Rather than a full on preview for each player on the roster this year we will be attempting to focus on one question that will determine how the player might fit on the team. The questions aren’t designed to carry either a positive or negative connotation, just really suss out how the roster is built. We’ll start with the freshman and build on to the players everyone knows. We know and you know the caveats that Covid brings, so this will be the only mention of it.
Blount’s disease generally effects small children, causing the growth plate on the inside of the knee to not develop while the one on the outside develops normally. This causes the lower leg to tilt inward and can cause bowleggedness. This is a problem for any child, it’s very nearly a deal breaker for a grown man that stands 6-8 and is immensely talented at basketball. This is the situation facing Daniel Ramsey.
Last season preview we said, “Ramsey is a 6’8” big man with classic back to the basket game that compliments a reliable touch from mid-range. He has good length, stays active on the glass, and is a determined defender.” None of that has changed. Neither, unfortunately, has this, “If he is moving well and finding spots to knock down a clean look or two, he can line himself up to be a useful piece of the rotation this year. If not, he might end up wearing the James Farr not-quite-redshirt this year.” That is what happened to Ramsey, who played three minutes in one game and comes to the Musketeers as a sophomore this season.
According to Danny he has spent his quarantine time getting in game shape and says he hasn’t felt this good in three or four years. Does that translate to playing time? Ahead of him are Zach Freemantle and Jason Carter. If Ben Stanley is eligible this season, he will also take time in the post. Dieonte Miles will also factor into the conversation down low, and D2 transfer Bryan Griffin will also heavily factor into the rotation. That is a lot of very talented players to beat for space after not having played for a year.
The key for Ramsey is shooting. Xavier will be a better shooting team this year, but possibly not still a good one. A big that can move and hit some shots will open the lane for a host of multi-talented guards to work. Ramsey is also thicker than Freemantle and Miles and could provide added heft in games where Xavier’s more slender bigs are getting bodied. None of that will matter, though, if Danny can’t get on the floor. Ultimately, it all comes down to health.