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2017-2018 Xavier Player Preview: Kerem Kanter

Kerem Kanter is the latest big to come to Xavier looking for a late career tournament run.

NCAA Basketball Tournament - First Round - Green Bay v Texas A&M Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Xavier has made something of a reputation of being a place for transfer bigs to come in and cap off or revive a career. Jamel McLean, Brian Thornton, Isaiah Philmore, Travis Taylor, and Matt Stainbrook all transferred into Xavier and benefited from a big bounce at the end of their careers. Partially because of that, and partially because Xavier develops their own bigs just as well, Coach Mack consistently lands good post players. To that end, this year Kerem Kanter has entered the fold.

Last year, Kanter played for Green Bay, a C tier team according to KenPom. For the Phoenix, Kanter was in the top 200 in both rebounding rates and had a 2.9% block rate. Kanter also used the ball at a rate of nearly 30% and posted an offensive rating of 105.5. That’s not terribly efficient, but it led to a line of 11.3/6.3/0.6 on 50.7% from the floor and 63.6% from the line. Kanter didn’t step out behind the arc much, but went 14-38 when he did.

Best case scenario:

Kanter carries that level of success over from the Horizon League. He’s working with a top level coaching staff now and he has the body and frame to play in the Big East. He probably can’t manage quite the numbers that he put up for Green Bay, but he can hit double digits routinely and combine with Tyrique Jones to keep the glass clean.

Worst case scenario:

The Horizon League isn’t the Big East. Kanter was a good big in a lower league, but he simply can’t hack it at the very top level of competition. Sometimes good isn’t just good enough.

Most likely scenario:

Xavier’s coaching staff isn’t going to let Kanter flounder. Don’t look at his numbers from Green Bay and expect that, but there’s no reason to think he can’t play 18-20 very effective minutes per game for the Musketeers.