It finally feels like fall up here. Granted, that’s a passing illusion, but the grey, cool days are a reminder that the basketball season is not far away. Xavier won’t enter that season as the known quantity that they have been recently. The Musketeers are down their winningest head coach ever, multiple high level recruits, and will be blooding a new coach that has never been the head man in a college game. All of this is a big ask for a team that is expected to compete at the top of the Big East just by dint of signing up for the season.
That’s also a lot of turnover for fans that spent the summer following the Reds or Indians, marveling at the fact that Hue Jackson still has a job, or doing whatever it is one does in the summer in Hamilton County. Gone are recognizable names like Trevon Bluiett and JP Macura. In their place come a raft of graduate transfers led by a grown man who willingly goes by Hanky McSpanky and the likely somewhat more reserved Columbia transfer Kyle Castlin.
Leading over all of this is a offensive genius who has the handicap of never having been the head man before. There’s no question that Travis Steele has a great mind for the game, what does remain in question is how he’ll handle the big moments in Madison Square Garden, the Gavitt Games, or the Maui Invitational. Applying theory to practice can be exceedingly difficult. On the other hand, Xavier’s most successful coach of all time thinks that Travis Steele is just the man to do it.
To help guide you through everything and get you caught up on where we are as the kids hit class and, more importantly, the court, Banners on the Parkway will be releasing our Season Preview over the coming weeks. We’ll have a look at each player, each opponent, and how the Big East has shifted and changed over the summer. It’s been a long layoff since the heartbreak back in March but we’re back, and we’re here to get you ready.