It's that time of year where we finally start to get semi-substantive basketball coverage slipping through the cracks of the nation's 24/7 obsession with finding the most efficient way to administer concussions to our best young athletes, and this week the spotlight has swung to Edmond Sumner.
Rob Dauster - late of Ballin' is a Habit - reels you in with his fun anecdotes about Sumner's enrolling in an acting class as part of his article on Ed's transformation from skinny high-school junior to potential lottery pick:
How, as a coach, do you get a player to change a personality trait?
For Chris Mack, the answer was simple: Acting classes.
"‘You gotta talk, you gotta talk, you gotta talk.' We can only say that so many times," Mack said. "So what else can we do to push Edmond out of his comfort zone? Get him into places where he's uncomfortable and still has to project his voice and talk."
Stories your aunt would find endearing aside, there's a good amount of good basketball content in that post. Dauster discusses Sumner's redshirt year and how he has developed since getting on the court, and the man himself describes his occasionally reticent personality.
Speaking of Sumner in a lottery context, Draft Express put up an excellent two-video breakdown of him as an NBA prospect. Mike Schmitz identifies Sumner as the top NBA prospect in the Big East and a couple of five-minute videos run through what it is Edmond does well now and what still needs improving. There's no reason not to use your next break at work to watch both of those videos, then go back and watch the strengths one a second time.
It seems clear at this point that Myles Davis's season will at the very least be slow coming out of the blocks, and that might leave a gap in back court leadership that Xavier needs Sumner to fill. The Muskies have come a long was as a program, and having the top NBA prospect in a power league is as emblematic of that growth as anything else you'll see. It's not entirely true that as goes Ed, so go the Muskies, but he has the kind of talent that can carry a team through tough games. In just sixty-four days, we're finally going to get to see him on the court again.