There's no spinning this, Freemantle was a huge part of what made Xavier a team that battled toward the top of the Big East this season and was playing at a level that merited all-Big East consideration before missing the final 9 games. Now he will have season ending surgery on Tuesday as the Musketeers prepare for the Big East Tournament and hope to make a run this postseason without a key piece.
Freemantle came into this season off a Junior year in which he missed the first 6 games to injury and never was able to recapture the form that had made him a first team all-Big East pick before the season. As a Senior, who still maintains a year of eligibility due to the COVID year, he was better than ever, posting a line of 15.2/8.1/2.9 with the highest efficiency numbers of his college career as well as establishing himself as a tenacious presence on the defensive glass and showing improved mobility on the defensive end. There are several players that one could point to as Xavier's most talented offensive player, and Zach's 29 point explosion in leading Xavier to their first win at Finneran Pavilion since joining the Big East certainly lent credence to those who asserted that it was him.
Xavier has gone 6-3 since Freemantle went down, losing heartbreakers at Butler and Marquette as well as dropping a close one at home to Villanova. In that time they've also beaten Providence twice, and hammered St. John's and Seton Hall by ugly margins. This is still a team that is capable of winning games and beating good teams, so the season is by no means over, but it would be a great disservice to the season Freemantle has put together to act like this is anything but bad news for X.