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Team Zip ‘Em Up adds two more big pieces

A Xavier legend and the first non-Xavier player join a roster that looks close to being rounded out.

NCAA Basketball: Marquette at Xavier Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

In case you haven’t heard, Xavier is putting together a team for The Basketball Tournament this year. Headed by Coach Rick Carter and assembled by GM Darwin Davis, Jr., this team is loaded with talent and figures to be in position to make a run at the million dollars on offer for the winner of the competition. See our previous coverage below for the state of things so far.

I don’t know how many dudes - or gals, it’s 2021 - it takes to win this thing, but Team Zip ‘Em Up apparently felt like it was at least two more. Here they are:

Sean O’Mara and Sterling Gibbs

Let’s start with Sean O’Mara. He was never the first or even second option for Xavier in his four years on campus, but he was always incredibly efficient. As a senior, he posted an ORtg of 122.2, crushed the offensive glass, and hit over 80% of his free throws. Beyond that, he also scored what is surely the basket in recent Xavier history. Not even “Crawford’s gotta hurry!” eclipses “O’Mara... O’Mara scores!”

Sterling Gibbs, you may recall, did not ever play for Xavier. He did, however, play for Texas, Seton Hall, and UConn. After a non-descript freshman campaign as a Longhorn, he averaged 13.8/2.4/3.4 on .410/.397/.752 shooting in his last two stops. He also threw in more than a steal per game for good measure.

Since matriculation, Big Sean has played in Finland and Japan, most recently averaging 18.6/9.1/1.8 and finishing 5th in the league in blocks at 1.1 per game for Bambitious Nara (sidebar: I don’t know what Bambitious means in this context, but I think I’m going to start using it as an adjective). Gibbs has played in Hungary, Greece, France, Slovenia, and Belgium, most recently dropping a bambitious (it works!) 16.5/2.3/4.5 game line on .498/.441/.773 shooting. He has consistently hit around 40% of his three-point attempts in Europe.

That’s a pretty stacked roster, but Coach Carter seems to intimate that there is more to come.

Watch this space.