First, (part one of) the news:
As Rick reported this morning, Matthew Graves, who spent the last two seasons as #Xavier's special assistant to the head coach, is headed to Indiana State where he'll be an assistant/associate head coach. https://t.co/0rsdxy35rx— Adam Baum (@AdamJBaum) March 22, 2021
Matthew Graves came in two years ago billed as a good Xs and Os guy would could help Travis Steele find his feet strategically. He did a lot of film study and game planning for Xavier; he was more active in that capacity and instructionally than in recruiting. He's heading to Indiana State to join Greg Lansing's staff; Lansing made various postseasons in his first four years - including the NCAA tournament in 2011 - but hasn't earned a berth since.
Second, and perhaps more importantly:
Welcome home, Coach Johnson!— Minnesota Men's Basketball (@GopherMBB) March 22, 2021
Meet our new coach: https://t.co/JhyIoQuFnQ pic.twitter.com/u1f3sTHrGI
After spending three years as an assistant under Travis Steele, Ben Johnson has taken the head job at his alma mater. Johnson was a big part of Xavier's recruiting, helping land Colby Jones and Zach Freemantle among others in his time at X. Johnson worked with the perimeter players in a developmental capacity, apparently impressing Minnesota enough with that work that they decided he was worth a shot as head man.
This cuts both ways for Xavier. On the one hand, most assistant coaches want to be head coaches at some point in time. The guys with the skill to do that are going to want to go to places that can keep their careers moving forward; Xavier continues to prove itself to be just such a place.
On the other hand, the Muskies now have to fill two seats on the bench. Like any other hire, it's important to get this right or risk losing momentum. It's both a risk and an opportunity for the program.
Luke Murray, for what it's worth, recently reentered the job market.