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Xavier adds a big player and a big game

Travis Steele demonstrated his chops on the recruiting trail on the same day the Big East and Big 12 cemented a deal.

NCAA Basketball: Big 12 Basketball Media Day Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Samari Curtis left Xavier. When that happened, the Musketeers were looking at a serious exodus of talent from the program. Even with the transfers coming in this year, there were rightful questions that could be asked as to whether Steele could retain talent. Curtis had joined Elias King as top tier talent on the way out the door.

Yesterday, Steele finished (maybe) an answering salvo by landing Dekeyvan “Kyky” Tandy over schools like Kentucky, Ole Miss, Oklahoma, and mid-majors like UC and Saint Louis. While Tandy comes with the added benefit of having his dad having clowned on UK, it’s his basketball talent that makes him a significant get.

Almost every major service ranks Tandy in the top 100 recruits in the nation. A 6-2 guard, Tandy just flat out scores the ball from the point. He prefers to get to the hoop, but he can shoot outside as well. Perhaps better still, he’s a plus level defender. The guy is flat out a top level player that any program in the nation would have taken. According to Rivals, the addition of Tandy gives Xavier the 10th best incoming class in the nation for 2019. Questions about recruiting answered, then.

But wait, there’s more! Today the Big 12 and the Big East announced that they will begin a ten game series for the next four years beginning in 2019. This should finally get Xavier out of the Wisconsin based rut that the Big Ten has insisted on sticking the Musketeers in and open some new opportunities for X to play some of the nation’s top programs.

Next season four games are already set: Kansas-Villanova, Texas-Providence, Oklahoma-Creighton, and Kansas State-Marquette. That leaves Baylor, Iowa St, Texas Tech, TCU, Bob Huggins and West Virginia, and Oklahoma St as potential opponents for Xavier. The lowest ranked (Ok St) of those teams is 62nd in the KenPom this season. No matter what happens, the Musketeers are going to play another game that goes a long way toward bolstering a March resume.