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Basketball thoughts for your Tuesday morning

What else would we talk about in March?

I don't know what it's all about, but I hope it's this.
I don't know what it's all about, but I hope it's this.
Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

I have no thesis here, just a few thoughts bouncing around in my head. They'll each get a paragraph or so.

  • St. John's target Rawle Alkins committed to Arizona last night. That gives Arizona two or three five-star guys, and they're still in on a couple more. They also have basically no chance of knocking UK off the top of the 2016 class rankings. Xavier's only chance in this arms race is player development. We're not going to recruit like those teams do, but the best 18-year-old center isn't going to match James Farr's physical maturity. The best 18-year-old combo guard isn't going to be able to grab the reins like Myles. We have to keep growing four-year guys if we want to keep succeeding.
  • We also need to keep paying our assistants to keep that happening. A fan from a west coast team that just lost its coach asked me about Travis Steele yesterday. He'll run a program one day, but we have to keep guys like that around as long as possible for our recruiting and player development. X has done a dang good job recently from the head coach on down in identifying and retaining coaching talent.
  • Speaking of which, Pat Kelsey has seen his Winthrop team drop three straight conference tournament title games. You have to think he'll break through soon. You also have to think three wins instead of three losses would have translated into a nice payday for him.
  • The bubble is shrinking. Mid-major hearts are breaking. We're above the fray. Never stop feeling lucky that you attended or chose or were born into Xavier fandom. The difference between X and George Mason lies in decisions the school has made to make the program successful. Valpo will lose Bryce Drew one day; we're keeping Coach Mack.
  • My oldest son is three. For the last week and a half, he and I have been camping out in the living room, watching basketball until we both nod off with the TV on. I tell him which animals the team's nicknames most closely approximate, he picks one to cheer for, and then tells me they won no matter what actually happened. I'm not going to tell you how to raise your kids if or when you have them, but my dad passed the game to me and these opportunities to pass the game to my boys are precious.

Let's March.