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Xavier 2017-18 Player Preview: Jared Ridder

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Jared Ridder is a flexible forward that may well be the future of the four position. It remains to be seen what he is in the present.

Wake Forest v Xavier
More of these are in the future with Ridder on the floor, probably.
Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

UPDATE: Jared Ridder is going home

Five years ago, Jared Ridder would definitely have been a small forward. He stands 6’7” and weighs in at 216 pounds. The flex four is the way basketball is going in the pace and space era, though, and Ridder has a chance to slot perfectly as a versatile and dangerous frontcourt weapon.

Ridder played his high school ball for Kickapoo in Missouri, dropping a 24.2/6.8/1.8 game line on 57.5% shooting. He’s a great shooter with a good, high release and range to well outside the three-point line and the basketball IQ to find space on the floor from deep or in the mid-range to get his shot off. His all-around game drew plenty of attention, and he ended the season gathering hardware as the state’s Mr. Basketball and Gatorade Player of the Year.

Best-case scenario:

Ridder shows up on campus ready to knock down shots and hits the ground running. With Q and JP making plays and defenses focusing on holding Tre, Ridder gets plenty of clean looks at the rim. The 30+ pounds of muscle he has added since exploding on the scene with MoKan Elite in the summer of 2016 keep him on the floor against physical opponents, and he sees time at the three and the four as game-breaking weapon.

Worst-case scenario:

Freshman can go through shooting slumps as the adjust to the college game, and Ridder falls into that pit. Athletic defenders close down his shot quicker than he can get it off, and his primary weapon is neutralized. Not a great defender himself, Ridder struggles to find his way onto the court once Big East play begins. He remains the future for the time being.

Most likely scenario:

I think Ridder has a real chance to get off to a hot start in non-conference play. The Morehead States of the world should give him a chance to find his feet and his release in the college game. Against top competition, he’ll have some games where he can’t be held and some where he looks lost. Think Kaiser Gates as a freshman, or Kaiser Gates as a sophomore.