Welcome back to another year of the Xavier power rankings! The polls and stuff are out, but what do those really matter in November? No, there's only one ranked list that means anything right now, and we have it right here. By way of a quick reminder, these rankings are semi-subjective and based both on who is playing well right now and who has established a body of work over the course of the season. A player's value is also weighed against what sort of production Xavier could expect from whomever would replace him if he went down. Let's jump right in.
Also receiving votes: Myles Davis, Kaiser Gates
Neither of these guys has done anything, and only one is even allowed to participate in team functions right now. Kaiser is almost all the way back from his knee surgery, while Myles continues to languish on indefinite suspension for misdeeds over the summer. Kaiser's return for the UNI game this Saturday seems certain, but fans are cautioned to remember that there's a difference between being ready to suit up and being fully recovered. It appears that Myles will be back, but not until much later.
8. Tyrique Jones
Try to think of this as "important rotation player" rather than "last among active guys." If you've watched Xavier at all this year, you'll know it's more or less impossible not to be impressed with Jones's energy and athleticism. He's a hugely effective rebounder and rim protector. Unfortunately, he also gets called for a foul every four minutes of playing time and isn't a dynamic offensive force.
7. Quentin Goodin
Five games into the season, did you have Goodin leading the team in assist rate? I sure didn't, and I would have assumed that meant something horrible happened to Sumner. It hasn't. Goodin's turnover rate of 30.9% and his unremarkable jump shooting have him sitting here right now, but - unless this is your first time on the site - you know how I feel about him.
6. RaShid Gaston
We asked in the preseason if Gaston could be this year's Jalen Reynolds. Five games into the year, he's sure rebounding like him, with OReb%/DReb% of 16.5%/23.8%. He's scoring from the post and hitting 2/3rds of his free throws, putting up good offensive numbers in limited touches. Unfortunately, he's also fouling like Jalen (8.4 per 40 minutes), which isn't allowing him to dig in and dominate games the way he could at Norfolk State.
5. Sean O'Mara
Part of the reason you're seeing so many of Xavier's big men so high on the page here is that there's basically 40-60 minutes for a post in any given game right now because of Coach Mack's small lineups. O'Mara grabs the top spot for being the more efficient scorer and not turning the ball over as much, but it should be noted that he doesn't rebound or defend as well as Jones or Gaston. If he's on the court, it's to score; maybe we should pass to him a bit more.
4. Ed Sumner
The good: he's playing almost every minute, rebounding like a forward, and getting to the line a lot. The bad: his TO rate is higher than his assist rate, his jumper is absent without leave, and he has left 12 points at the line in 5 games. My armchair psychological assessment is that Ed wants to prove he's worthy of all the offseason hype and he's trying to do too much. I don't know Sumner personally, so I'm probably wrong in my guess at what's going on in his head. What I can tell you is that what's going on on the floor is less than ideal right now.
3. Malcolm Bernard
So effective you forget he's out there for long portions of the game! Kidding aside, Bernard blends in the same way that Remy Abell did last year, never being the guy looking at tail lights on defense or going on a comical run of inept offensive plays. He has hit some big buckets, played solid defense, and shot a very reasonable 5-12 from beyond the arc on the year. For a guy adjusting to a new team and a huge jump in the level of competition, he has looked remarkably like someone who knows what dude he is on the basketball court.
2. Trevon Bluiett
When the threes start falling, Trevon's efficiency is going to take off. Even hitting less than a quarter of his shots from deep, he has been a positive offensive force by not turning the ball over and converting from the line. He's also rebounding really well from the four and has put together some solid defensive efforts against a couple of challenging perimeter matchups. I like the version of Tre that uses his words to hurt his opponents' feelings; I want to see more of that guy.
1. JP Macura
Speaking of using your words to hurt your opponents' feelings, JP Macura! Second only to Ed in minutes, second only to Sean in offensive efficiency, first in war, first in peace, dead last in the hearts of the guys who play against him. JP has been so efficient with his ball distribution and security that the KenPom algorithm thinks he's a point guard. He also leads the team in steal%. Is there anything JP can't do!? Hit that flat-footed, lefty scoop shot. He's 0-3 on those this year. Beyond that, he's hardly set a foot wrong in the early going for Xavier.