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Is Kentrevious Jones a redshirt candidate for Xavier?

Xavier's newly committed big man is really, really big. Should the Muskies give him a year to develop before throwing him to the Big East wolves?

How could you not want more of this?
How could you not want more of this?
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Over the weekend, Xavier got a commitment from Kentrevious Jones, a man with the size of an angry Bruce Banner and the hair of an intoxicated Florent Maluda. Personal grooming decisions aside, the most interesting thing about Jones - other than the fact that he's nearly seven feet tall - is his potential in the post. He shows good footwork and the ability to turn to either shoulder on the block, and he has enough of a jumper and face-up game to keep defenders from parking in the middle against him. Xavier people look at him and see Matt Stainbrook, and that's not an entirely unreasonable hope.

Oh, one other thing he has in common with Stainbrook: he's what you might charitably describe as bulky. In addition to being 6'11", Jones weighs in at just a biscuit shy of three spins according to most scouting services. After seeing what the redshirt year did for the Stain Train, the question of whether or not the same is appropriate for Jones can hardly be avoided.

The case for it

For starters, he's really big. Videos from his recent basketball exploits show a man who you can't imagine getting up and down the court at the pace required to be useful to a team led by the pace of Ed Sumner and Quentin Goodin. A year of trying to keep up with them in practice would likely change that. Going against Sean O'Mara - who will be a senior at that point - in the post every day wouldn't be the understudy job for a young big man to have.

There's also the example of Matt Stainbrook. When he signed with Xavier, he looked like a bulk order of butterscotch pudding that someone had slapped a toupee on for a joke. A year of hitting the weights and picking out bowties later, his body was ready for the big time. That same development out of Jones could put Xavier in the enviable position of having a complete bully in the post for three or four years.

The case against it

Look at Xavier's scholarship chart. When Jones arrives on campus, the other forwards on the team will be Sean O'Mara, Tyrique Jones, Kaiser Gates, Jared Ridder, and ostensibly Trevon Bluiett. Say O'Mara rolls an ankle; which of those other guys are you starting at the five? Ridder is a flex forward and will be a freshman, so he's out. Gates offers no bulk. Jones is bulky and borderline violent inside, but starting him as your biggest man leaves you really undersized. Trevon might not even be on campus, and if he is, you want him jumping center like Magic?

If Xavier loses O'Mara - or even if they decide not to play him forty minutes a game, every game, all year - they're really hurting for big men who are big. I know the game is moving towards pace and space right now, but I'm not sure a five-out offense or throwing Tyrique Jones into the lane and hoping for the best is quite what we want to see.

The conclusion

There's a gap in Xavier's 2017-2018 roster in big man depth right now. The good news is that X is still holding two scholarships and might pick up one or two more if Trevon and/or Ed blow(s) up this year. If you redshirt Kentrevious Jones, you risk ending up with real problems in the middle. If you don't, you risk James Farring him as a freshman. My gut tells me that Coach Mack and the staff are going to add one more guy who can work in the post and the give Jones a year to develop. My gut also wants me to eat nothing but hot wings and Red Vines though, so take what it says with a grain of salt.