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Eddie Ekiyor leaving Xavier

FIBA U17 World Championships - Dubai
This will remain the only photo we have of Ekiyor playing
Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images

Four star forward Eddie Ekiyor won’t actually play a game for the Xavier Musketeers. Just before 2016 started, we learned that the Canadian big man had committed to Xavier. Now, eight months later, he’s gone without ever playing a minute in anger. Ekiyor is no longer enrolled at Xavier and will instead play for Carleton University in Ottawa. Sharp observers noted that Ekiyor wasn’t at Xavier’s preseason softball game and has been conspicuously absent in the intervening time as well.

Ekiyor was supposed to shore up Xavier’s interior in the mold of some of the athletic leapers that have transferred in, such as Travis Taylor. More encouragingly, Ekiyor has a reputation of someone capable of learning the game willingly and still developing. If that conjures up images of Jason Love, it was probably intended to. Ekiyor would have had a chance to develop while sitting under the tutelage of RaShid Gaston and Sean O’Mara as experienced bigs.

That’s pretty much the end of what we know as fact. Xavier’s official release was notable in its sparing use of any detail. Ekiyor came to X with more than just a reputation as an athlete learning the game, he also came with a history of legal trouble. A hit and run incident in which Ekiyor struck a cyclist, who happened to be an off duty police officer, had seen Eddie plead guilty in March. Details on sentencing aren’t available, but it’s possible the incident is still playing some role in the young man’s future.

That’s just speculation though. What is certain is that Ekiyor is gone and Xavier is down to 11 scholarship players now that Tim Stainbrook has a full ride. Given that Xavier is also somewhat young at the end, that’s a concern. Depth early in the season has been a calling card of Coach Mack’s, but he’s probably not looking forward to a repeat of the days where Landen Amos was logging significant minutes. With the summer winding down, Xavier has just gotten notably thinner off the bench.