When Edmond Sumner first went down with an injury that originally looked horrific, it was hard to see past the struggles that happened in that game to Xavier being successful in his absence. Two weeks on and the Musketeers are somehow just as well positioned as they were when he went down. Everyone thought that one of the strengths of this team was depth, but I don't think anyone thought that the team was deep enough to lose arguably it's most important player and then turn around and beat Butler by 19. Edmond now comes back to a team that has gone 3-1 in his absence and a rotation that has somewhat sorted itself.
1. How much time will Edmond get?
Sumner was back to full practice on Thursday and will get his first game run on Saturday. Even if he's been running on the side, there's a lack of game fitness that will come from having a break that long in the middle of the season. For anyone that remembers the demise of Octavious Ellis or the five point solo run against Wake Forest, the temptation to throw Ed back out there and let him rip has to be enormous. Obviously Coach Mack knows where Sumner is in game readiness, but it will be extremely important to get him back out there without risking injury.
2. Who gets bumped out of the rotation?
Putting the most electric player on the team back into the gameplan means that someone else has to lose time. Edmond was getting over 23 minutes per game when healthy and those have to come from somewhere. Will Coach Mack go a bit smaller and take minutes away from Kaiser Gates and Sean O'Mara? Those two have been borderline excellent the last three games. Is it LAJ who will feel the pinch? He had arguably his best game as a Musketeer the last time out and has gone a long way toward establishing himself as an on ball defender. The time has to come from somewhere, who gets sacrificed? A tip of the cap here to Myles Davis, who has been brilliant while running the point.
3. Is the tandem post experiment over?
In the last couple of games the Jalems Farrnolds monster has been as bad as it has all year. Against St. John's and DePaul, neither player had an offensive efficiency over (or near) 100. Reynolds rebounding numbers have dipped, albeit very slightly, and Farr's offense has really gone in the tank (88.3 ORtg since Sumner went down). Perhaps part of the effectiveness of the post players was the fact that they rotated for each other, creating a situation in which the opponent always was facing a elite rebounder and fresh scoring option. Couple that with the creativity of Sumner and the bigs had opportunities aplenty. It may be time to end the dream of Farr and Reynolds playing alongside one another.