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Xavier 2015-2016 Player Preview: Kaiser Gates

A rail thin post player with a solid outside shot, Kaiser Gates fills the stretch four role that opponents have used to destroy Xavier for years.

Is Kaiser Gates destined for a year on the bench?
Is Kaiser Gates destined for a year on the bench?
Ashley D

Try to forgive Kaiser Gates for being related to Yancy Gates. Consanguinity aside, Gates lands at Xavier as something as the polar opposite of his cousin. Tall (6-8) and whip thin (185), Kaiser is stretch four more than an inside banger. Capable of hitting the three from time to time and possessed of a good jump shot, he's something of a much skinnier James Farr with a better release. He's also more than capable of running the floor and playing above the rim when not being bodied out of the way by thicker players.

Gates landed at Xavier after spurning Florida State, Missouri, Georgia, Vanderbilt, and Texas Tech. While that says a lot about Xavier's ability to recruit better than Power 5 schools, it also leaves Kaiser in a position where he could be looking at a redshirt year to add some bulk to his body. Farr, Jalen Reynolds, Sean O'Mara, and Makinde London already hold the post positions Gates' seems most suited for. A 6-8 shooter isn't an asset that comes along every day though, so it's possible that Coach Mack could move Gates out to the three (or even the two in a massive lineup) and cause serious matchup problems all over the floor for short spans of time.

Best-case scenario:

Gates hits the weight room like an absolute maniac through the summer and this early part of the fall and adds 15-20 pounds to his frame. It's going to take that much to make him noticeable on the glass, which is probably where needs to work in order to play. If all that happens, Gates is a really valuable weapon as the kind of stretch four that has destroyed Xavier in the past. Some hybrid lineups featuring Davis at the point and then Farr, Reynolds, London, and Gates would be ridiculous, but a possible one minute overwhelming of an unprepared team. Best case, Gates lands near the lower end of the rotation and grabs nine or ten productive minutes per game.

Worst-case scenario:

A redshirt. The post players listed above all have at least a year with program, and some have multiple years in the Big East. That leaves a scrawny kid from Georgia a lot of work to do to get on the floor down there. Having the skills and shot of a guard in high school is a lot different than in college, so beating Remy Abell and JP Macura for wing time won't be an easy ask either. All that leaves Gates collecting scraps and getting just a few more minutes than the walk-ons. If that's the case, why waste a year of eligibility?

Most likely scenario:

While a redshirt is a very real possibility, Coach Mack will probably decide he needs to see what he has in Gates (and Makinde London) before losing Farr and possibly Reynolds next year. Gates may not have a major impact ont he floor this year, but it seems likely that he'll grab some minutes along the lines of Sean O'Mara last year.