With everything going on around the program right now, the early exit, the losses of Trevon Bluiett, JP Macura, Sean O’Mara, and Chris Mack, the hiring of Travis Steele and his staff, one thing that doesn’t stop is the recruiting cycle.
Xavier already has one recruit committed in the 2019 class, a three-star combo guard named Samari Curtis. Curtis chose Xavier on Feb. 5th, the day after the Super Bowl. He’s a 6’ 4” combo guard who can score in bunches and was named honorable mention on the Ohio all-state DI team as a junior.
Outside of Curtis, Xavier is projected to have 4 scholarships left for the 2019 class, assuming all 13 roster spots were to be filled.
With this being Kaiser Gates’ senior season, and grad transfers Zach Hankins, Kyle Castlin and Ryan Welage only having one year of eligibility, building depth will likely be a crucial point for Travis Steele.
Who could be among the top targets for Xavier in this class? Here are some guys who be wearing the Xavier uniform for the 2019-2020 season.
Matthew Hurt, 6’9” PF, 5-Star, #4 in country
This is obviously a major long shot. Xavier has never landed a top-25 recruit, let alone a top-five one. Nevertheless, Hurt has agreed to have Steele for an in-home visit this coming Wednesday. Steele has a reputation as a great recruiter, but this would be a huge commit for the program.
New assistant Ben Johnson was the lead recruiter with Hurt while at Minnesota, and reportedly has a great relationship with the big man. It will be difficult to get him with many major programs showing interest, but it wouldn’t be impossible.
Hurt could slide right in to the starting lineup with Gates and Welage exhausting their eligibility before he would arrive on campus. As said though, this is a major long shot, and doesn’t look realistic at the moment, though that could change.
Elias King, 6’7” SF, 4-Star, #55 in country
King is a big, athletic forward from Suwanne, GA who looks to have a pretty good jump shot. He also seems to be a good defender and a player who hustles on both ends of the floor.
Similar to Hurt’s situation, Xavier just hired on an assistant who has a good relationship with King. Jonas Hayes was King’s primary recruiter while at Georgia, and even got a commitment from King before Mark Fox was fired. After Fox was fired, King de-committed and was offered a scholarship from Xavier yesterday.
Having depth and athleticism at the wings is never a bad thing in basketball, especially with the threat of Naji Marshall turning pro before his four years are up.
Luke Anderson, 6’8” PF, 3-Star, #157 in country
A big sharp shooter from Florida, Xavier has been considered the favorite for Luke Anderson for a while. Anderson visited during the Villanova game, and has a good relationship with Steele.
He would provide floor spacing and a big body on defense, and given Hayes’ track record with big men, Anderson could develop more than most people would expect.
Steele visited Anderson Friday morning as well, and reports are the meeting went well. More could be known soon, but with Georgia and Florida State visiting this weekend as well, it could be a little longer.
Armaan Franklin, 6’4” CG, 4-Star, #89 in country
Armaan Franklin used a strong season to rise in the recruiting rankings. Franklin is from Indianapolis, and was one of Steele’s first visits after hitting the recruiting trail.
His big frame and athleticism coupled with improvement in shooting and ball handling make him a versatile player, one who could provide a boost in various situations. With him being among the top of Xavier’s wish list, Franklin is a prospect to keep an eye on.
Harlond Beverly, 6’4” PG, 4-Star, #61 in country
Harlond Beverly is a big point guard from Michigan, and is reportedly one of Michigan State’s targets. However, it doesn’t seem far fetched that he could spurn the Spartans in favor of another program.
A solid defensive presence on the perimeter, Beverly has some inconsistencies in his shot, though he has improved it over the last year. He’s also improved as a facilitator, making it easier to project him at the lead guard spot in college.
He is reportedly a top target for Xavier, and could very well be a future Musketeer.
MaCio Teague, 6’3” PG, Transfer
A transfer, MaCio Teague and Xavier have expressed a mutual interest. Teague is from Cincinnati, and played high school basketball at Walnut Hills.
Teague appears to have a smooth scoring game at all three levels and averaged over 16 PPG at UNC-Ashville over his two seasons there. Several major programs have expressed interest, including Louisville, Ohio State and Virginia.
Teague could be a tough get, but would absolutely provide a boost at the guard spot.
Other names to watch
Dru Smith, 6’3” G, Transfer
Another potential sit out transfer, Smith has a visit scheduled with Xavier for April 20th and 21st, and would bolster the back court with depth and shooting.
Though Smith only shot 56 times from three-point range, he did make 27, showing his potential. He averaged 13.7 PPG last year, and showed dramatically increased shooting from his freshman to his sophomore year, going from a .529/.327/.818 line to a .624/.482/.852 one.
Mason Gillis, 6’6” PF, 4-Star, #133 in country
Mason Gillis has already received a visit from Steele. A guy who can stretch the floor from the forward spot, Gillis is an intriguing target, but should Anderson commit, him coming to Xavier seems like less of a possibility.
Gillis is an Indiana guy, and Steele should rarely be counted out on an Indiana recruit, but this seems less likely than the others.
Jaylin Williams, 6’6” PF, 4-Star, #81 in country
Xavier has been recruiting Jaylin Williams for a while, and new assistant coach Jonas Hayes seems to have a solid relationship with him. But, as with Gillis, this one doesn’t seem as likely as the others.
Williams is a good athlete who can shoot, so he’s an intriguing prospect. While Xavier remains in the mix, don’t count on him being a Musketeer right now.
Jalen Thomas, 6’ 10” C, 4-Star, #104 in country
Jalen Thomas is a big center from Michigan who could fill an immediate need. Though he’s still very raw, he’s reportedly shown legitimate improvement over the past year.
This is a more under the radar prospect, but Thomas could provide a boost from the center spot after Tyrique Jones graduates.
Jordan Mitchell, 6’7” SF, 4-Star, #60 in country
Though Xavier has shown interest in Jordan Mitchell, Mitchell hasn’t seemed to express the same level of interest.
He’s an athletic wing from Columbus, OH, and, as said in regards to King, you can never have too many athletic wings. Should Mitchell give Xavier more consideration, this could happen. Until then, it doesn’t look likely.
Each of these players would provide a different element for Xavier, but it’s impossible to get them all. There’s a decent shot this class could be a big one, and any of these guys could be a part of it.
*All prospect rankings and measurements are courtesy of 247Sports.com