First, the news:
I have decided to end my recruitment and commit to the Xavier Musketeers! pic.twitter.com/L0Kfv1Bu7B— Ryan Welage (@ryanwelage32) April 12, 2018
Welage was a standout player in high school in Indiana, but he decided to commit to San Jose State for his collegiate career. A combination of the resignation of the coach who signed him and a talent exodus on the roster provided the impetus required for Welage to graduate and transfer out.
Xavier is landing a wiry 6’9” wing with an incredible eye for the basket. On a team that was forced to rely heavily on him, he posted solid efficiency numbers (108.8 ORtg, 52.1% EFG%), a game line of 18.1/5.4/1.4 on .461/.429/.877 shooting.
Welage has some post up game, mostly going to his right hand, but he’s much more of a 3 than a 4. He can get it off the bounce, showing the ability to dribble into his jumper from deep and in the mid-range and flashing a nice floater in the lane. He’s not going to be crushing the glass, but he can hold his own on the defensive glass.
On thing that jumps out about Welage is how much he was doing it on his own at San Jose State. Nobody else on his team had an ORtg of even 98; only Paul Scruggs (96.1) came in under that number for Xavier last year. Only 98 of his 191 (51%) made baskets were off of assists; for comparison, 131 of Trevon Bluiett’s 202 (65%) made baskets were assisted.
Less than a week ago, Travis Steele was introduced as Xavier’s head coach, inheriting a team that had lost its head coach and top three scorers. He needed a big man, at least one guard, and - maybe above all - a dude who can get buckets. In Welage, he has landed his man.