The Chris Mack Saga is now dragging into its second week. The latest news, per John “This is March” Rothstein is that Louisville and Xavier’s winningest, and likely best, ever coach remain in negotiation with an announcement expected today. Until then, Xavier Nation has nothing to do but sit and wait to see what happens. More importantly, the school is in something of the same situation.
Right now, it doesn’t sound like any players are leaving with Coach Mack. That’s not a definite and word from recruits is hard to come by right now, but it seems as though the roster and the incoming roster will remain intact. That leaves Xavier in a pretty good position in terms of talent. It won’t be this year’s team, there’s likely not one of those coming again any time soon, but it’s a squad.
On the bench is where things will get interesting. Starting at the top, Mario Mercurio is a Xavier guy. His tenure stretches back into the Thad Matta years and he’s been a fixture ever since. It doesn’t seem terribly likely that he would go, but he has a good relationship with Coach Mack, so nothing is outside the realm of possibility. Travis Steele, obviously, is the replacement choice so he’s not going anywhere.
Luke Murray and Mike Pegues are harder to pin down. Both are Mack hires and excellent recruiters and both have loyalty to Xavier only insofar as that is where Coach Mack gave them their top, to this point, assistant job. Murray has turned down at least one head coaching job, which means he’s counting on something we don’t know about. Pegues hasn’t been mentioned yet, but it is pretty common for incoming coaches to bring staff with them. He’s a good candidate to follow Mack to Louisville.
And, as of right now, that’s what we know. There’s just nothing else to relay. While things happen in Louisville, Xavier waits. There’s no question this will be a major loss for the program. All that remains to be seen is if it is one from which Xavier can bounce back quickly.