Say you spent the last year, I don’t know, training for and then learning a new job and you’re trying to figure out what you missed on the recruiting front. I can sympathize with your plight; let’s get caught up on Xavier’s recruiting.
Xavier has put together a three-man class for 2018 featuring a guard and a pair of big men. Let’s meet them.
Keonte Kennedy, 6’4”, 175 shooting guard
Kennedy’s calling card is his shooting stroke; he’s not afraid to cash out from well beyond the arc, and he led his district in made threes last year. He can put the ball on the deck and has a good pull-up game. He’s a versatile and athletic defender who uses his length to his advantage on both ends.
As you might suspect from a high-school kid who is 6’4”, 175, Kennedy needs to continue to work on building strength. He has a ton of upside with his frame and athletic ability, and he has the chance to develop into a real stud as his game continues to grow.
Dontarius James, 6’8”, 225 forward
James is a hard-nosed combo forward. He averaged 27 and 12 as a junior in South Carolina before transferring to Huntington Prep to finish out his high school career against top-level competition. He’s a strong defender and a good three-point shooter who boasts a high level of versatility. Butler and Kansas were also in on James before he signed with Xavier.
Jake Walter, 7’0”, 260 center
Walter is a local product out of CovCath who is still literally growing into his game. He’s a back-to-the-basket big man in the mold of Sean O’Mara and Matt Stainbrook. He has good touch around the rim and good hands. He’s not overloaded with bounce, but he has good positioning and strength that help him influence the game.
If you’ve watched O’Mara develop over the past four years, it’s not hard to be excited about the potential Walter brings to Xavier. He’s worked hard on his game to develop in high school, and that kind of discipline will serve him well in the hands of the Xavier coaching staff and conditioning program.
This isn’t a recruiting class that is going to blow the doors off of you, but it’s got three solid players in it. I feel like Xavier got in early on Kennedy and Walter especially, and they’re a couple of guys who have the potential to really develop at a high rate. James is a good piece who will add versatility and depth at the forward spots and can play a bit of center if X goes to a small lineup.