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Player Preview 2022: Is Kam Craft the answer to Xavier’s shooting problems?

One of Xavier’s incoming freshman could be the key to solving a festering problem.

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL: APR 15 Jordan Brand Classic - Boys Game
Yep. This is all the evidence I need.
Photo by Chris Kohley/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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.

3-21, 5-30, 3-17, 4-20, 4-20, 3-15. Famous early calendar dates? Guardians batting lines with runners in scoring position this postseason? Odds on a British Prime Minister lasting a full year? No, this is a listing of the times Xavier shot 20% or below behind the arc last season. The Musketeers shot below 30% in 19 of their 36 games last season. For the year they were at a horrid 32.2% mark. That’s not bad coaching or game planning, that’s just atrocious shooting.

Into that gap yawning chasm steps the first member of Xavier’s 2022 recruiting class. Kam Craft is a willowy 6-6 guard out of Illinois who transferred to the Skill Factory in Atlanta to finish his HS career. Craft wasn’t ranked by any service in his junior year, but shot up to being a top 100 as his final year in high school finished.

The big draw to Craft’s game is his jump shooting. He shot 40% behind the arc last year playing a prep school schedule. He’s good off the bounce and can get up a big, but his shooting is the reason that he is a Musketeer now.

That’s a good thing, because Xavier isn’t returning a lot of shooting. The fearless Adam Kunkel is the returning three point attempter and he shot 33%. Jack Nunge made 36.5% of his 96 attempts, but the three pointer is an augment to his arsenal, not the main piece. The rest of the team is best not discussed. Xavier needs, desperately, someone who can make a jump shot and open up the interior for Nunge, Edwards, and Freemantle.

Craft can be that guy, but he has to be on the court to do it. Defense will play on this team, and Craft has the length to do it, but he’ll need to fill out his somewhat wiry frame. If he can get 15-20 minutes per game, he’ll be the sharpshooting threat that Xavier has lacked, and that Xavier Nation has clamored for, this season.