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2016 Xavier basketball player preview: Quentin Goodin

Xavier's freshman guard is heir apparent to Semaj and Ed; what will he bring this year?

NCAA Basketball: Villanova at Xavier
Welcome to X, Quentin.
Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

There are a million and one tiny differentiators that add up between a major team and a mid-major one, and one of those is guards who can dunk in traffic. I can count on zero hands the number of times I saw Lionel Chalmers bounce into the lane and rise above a crowd, but everyone who saw Ed Sumner score the final meaningful bucket of last season's Crosstown Shootout knew which team was the real big boy and which one was a flat-track bully. If your point guard can leave a body bag in the lane like that, well... that kind of talent doesn't often find its way out of the major conferences.

That brings us to Quentin Goodin. He's a strong, physical guard who can get into the lane and finish above the rim in traffic. He is a playmaker who can work on or off the ball and does well advancing the ball in transition. His jumper isn't a feast for the senses at this point, but he's a good defender and has the skills to fill a lot of different holes. At 6'4", 194, he comes in with a college-ready physique.

Best-case scenario:

A super-sub at either guard position who can shore things up enough defensively to allow Xavier to go man when he's out there. He doesn't figure to work his way into the starting lineup - this is more a testament to Xavier's depth than any deficiencies he has - but he gets good minutes and demonstrates an increasing understanding of game management at the D1 level. His potential is so evident that fears about filling Sumner's shoes if he jumps to the NBA are partially replaced by excitement at the prospect of Goodin's having the reins for a full season.

Worst-case scenario:

A bigger, more productive LAJ. If Goodin's jumper lands on the sketchy end of inconsistent, he's going to have a lot more trouble making his other skills play. He'll still be able to defend well, but his inability to spread a defense limits his offensive value to transition and distribution. Xavier is better off hiding better offensive players in a 1-3-1 than having Goodin on the floor for long stretches. His offseason workout plan is to shoot jumpers until his fingers bleed.

Most likely scenario:

For reasons both quantifiable and intuitive, I think Goodin is going to be a really good player for Xavier. I don't think he'll challenge for a starting position, but - if Myles Davis returns at some point - he'll be part of a really good backcourt reserve unit along with JP Macura and/or Malcolm Bernard. Look for him to have some freshman moments on both ends but definitely be one of the better bench point guards in the league.