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Xavier lands Dayvion McKnight

Xavier needed a point guard with some experience, and they went out and got one.

NCAA Basketball: Western Kentucky at Kentucky Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

First off, the obligatory Tipton edit.

Here are the facts of the case, and they are undisputed. Xavier has lost almost all of its point guard minutes. This season it was either Souley Boum (almost always), Adam Kunkel, or Colby Jones handling the initiation of the offense. Very rarely Des Claude would slot in there. Xavier cannot play this upcoming season without a point guard.

Dayvion Mcknight is a point guard of sorts. He didn’t spend all of his time on the point this season thanks to Jordan Rawls, but he did the first two years and he still was there some this season. He averaged 16.5/5/3.8 on .456/.339/.841 shooting. In 33 games he averaged 33 minutes and hoisted about 15 shots per game.

In advanced metrics McKnight posted an offensive rating of 100.8, an effective field goal percentage of 47.9%, and an assist rate of 25.6% to go with a turnover rate of 20%. His steal rate was an excellent 3.1%, and he got on the glass (OR 5.3%, DR 11.4%) very well for a guard.

What does all this mean? Well, if you were expecting another Souley Boum, McKnight isn’t your guy. Let’s start with the positive. McKnight is 6-1, 195 and built like a small truck. He’s an excellent and durable defender who isn’t getting bullied anywhere and can really, really guard. For a team that eventually bowed out this season because its guards just couldn’t get stops, that will be a refreshing change. McKnight is also nails from the line and is a reliable scorer.

What he isn’t is efficient. McKnight shot more than Boum this season and shot worse from all over the court. He took more shots to score essentially the same amount of points. An offensive efficiency of 100 is an enormous step down from Boum’s 119. An EFG% of 47.9% is just flat out bad and lands McKnight well behind every Xavier regular other than Des Claude this year. He is, in essence, a volume scorer who is a very poor shooter. That will have change, and drastically, for him to fit in at Xavier. McKnight’s usage rate was 55th in the nation this season. Xavier didn’t finish the year with anyone in the top 500.

All this means that Xavier landed a guy who, if his game was modified, would have been an excellent off guard fit this season. How he fits in a new year will depend on how well the coaching staff can mold his game and how willing he is to make the adjustments needed. He’s a nice piece, it’s going to take some serious work to make him more than that. Thankfully, he’s motivated to be here and Xavier’s coach is Sean Miller.