Without the benefit of your trusty Google machine, can you name how many players Xavier has had transfer off of the current team? Would it surprise you to learn it was four? If you count Aleksander Vezenkov, Coach Mack has lost five guys who would range somewhere from seniors to sophomores on the upcoming team. Kamall Richards was the first to go, followed by Brandon Randolph, and then LAJ and Makinde London this year. That's not an insignificant number of guys to depart and so it begs the question: does Xavier miss anyone who has left?
To start with, none of these are transfer departures along the lines of Justin Martin or Mark Lyons. First, both of those guys were graduate transfers who essentially became free agents after their allotted time at Xavier. Secondly, the circumstances around both of those transfers seemed to have more to do with personality conflict than anything else. Finally, both of those guys were highly coveted and well regarded players both coming out of high school and during their college careers. At no point were either Martin or Lyons going to be roster fill.
So where does the departing crew fit in when it comes to transfers? A good example might be Brian Walsh. Walsh played for Xavier for two years, though never to the point that he even made KenPom's usage chart. Like many of us, Brian followed the siren song of NE Ohio and landed with the Akron Zips, where he averaged 7.7/3.7/1.5 in two years of play. Serviceable at the MAC level, Walsh never quite clicked for the Musketeers. Unwilling to quit, he became a 24 minute per game guy slight down the competition ladder and set something of a gold standard among transfers out of Xavier. Among the current group of guys who have left, two come to mind as players who could thrive with a similar drop in competition.
The most obvious choice here is Makinde London. London is a 6-10 jumpshooter who was already decent on the glass this year despite weighing roughly 40 pounds. The Chattanooga team that Makinde joins is losing four seniors this year and another five next year. In addition to being back home, London is going to have plenty of opportunity to have productive career with a Mocs team that currently features almost no height or outside shooting. When a guy leaves because he misses home, it's hard not to wish the best for him.
LAJ is the other player who is likely to find Walshian success elsewhere, maybe even in the MAC. Larry had his share of detractors while he was here (and I may have been among them), but there was no question he was a top level athlete. Larry's blend of speed and defensive tenacity will play well at a school looking for a guy was only slightly below average on offense in Big East play this year. For both years that he was here, LAJ looked like a guy in slightly over his head. Assuming that his confidence hasn't taken too big of a shot, he'll be successful somewhere.
That brings us to Kamall Richards and Brandon Randolph. Randolph played himself into Coach Mack's doghouse and then took his right hand only game to Utah Valley in the WAC. The Wolverines were 287th in Division I this year. That level may be low enough that Randolph is able to have some success but, unlike London and LAJ, he's unlikely to find himself playing in any meaningful postseason games for the rest of his career. His transfer may have been necessitated by inability to play at this level, but he's not likely to parlay that into a Brian Walsh like run. Richards, on the other hand, dropped all the way to Harcum College in NJCAA, scored 16.1 points per game in one year, and then seems to have dropped out of basketball.
Xavier is missing scholarship players off this roster as it was originally constructed. Makinde London and LAJ seem poised to make their time playing an elite program pay off for them. For Brandon Randolph and Kamall Richards, their time at Xavier seems likely to have been the peak of a career now spent scrabbling around the edges.