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Xavier power rankings: 2/8

The Super Bowl is over, so it's finally time for the rest of the world to tune in to college basketball. Here's where they'll find the Musketeers players when they take a look.

Myles has his eyes fixed on first place
Myles has his eyes fixed on first place
Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

If you had asked me at the end of October where I might reasonably hope Xavier would be sitting at this point in the schedule, I would have told you that 17-6 or 18-5 would be fairly solid. That's a very respectable record, and a decent run through those last 7 games would have given X 21 to 23 wins and a solid case for a protected seed. It's almost alarming how quickly the fan base has adjusted to being 21-2; it hasn't even stopped us from complaining about the team's weaknesses. I get that we have them, but I'm willing to overlook a certain lack of style points in return for a winning percentage that begins with .9.

13. Eddie Ekiyor
Did you know that Canada is closer to Africa than the US is? If you became familiar with the world through the Mercator projection, this probably mildly blows your mind. Anyhow, Eddie is (a) still from Canada and (b) still not playing this year.

12. RaShid Gaston
Gaston is a US citizen. That has nothing to do with this ranking; he's here because he won't contribute this year but I suspect he'll be more valuable than Ekiyor next year.

11. Makinde London
Here's a guy who never lacks for style points. What he does lack for is minutes, so here we find him.

10. Sean O'Mara
Interestingly enough, I think it's JP that makes Sean more replaceable. The better Macura plays, the lighter the load on the wing for Trevon is. The more Coach can put Tre in the four role, the more he can rotate Farrnolds through one spot. The more he does that, the less time is left over for O'Mara. With that said, there are some brutal games down the stretch here; don't be surprised if we end up needing that third big man at Butler, for example.

9. Kaiser Gates
I like this guy's game. Shooters can be found - and he surely is one - but a guy who is willing to get into the trenches and defend hard is certainly more rare. The fact that Coach Mack is comfortable giving Gates run against Henry Ellenson speaks volumes about his ability on the defensive end. He still runs hot and cold at times right now, but he's going to be a stud.

8. Larry Austin, Jr.
The backup point guardiest backup point guard in the land. He basically threw up a nine-minute trillion against Marquette, which is frustrating but also kind of amazing. There's a big gap between LAJ and the top 7, all of whom could make a case for being regular starters. As long as he keeps doing his thing - and maybe cuts out the one ridiculous turnover per game that he seems to get - he's just fine in his role.

7. Remy Abell
When the team has a full complement of healthy players, they don't really need Remy to do much more than defend hard and score on fast breaks. Yeah, that's what I'm going with. His numbers are down pretty much across the board from last year; I'm telling myself that that's okay.

6. Jalen Reynolds

Half Tyrone Hill, half Jeff Robinson. He can be so good that it turns your stomach that sometimes he's so bad. His ORtg in conference play is 95.8, 15 points below the team's conference ORtg as a whole. On the other hand, he has been the second-best defensive rebounder in the Big East, and his ORtg has been dragged down in part by a miserable showing from the free throw line. If he would never shoot another jumper I wouldn't miss that phase of his game, but the bones of dominance are still there.

5. JP Macura
It's tempting to get all caught up in JP's insane performance from last time out and move him to the top, but I'm going to act like an adult here. When you have a guy you can throw a start because the matchups look better and have him respond with a full-on JMVP line like that, you've got a special player on your hands. Fifth seems low for him, but on the balance of the season's contributions, it's hard to look at the top four and see someone I'd move down.

4. James Farr

When Big Game James is just James, the team suffers for it. He isn't quite 100% right now, and Xavier's rebounding advantage is diminished because of it. The Muskies have to be able to win the extra possession battle by keeping opponents from getting second chances while converting their own misses into extra opportunities on offense. Nobody is a bigger part of that than Farr, and when he's hobbled, the whole team is a tick worse for it.

3. Edmond Sumner

So... that was a pretty comprehensive performance. For a guy rounding back into form from a head injury and playing more high-level games than he ever has in the past, Ed is looking pretty doggone good. He's still prone to the occasional rush of blood to the head, but I think that's because the stuff he tries works often enough that he thinks he's going to pull it off. He's a bit of a belly shooter, but his first step gives him plenty of space to get that shot off. Anyone in the top three here has a case for the top slot; Sumner has been a revelation this year.

2. Trevon Bluiett
Tre usually doesn't do that much talking on the court, but he was in some kind of mood while he was tearing Marquette up and he let them hear about it a little bit. I think all the Ellenson hype bothered Bluiett, because he spoke postgame about how he wants to be where Ellenson is going, and he flat-out gutted Marquette's freshman phenom on the floor. He boards, he distributes, he gets big buckets, he plays as many minutes as anyone on the team. I'll take it.

1. Myles Davis
Can your most important player come off the bench? Heck yes he can. Coach Mack said postgame that there was nothing to read into the decision, he just thought JP gave them better matchups. If it bothered Myles, he was diligent to not demonstrate that on the court. He got 31 minutes off the bench and was out there for the biggest moments of the game. He didn't shoot well, but two of his three baskets came during winning time and he dished out six assists to just one turnover. Myles just makes plays.