Xavier needed some post depth and, with the rest of the western world in lockdown, Travis Steele went out and got it. A day after landing Nate Johnson via a Facetime campus tour, Steele added Bryan Griffin, a 6-8, 230 grad transfer from Mercy College in D2.
First things first, not all D2 guys are created the same. Yes, Zach Hankins was a horse. His success has almost no bearing on whether Griffin turns out to be a good player or not. There are differences between the two, Griffin never received the DI interest that Hankins did before his injury and Griffin was not the DII player of the year on a national championship winning team. Indeed, his Mercy College Mavericks were 5-21 this year.
But there are also similarities. Griffin arrives with a D1 body and plenty of ability to get to and attack the rim. He’s also a monster, an absolute monster, on the glass. Griffin led DII with 14.5 rebounds per game, a number that is shocking on its own before digging in and finding that he had four games of 20+ rebounds and two games of 26. His 92 offensive rebounds were over a third of his teams total, only one other player had more than 20, and his 48 blocks were more than half of his teams total. Throw in 19.6 points on 51.8% shooting and you get the picture of a player that, like Hankins, dominated games.
Griffin also brings the willingness, if not an incredible aptitude, to shoot the ball from behind the arc and a 61% free throw percentage to the table. All of that adds up to a big man who figures to be serviceable at the very least. It also leaves Travis Steele with one scholarship spot to fill, two if you count Naji Marshall as gone (which we do). Xavier will likely be on the hunt for a point guard with some experience, another shooter, or just whatever they can land.
The adjustment from DII to DI isn’t going to be easy, but the way Griffin plays the game isn’t entirely reliant on finesse and the finer things. He’s built for and predisposed to wreaking havoc in the lane. With Xavier now looking to fill a Tyrique Jones sized hole in their lineup, the man from New York may be just the thing.
These are highlights from Griffin’s sophomore year. He is yet to upload this year’s.