Senior Seminar: Ranking Every Player in My Four Years

When my buddy Jack Spooner approached me with this idea, I was immediately floored. As sports fans, we live for rankings of any type. We want power rankings, mock drafts, big boards and more, especially when it involves our favorite team.

“Kyle, would you like to avoid studying and rank ALL 33 players to wear the Xavier uniform in your four years?”

“Hell. Yes.”

Keep in mind – this is my freaking list. It is not your list, it is not your roommate’s list, it is not your dad’s list. Each player has affected me one way or the other (on and off the court), earning them their ranking on this list.

  1. Alex Bergen, Ashanti Burgess, Conor Peterson and Kevin Coker (tie)

  • These four are walk-ons that I felt zero personal connection to in my four years. Two of them were only on the team for one of my four years. It’s nothing personal gentlemen.
  1. Larry Austin Jr.

  • Really, really didn’t like Larry’s game. It consisted of getting constantly rim-stuffed and providing a breather for Edmond. Wasn’t sad when he transferred.

You can imagine how much I laughed at this tweet.

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  1. Kamall Richards

  • Kamall Richards, aka “the guy who missed a breakaway dunk, tore his ACL and transferred.” Not even sure if he plays basketball anymore.
  1. Tim Whelan

  • Tim came and played pickup basketball in the rec center while he was on the team. He gets a bump for that.
  1. Andrew Mitchell

  • Andrew put me on his pass list during the NCAA Tournament my sophomore year in Jacksonville. MAJOR bump for that.
  1. Erik Stenger

  • The StengRay. Started the opener my freshman year and then didn’t get much playing time after that. LOVED the nickname though.
  1. Landon Amos

  • Landon was the easiest person to root for as a freshman in the student section. He wore number 22, meaning you couldn’t confuse your hands when he shot free throws.
  1. Brandon Randolph

  • The kid had so much hype coming in as a top-100 recruit. He never developed and ended up transferring. Not NEAR as bad as LAJ, but he transferred for a reason. I still wish he would’ve developed into something.
  1. Isaiah Philmore

  • Ahh. Mr. Philmore. The starting four my freshman year. Never thought he was anything special. Dope goggles though.

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  1. Leighton Schrand

  • I only got one year of Leighton as a walk-on, which makes me jealous of the kids younger than me. The kid has A1 bench celebrations and has surprising hops for a guy of his height. He’s listed as 6’0,” but we all know that’s very, very not true.

  1. Tim Stainbrook

  • Walk-on turned scholarship player. The only guy who was on the roster for all of my four years. I personally think he should’ve played more his senior season. Kid can stroke.
  1. Cullen Barr

  • Great story. I knew “Cullen the student” before he became “Cullen the basketball player,” so I loved to root for him. Also had untouchable facial expressions.

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  1. Makinde London

  • Makinde only saw the court for one year before transferring to Chattanooga. But he was ELECTRIC. Great size, great athleticism and even better piano-playing skills.
  1. RaShid Gaston

  • No one was more excited than me when RaShid transferred to Xavier. He had flashes of brilliance but I thought he could’ve been so much more than what he was. He was caught in a logjam in his one season and ultimately fell to the bottom of the pecking order.
  1. Justin Martin

  • JMart was the face of the old regime of Xavier basketball. He tried to transfer to a “bigger” program at SMU, which you probably won’t see anymore the way X is growing. He had some idiotic moments but also played at an extremely high level from time to time, like when he posted 16 (!!) rebounds in a win against Doug McDermott’s Creighton Bluejays.
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JMart and your boy after the win over Creighton my freshman year
  1. Sean O’Mara

  • Trying to rid myself of “recency bias” in this one, because the big fella was only serviceable until his UNREAL NCAA Tournament this season. A good dude nonetheless that will hopefully have a major impact next season.
  1. Kaiser Gates

  • Kaiser is the ultimate “three and D” player at Xavier. Very rarely does he put the ball on the deck, but he can definitely put the ball on the hole. Waiting for him to make the jump to “major impact player.”
  1. Malcolm Bernard

  • No one in the country shoots a rhythm three better than Malcolm. I’m not saying he’s a great three-point shooter, but he’s UNTOUCHABLE in rhythm. His leadership and scrappy play down the stretch made me fall in love. Truly played like a senior.
  1. Tyrique Jones

  • Electric. Highlight-reel dunks and vicious blocks. Can’t wait to see what he grows into. Wish I had more of him in my four years.
  1. Quentin Goodin

  • How can you say anything bad about a guy who was thrust into a starting role as a true freshman? He struggled at the start but really developed into a major key in Xavier’s Elite 8 run. This kid will be REALLY good in the years to come.
  1. Remy Abell

  • Remy was the best on-ball defender Xavier has had in a while. His unconventional jumpshot also found the bottom of the net more times than not, and his leadership was second to none.
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How this shot ever went in I will never know
  1. Jalen Reynolds

  • Jalen leaving after his junior year was a heartbreak for Xavier fans. He played above the rim on both sides of the ball and captivated spectators everywhere he went. Xavier’s team would have looked a little different this season had he not decided to forego his senior year.
  1. Semaj Christon

  • AirMaj was arguably the most talented player we had in my four years. He did everything at a pretty high level and ultimately decided to head to the Draft after his sophomore (my freshman) year. Another “what-if” for Xavier fans.
  1. James Farr

  • This ranking is purely based off of Jimmy’s senior season. Once he figured out that he had more size than, well, everyone, and decided to sit on the block, he was a menace. If you want to teach your kids about rebounding, show them Wild Jim’s highlight reel.
  1. J.P. Macura

  • You love him when he’s on your team, hate him when he’s not. His “in-the-gym” range has led to some questionable shot choices, but he can do it all. Your team is in good shape if he’s your second or third option, which he has been so far.
  1. Edmond Sumner

  • Of all the “what-ifs” I’ve mentioned, this is easily the biggest one. Before the ACL tear he was arguably the most fascinating player in college hoops. His ability to attack the rim was unmatched. Best of luck in the NBA.

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  1. Myles Davis

  • Marked by controversy his senior season, Myles was a standout player for several years. His shooting ability and leadership made him a fan-favorite, but his off-the-court issues ultimately led to him leaving the team. Another HUGE “what-if” regarding Team 95 (that’s three now if you’re counting).
  1. Matt Stainbrook

  • Xavier’s version of The Big Fundamental. His “jump” hook was uber extremely magical and his grizzly bear body was captivating. No surprise he jumped onto the national scene as a senior.

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  1. Trevon Bluiett

  • This guy will go down in the record books as an all-time Xavier great. His mid-range jumper was essentially a layup and he put up huge performances in big situations this past season. I pray to God he returns for one more run.
  1. Dee Davis

  • This is my list, ok? I freaking LOVE Darwin Davis Jr. He is everything you want in a point guard. He was an assist machine, limited the turnovers and could score when necessary. Plus he went 5-5 (!!) from distance at UC his junior (my sophomore) year, forever cementing him in Xavier lore.
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I’ll never apologize for my love of this man.

One thought on “Senior Seminar: Ranking Every Player in My Four Years

  1. A little disrespectful to Larry Austin in my opinion. While at Xavier he was one of my favorite players, being an unselfish and team-first guy made him very likeable for me. While I fully understand that these are your rankings, I think you were a little sour towards him. I was extremely sad when he transferred because you only get such good team and role guys every once in a while. Anyways, I enjoyed looking at your rankings and am psyched that Tre is back. Best of luck with life after Xavier (the academics that is)!

    Like

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