Myles Davis. One his closest comps last year was Trey Davis' 2014 season. Davis played off the ball more that year, but moved onto it more in 2015. That led to a season of 3.8 assists per game, an assist rate of 25.3%, and a TO rate of 18.8%. None of those numbers are elite, but they are serviceable. Both Trey and Myles weigh about 185, enough to take the beating, with Xavier's Davis standing a couple of inches taller. The comparison is close, scoring a 912 in KenPom's system, if not perfect.
None of this means that Chris Mack will use Myles to key the ball in a point guard free system, but it is intriguing. If LAJ cannot make the jump and Edmond Sumner thrives off the ball, Xavier's New Jersey native may move over to handling the ball just that little bit more. There's reason to believe he would be successful.