Welcome to Xavier basketball - we are seriously so glad you are here. Let’s just get right down to the point, though: you have big shoes to fill. I’m not trying to scare you, but you do. We have had transfer players at Xavier that have made a serious impact on our program and certain teams in the past, and we want that for you as well. We think (or at least are optimistically hopeful) you can take our existing team to the next level. It’s a great group that you are joining, with a lot of potential. Seriously, no pressure.
To make you feel better, historically speaking, our transfers have been very successful in a Xavier uniform. They also have been loved as dearly by Xavier Nation as a regular recruit. “One for All, and All for One”, you know? There is hope for you, yet.
Let’s take a second to discuss some of these aforementioned Musketeer transfers of the past. This will give you a brief road map of the guys who have paved the way before you; to better understand why it’s exciting for us (and you) to be in the situation you are in right now. More importantly, so that you are confident that you can make the best out of your remaining career at Xavier. Down memory lane we go.
Jordan Crawford (2008 - Transfer from Indiana University)
If this guy’s name doesn’t ring a bell for you immediately, I’m losing faith in you already. (Just kidding - kind of) Quick recap: Crawford came to us in 2008 leaving behind Tom Crean and the Hoosiers, had to sit for one year but was allowed to practice with the team, and finally graced us with his presence during the 2009/2010 season. This dude could flat-out play basketball. He was a slasher, an electric finisher, a clutch shooter, and overall one of the most exciting players Xavier Nation has ever seen. We loved him. If I haven’t quite convinced you, though, go watch YouTube clips of his heroics versus Kansas State in the 2010 NCAA Tournament. That game made him a Xavier legend. Although he was only with us for one season, we won’t soon forget him.
Andre Walker (2011 - Transfer from Vanderbilt)
Although this particular player might not have had all the ‘bells and whistles’ that Jordan Crawford had, and certainly not the same kind of national recognition, he was an extremely solid grad transfer; and one of my personal favorites as a long-time Muskie fan. He was immediately eligible as a graduate student-athlete and was with us for one year. Andre was a steady and consistent power-forward that averaged nearly 28 minutes for us during the 2011/2012 season. You could rely on him to always do the right thing - get a clutch rebound, find a cutter with a good pass, bring the ball up if under pressure (big-guy could handle the ball). I know that sounds cliche: “always do the right thing”, but Walker had an exceptionally high basketball IQ. You really could count on him. I’m sure if you looked up his stats that you wouldn’t necessarily call him a stand-out, but via the eye-test alone, Andre Walker was a huge part of our success that season (we made it to the Sweet 16 before eventually falling to Baylor). He was a great and very welcome addition to our program.
Remy Abell (2013 - Transfer from Indiana University)
Last, and not at all least, I’ll tell you about this fan favorite. He was yet another transfer that made an immediate impact on our program. A 6-4 guard who was looking for more playing time, this guy proved to be a perfect fit for our Muskies. To talk about Remy without mentioning his defense first would be a crime, so we can start there. He was a lockdown, on-ball defender who could match up with the other team’s best guard and was all about making the hustle play. Although a bit inconsistent as a scorer (except against Butler), Remy was reliable and always seemed to make the heads-up play. He was strong as an ox, a natural leader, quick as a whip, and likeable from the second he stepped onto the court at Cintas Center. He really personified all of the qualities that Xavier Nation drools over in a player. We were lucky enough to benefit from his talents during the 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 seasons.
Karem Kanter (from Wisconsin-Green Bay)
Jamel McLean (from Tulsa)
Malcolm Bernard (from Florida A&M)
Drew Lavender (from Oklahoma University)
*Author’s note: I loved all of these guys.
I do know these things for certain: you will be supported, cheered for, pushed, developed, praised, challenged and appreciated during your time at Xavier. You have such an exciting opportunity to make a name for yourself like the transfers before you. You have made a great choice and we can’t wait to watch you play next winter. Again, we are glad you are here. Good luck!