Both ESPN and Scout have released their final top 100s for the class of 2017 and both have Xavier ranked quite highly. Neither of the scouting services counts the possible addition of Kerem Kanter though, somewhat oddly, ESPN had Brady Ernst listed at one time.
ESPN has Xavier at 11th, just behind a Missouri squad that landed Michael Porter Jr. when he left from Washington. That drop out of the top 10 is hardly an issue though, as it still leaves Xavier with more commitments and more ESPN top 100 recruits than anyone else in the Big East. In fact, Xavier’s class leaves them above teams like Michigan St, Kansas, and defending national champions North Carolina.
Things look even rosier over at Scout, where the final rankings have Xavier with the eighth best class in the nation. Scout doesn’t view Miami or Louisville quite as highly as ESPN does and doesn’t have Missouri in the top 10. That vaults the Musketeers into eighth over there, still tops in the Big East by a large margin.
Both ratings systems prop the the Musketeers on Paul Scruggs and Naji Marshall. ESPN ranks Scruggs at #30 overall and Marshall at 67th. The last time X brought in two top 100 guys was...last year, with Tyrique Jones and Quentin Goodin. It’s worth noting here that the top 100 isn’t foolproof. Trevon Bluiett and Edmond Sumner were both top 100 guys, but so was Brandon Randolph. It’s a nice demarcation to have, but it isn’t a guarantee.
Scout has Scruggs at 29th, but Marshall much higher than ESPN at 36th. Scout is also higher on Elias Harden, possibly the hidden gem of Xavier’s incoming class. Harden is a polished scorer who could help Xavier’s defense that was, at best, suspect at times this year. He’s a four star no matter who you ask, as is Jared Ridder if you prefer ESPN. No matter how you look at it though, this Xavier class is primed to push the Musketeers that much closer to the top of the Big East.