Ben Baumeister gives us the final edition of this year’s “Senior Seminar” series.
People always ask me, “why did you choose Xavier?” For most people my answer is that I loved the campus and class sizes and I loved the opportunities Xavier would potentially give to me. All of this is true, but the big reason? The basketball team. There’s just something so special about Xavier Basketball.
So with a month left until I graduate (hopefully), there is no better way to reflect than ranking all the Xavier Basketball players that passed through Cintas in my four years here. As that one weird kid from southern Oregon said in the first senior seminar, “this is my freaking list. It is not your list, it is not your roommate’s list, it is not your dad’s list.”
Let’s go X.
33.) Andrew Mitchell
- One time, while working at the Xavier ticket office, I made AF show ID to pick up his player tickets at will call. And that sums up his basketball career at X.
32.) Ashanti Burgess
- Talked a lot of trash at IM basketball games and couldn’t even back it up when he was playing out of shape college kids whose jump shots are broker than my bank account.
31.) Conor Peterson
- Honestly not sure who he was, except that he got tackled after the Arizona game. Horrible exclusion from One Shining Moment.
30.) Alex Bergen
- Had a SPMG class with him once. Seemed like a nice guy.
29.) Leighton Schrand
- My man may look like he’s 12, but good lord does he have handles for days. Hey Ashanti, have Leighton teach you something. it may help your IM team next year.
28.) Landen Amos
- Solid on the defensive end when he played.
27.) Cullen Barr
- Honest to god, Cullen has to hold the record for most IM championships. Like we get it Cullen, you’re good at sports. Let someone else win, like maybe Ashanti.
26.) Kevin Coker
- Kevin was a solidish basketball player. That’s really all I got. #GoodDude
25.) Tim Whelan
- Jacked. Absolutely jacked. Also still want to know who would win a game of one on one between him and his brother.
24.) Justin Martin
- I wanted to put him last so so badly. Justin Martin was the worst. Had the decision making skills of Kyle Tooley when he’s had eight Rhinegheist Truths. How many games did this man take us out of with his god awful shots and turnovers? Oh and that NC State game… He’s just the worst.
23.) Kamall Richards
- A scholarship player that just never panned out.
22.) Tim Stainbrook
- My man earned and worked hard to get a scholarship his senior year. Hey Ashanti, you still taking notes?
21.) Brandon Randolph
- To be honest, I don’t know what Jack was talking about when he said “showed great flashes.” All I can remember is several turnovers and how the press turned Brandon Randolph into a youth church league basketball player.
20.) Rashid Gaston
- Remember how much hype there was for Shid? Well..
However, his name (and some other things) were the inspiration behind the name of my championship winning fantasy football team this year.
19.) Isaiah Philmore
- Just could never make a layup.
18.) Makinde London
- Man I loved Makinde. 6-foot player stuck in a 6’10 body. Remember that no look pass he had to Sean O’Mara? How many players on this list could say they’ve made ESPN’s top ten plays?
17.) Larry Austin Jr.
- He just was never good. I don’t care what you people say, his hair looked like he was wearing a chia pet and he got blocked every time he went inside the arch.
16.) Tyrique Jones
- Mini Jalen? The dunks and blocks this man had were just so much fun to watch. Oh and he dunked on his family. Baller.
15.) Erik Stenger
- I LOVE the Stengray. I don’t remember seeing a player play as hard and as selfless as this man. Some may say it was because he had zero offensive ability, so he had to be good at something. I, however, believe that he played extra hard on the defensive end and not at all on the offensive end to balance out J-Mart.
14.) Malcom “Greenroom” Bernard
- For a senior transfer, Malcom really bought into the Xavier way of basketball. He played hard, had a good shot and was a leader. Now I would bet my life he doesn’t get drafted but man was he a blessing for Xavier this year.
13.) Kaiser Gates
- Kaiser was one of the hardest players to rank. So many times I find myself wondering why he has been called the best shooter on the team, but then he goes nuts and I fall in love all over again.
12.) Quentin Goodin
- At the beginning of the year Q was on pace to become the next B-Rand and LAJ. But then ED went down and we all saw why he was the Gatorade Kentucky Boys Player of the Year in 2016. Huge part of this year’s run and for that I am always going to like him.
11.) Sean O’Mara
- Much like Q, the beginning of the year was suspect. But man did Sean play well down the stretch. If you hit the game winning shot in the sweet sixteen, you’re doing something right. Also, Sean has been in several of my SPMG groups. Really nice guy and just a likeable person.
10.) Remy Abell
- Some would say Remy played “Erik Stenger defense.” Well okay, maybe that’s just me. Anyways Remy played great defense and made some big threes in his career. Also he falls at #1 on my power ranking of Ugliest Xavier Basketball Player Shots.
9.) Myles Davis
- Remember the brother in law from the Godfather, Carlo Rizzi? Myles is Carlo. Got put in the best possible situation to become great, instead made some very poor decisions that would lead to an epic demise. If only Myles could have been more of a family man.
Side note: Myles’ three against Georgetown to give us the lead in 2014 was one of the best moments I’ve ever witnessed in Cintas. What could have been.
8.) Jalen Reynolds
- Freshman year one of my good friends and I found ourselves at Currito (Currito>Chipotle) one Saturday night after a few too many Capri suns. My friend saw Jalen and runs up to him and goes, “Jalen, I’m your biggest fan!” Jalen turns and looks at him and says, “No, I’m your biggest fan.” Great guy. Awesome basketball player. Jalen, will always be one of my favorites.
7.) J.P Macura
- Shooters shoot. Man could JP light it up. What might be better than his shooting ability? The amount of trash this man talked was amazing. I remember during the Team 94 season JP hit a three I front of St. Johns bench and then turned to them and said to the bench, “take notes”. Absolute legend.
6.) James Farr
- Jack Spooner’s book series on Wild Jim would have been amazing. Someone needs to make this happen immediately.
5.) Edmond Sumner
- Every time Ed went to the paint I thought his life might be in danger. His explosiveness is off the charts. His dunk against UC during the 2015-16 season was also the greatest moment of my four years as a Xavier Basketball fan. Great guy and I wish him all the best at the next level.
4.) Matt Stainbrook
- The player Przemek Karnowski wishes he was. I’m sure Przemek has also become an Uber driver. The StainTrain was just the man. Loveable guy who made great decisions and somehow always got the ball in the hoop.
3.) Dee Davis
- The Dee Davis game will forever be one of my favorite games I’ve seen. Beating that Mickie Mouse team from Clifton is always fun. Dee was a great leader and was the little guy with biggest heart. He also made Kyle Tooley’s day by tweeting at him. #bromance
2.) Semaj Christon
- Imagine that 2013-14 team without Semaj. This man just always found a way to score and I would even argue he has better finishing abilities in the paint than Ed. I wish he would have stayed, but you can’t win them all. Also, shoutout to Semaj for helping Russ break the triple-double record.
1.) Trevon Blueitt
- The clutchest basketball player I’ve seen in my four years here at X. Tre seemingly willed Xavier to victory this year because he knew he had to. Always made huge shots in the biggest moments. When can we start talking about him as one of the Xavier greats?
I’m not one to read into any signs, but Tre was in my class a couple weeks ago to take a sport law test. You all can read into this more.