Dontarius James was an anomaly in his time at Xavier. He was the lone member of the ill fated 2018 recruiting class to stay the course and arrive at Xavier without de-committing. He was touted as a sharpshooter, an assessment he backed up by winning the three point contest at Musketeer Madness, but rebounded the ball at a higher rate than anyone but Tyrique Jones. Ultimately James’s fate at Xavier will be remembered as someone who was caught between things. He was caught in the transition between Coach Mack and Coach Steele, caught positionally between being a big guard or a small post, and caught in the depth chart in the small sliver between time taken by All Big East performer Naji Marshall and budding stars like Zach Freemantle and Kyky Tandy.
James leaves having logged 160 minutes in his two seasons at Xavier, 119 of which came this season. His most notable performance came on January 5th against St. John’s, when he went for 6/8/2 and looked, for a moment, like he was having the breakout that we all hoped he would have. Unfortunately, through limited time and a couple of rough outings, it ultimately became clear that his future lied in other pastures. It cannot be said Dontarius James is a quitter. He stuck to his commitment when no one else did, worked hard to get his moment of glory, and then battled through discouragement to be ready when called upon thereafter. His future lies elsewhere, but for me and many others, King James is forever a part of the Xavier family.