Kris Wilkes knocks Xavier off list - keeps Illinois, Indiana, and UCLA
Jones is a 6'11", 285-pound big man out of Georgia who will fill the hole left by the departures of Gaston next year and Ekiyor this offseason. He's currently a three-star recruit with the potential to grow to fill a big role in the middle for X.
Wilkes will be on campus Oct. 28-30, right on the cusp of the season's beginning. Wilkes is rumored to be interested in playing college ball with four-star guard Paul Scruggs, who is rumored to favor Xavier over Indiana and UConn right now. Rumors and speculation abound. I wish the season would start already.
As you can see, the competition for Smith is of a high level. He's a 6'7" power forward in the mold that a lot of teams are moving towards, focus more on positional flexibility than pure size. He's all pace and power in the open floor, and he finishes above the rim if he gets a path. His jumper is accurate if he has time to set his feet beyond the arc. Smith works hard at both ends; it's no mystery why so many top teams are in on him.
Scruggs is one of the top players in the 2017 class, and Xavier has been on him hard. He is a strong, physical guard who slashes and scores well. He's not a great shooter, but he has a great frame and uses it well. The 2017 class could be a monster for X.
Clark is 5'9", but he has exceptional quickness and court vision. He gets to the middle of the defense well and makes his teammates better with his distribution. Other than his size, strength and a consistent jumper are areas of weakness for him right now.
Jones is a 6'10", 265-pound center out of Macon, Ga. His size alone obviously makes him a force on the glass and in the paint, but he also has good footwork around the rim. NC State, Rutgers, and Texas Tech are among those also involved.
Harden is a 6'6", four-star guard. Auburn, Texas Tech, and Virginia Tech are all also involved.
The Musketeers staff is really going after the 2017 top 100 pair. Wilkes is a 6'6" or so small forward who does his best work in the lane and has an expanding face-up game. Scruggs is a tough, physical guard who can really make plays going to the rim and defends like a maniac. Either of these players would be a great add for X.