So there's a thing that has been bouncing around on Xavier-related Twitter lately. I think it was started by @RetireFiftyTu, but at the very least he was the first person I saw jump in on it. Basically it boils down to sifting through the ol' memory banks and picking out your favorite five Musketeers ever. It's not easy.
Here's the first one that I saw:
My 5 favorite X players of all time— Retire FiftyTu (@RetireFiftyTu) January 30, 2016
1. Tu Holloway
2. Stanley Burrell
3. BJ Raymond
4. Jason Love
5. Justin Cage
Curious to see other top 5s
Some other interesting ones popped out there:
@RetireFiftyTu @MuskieMusings— Jalems Farrnolds (@SCooper9) February 5, 2016
That took me forever
@RetireFiftyTu— Jon Schneider (@jschneid33) February 2, 2016
1. David West
2. Jordan Crawford
3. Tu Holloway
4. Kevin Frey
5. James Posey
@RetireFiftyTu Interesting topic.— Mike Lindeman (@AnotherMikeL) February 5, 2016
2. Jamie Gladden
3. Lionel Chalmers
4. Stan Burrell
5. Mike Hawkins
A fan of guards, apparently
Then the Banners staff jumped in:
@RetireFiftyTu @Sburrell34— Sidd Finch (@bdobneymkII) February 4, 2016
1. Stanley Burrell
2. James Posey
3. Lionel Chalmers
4. David West
5. Dante Jackson
Way harder than I thought..
@RetireFiftyTu— Musketeer Musings (@MuskieMusings) January 30, 2016
1) BJ Raymond
2) Drew Lavender
@RetireFiftyTu Not speaking for all Banners, just me:— Banners on the Park (@BannersParkway) February 4, 2016
1. Gary Lumpkin
2. BJ Raymond
4. Justin Cage
Mark Lyons nearly there
That's Bryan, Paul, and then Brad on the official Banners account. That just leaves me, and if there are two things in this world that I love, it's Xavier basketball and grandstanding. Here's my top five:
5. Justin Doellman
He played on some really good Xavier teams, but what I really liked about Justin was his game. He could just score the ball so well, and he always seemed to my perception to be making sound plays. Couple that with his ability to hit the boards and the fact that he was easy for me to watch and kind of see an idealized form of myself and you've got number five on my list.
4. Kevin Frey
If Justin Doellman was what I saw as an idealized form of myself, Kevin Frey played on a significantly more familiar plane. His game was less about efficiency and decision-making and more about toughness and effort. In my heart he's forever staggering to the hole against UC and then wheeling down the floor, windmilling his arms in delight.
3. Jason Love
Just a mean rebounder, plus he had those hook shots to each hand on the post. He is a quintessential four-year Xavier big man, carving stardom out of an inauspicious freshman year through nothing but persistence. I always thought that Tu and Crawford team might have gone a bit farther if Love had gotten a few more post touches.
2. Dee Davis
Dee was one of the first recruits we wrote about on Banners, so he'll always have a warm place in my heart because of that. More than that though, he was generously listed at 6' tall and looked like he would weigh about 160 if you dressed him in layers and then dunked him in wet cement, but the dude would not quit for anything. The Dee Davis Game was a fitting crown for his Xavier career.
1. Lenny Brown
My first favorite player. Brad and I spent an untold number of hours on our old chip-and-seal driveway getting shots up as Lumpkin and Brown long after our noses were running and our fingers were numb. I defended him against UC fans, against Kobe Bryant fans, against fans of anything other than Lenny Brown. He didn't win them all, but he never let me down. Plus he hit that one shot against UC you guys might remember.
That was not easy to do. Like the author to the Hebrews, I'm left with a list of names (Holloway, Crawford, Cage, Duncan, Burrell, Brown, Chalmers, Stainbrook) that time fails me to share with you. Perhaps some of those guys were in your favorite five Muskies of all time. Hit us up in the comments to let us know.