THERE YOU HAVE IT FOLKS. Trevon Bluiett is coming back for his final year at Xavier. After the interview he gave on Monday, it sounded like he was leaving. He said he felt confident that if he stayed in the draft he would be picked in the second round, and that he was using his workout with the Knicks on Wednesday to help him affirm his decision. This was an all-time troll move from Tre, but who cares. HE’S BACK.
We get ANOTHER season of Tre cookin up the Big East. He gets to play in another Shootout at home. Remember the 40 points he scored last time he played UC? He gets another shot at the NCAA tournament. Come on…we could have even more Musketeer Moments???
So you’re telling me we have Trevon, JP, Kaiser, Sean, Quentin, and Tyrique to go along with Paul Scruggs, Naji Marshall, Jared Ridder, Elias Harden, Big K, AND Karem Kanter?? FEED ME WINS.
Seriously though, the bar just got raised in the Big East. A potential Big East Player of the Year candidate, Trevon is bringing so much to the table. He will start next year ranked 15th on the all-time scoring list with 1,585 career points. He made the first team All Big East team for the second year in a row, the All-Big East Tournament team this year, and he made the All-West Regional team after leading the Muskies to the Elite 8. The ceiling is the roof for Xavier.
Before the Arizona game, Tre wrote the article below. Now he has a chance to finish his Xavier career in style, and possibly as one of the greatest Musketeers to have ever worn a Xavier uniform. 151 days until Musketeer Madness.
When Xavier was in the midst of their spectacular 2015-2016 season, I wanted to create a place where Xavier students could go for some of their basketball info. You can read recaps and analysis everywhere, but I wanted to create something that was produced by students to get our perspective.
This site finally got off the ground as this past season started, and I set a few goals. I thought 200 Twitter followers by conference season and 300 by the Big East tournament was a realistic goal. Well, thanks to Xavier Nation being the best, we blew that out of the water.
After earning over 800 followers, more than 735,ooo Twitter impressions on the season, 7,000+ website views, and hundreds of views on our March Madness preview shows that we did on Twitter, I realized this year was something special.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Being the emotional sports sap that I am (I tear up every time I watch ESPN’s ‘Images of the Decade’), I wanted a nice way to put a cap on my last year of Xavier Basketball as a student. The best way I thought I could do this was to go back through and rank all the human beings that had played basketball at Xavier from Fall 2013 to Spring 2017.
Now to steal a bit from 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. Each player has affected me one way or the other (on and off the court), earning them their ranking on this list.”
Airballed three, steal, missed dunk, torn ACL, transfer. #TellAStoryInEightWords
Highly questionable if he really had any business walking on at a DII university, but what do I know.
Honestly don’t ever remember him playing.
Only thing I know about him is that he has a huge truck that has no reason to be in a city of more than 2,000 people.
I guess he gets to say he was a D1 athlete for one season.
Conor Peterson and Leighton Schrand (Tie)
If you put both Peterson and Schrand in front of me and asked me to say which one was which, I don’t think I could do it. All I know is that Malcolm tackled one of them after the win vs. Arizona.
Dunked on me multiple times in intramurals, co-ed edition, so he gets knocked down the list for that.
Tim is the second best Stainbrook to ever play for Xavier, so he’s got that going for him.
Scored one career point, which to me seems cooler than two or three; definitely cooler than zero. I hope his resume header reads, “Timofey X. Whelan: Scored One More College Basketball Point Than You.”
Unlike Landon, I remember him playing, but what I don’t remember is him every putting up a shot.
Lock-down defensively but the offense would probably have been more effective playing 4-on-5 with him on the court.
Never lived up to the enormous potential here at Xavier, which led to his career highlight (in my mind) being our Marketing professor calling him London Makinde for a full semester to his face without ever being corrected.
Had a very similar career path to #19 on this list, showed great flashes but never was allowed to prove himself. Word on the street is he almost messed around and had a near triple-double at whatever school he transferred to.
Larry Austin, Jr.
Though I did cruelly nickname him ‘Larry Awful, Jr.’ for a short period of time due to his propensity to get packed whilst attempting layups, he impressed me at the end of the 2015-16 season and I have to say I was disappointed when he left for Vandy. He also gets to claim that he was the focus of the greatest picture in Xavier Basketball history:
Real mixed bag here, I bought into the transfer hype hard, and man was I unimpressed early on. But he rebounded well (literally and metaphorically) at the start of conference play, before he lost his playing time to ‘Big Dog’ (#13) and ‘Little Big Dog’ (#14).
My first impression of him was that he was too jacked to shoot a basketball from more than six feet away, as his biceps were as big as my head. But he led the team admirably after the departure of Myles Davis and the injury to Edmond Sumner. I would put money on him moving up this list if I weren’t a senior. Also won points in my book by saying Patrick Beverly was his least favorite NBA player because “he plays like a crackhead.”
Boy, could he score. That’s about it though.
Could have averaged at least 6.3 more PPG if he ever learned to pump fake. Rocked the hell out of the rec-specs though.
He may have been a walking foul for 75% of his freshman season, but he easily makes up for it with highlight reel blocks and dunks. See below.
Also a walking foul for roughly 2.5 seasons, he had every post move in the book but the touch just wasn’t there most of the time. Showed up in the 2017 NCAA Tournament and slid up the list because I can’t fight recency bias as well as Kyle could in his Senior Seminar.
Lockdown ‘D’ with the occasion miracle 3. Can’t ask for too much more than that. #GIG
Essentially Remy, but with a less ugly looking jumper, and he got way more boards. ‘Greenroom’ also had a coming out part in the 2017 NCAA Tournament, which isn’t the worst time to peak.
Interestingly dubbed the “best shooter on the team” (see: #11 Xavier vs. #3 Florida St.) by Coach Mack, once he recovered from the knee injury he put up a solid season sophomore season. I’m expecting big things in the future.
Left one year too soon. Take advice from your fellow Jalen: Keep getting’ dem check and techs, young man.
Great, clutch teammate; below average person. Win some. Lose some.
James “Wild Jim” Farr
I once thought about writing a book series on Farr: “The Rise of James Farr”, “The Fall of James Farr”, “The Return of Jimmy”, and “The Redemption of Wild Jim: Farr 2 Good.” Never came to fruition though, probably the greatest disappointment of my professional career up to this point.
Long sleeves, long range, nuff said. Thought for sure he was going to get himself punched in the face during every single game, unbelievable swagger. I also maintain that he was the best overall basketball player on both Team 94 and Team 95.
Sometimes I lay awake at night thinking about what could have happened if he stuck around for his junior year instead of making $12,000 in the D-League.
Showed such great flashes of brilliance, even for extended periods of time (see: NCAA Tournament, 2017) but I always felt like there was a consistency left to be desired. Still ranks as an all-time great no matter if he decides to play one more year or not.
For as much flak as he caught for being a goofy, fat, bearded, white guy who drove Uber’s — the dude could ball. In a mid-season version of these rankings I made for myself I said, “If he were on Team 95, it’s an Elite 8 caliber team.” Let’s just say that hot take didn’t age too well.
Most explosive player I have ever seen play college basketball in person. Wish he could have been a part of the 2017 NCAA Tournament run and Team 96, but I wish him the best in pro ball.
Take a step back and think back to Veteran’s Day of 2016, when Lehigh entered the Cintas Center for the first game of the 2016-2017 men’s basketball season. Expectations were unbounded – this was a team coming off one of their best years in program history. They were ranked in the top 10 to begin the year, and there was no reason to believe this group of guys couldn’t compete for a Final Four. Continue reading “A Success After All: 2016-2017 in Review”→
Before we get into the actual dynamics of this Thursday’s game, there’s a post here that needs to be written. In doing some thinking and digging during the first 24 hours since we found out Xavier would be playing Maryland on Thursday, I noticed some incredible similarities between that team and this team. They are as follows: Continue reading “2015 vs. 2017 – The Similarities are Uncanny”→
Before the season began, I stepped back and took a look at what this Xavier team might be. Many national pundits believed this team would be as good, if not better, than last year’s team that was arguably the best in program history. The 2016-2017 version of the Musketeers was a consensus top-10 team that should only improve, not decline. I wasn’t exactly along the same wavelength, but I did think this was a top-20 team that would improve as the season went along. Whereas last year’s team lost four games in the regular season and six games total, I predicted eight regular season losses for this year because I thought there were too many variables; two grad transfers, two freshmen, a suspended senior leader, lack of depth, etc.
All season, I’ve written about staying positive through some of the losses. Finishing with two non-conference losses before conference play began (three including UC), was good, considering one of those losses was to a top-5 team. There was always still plenty of time to right the ship, plenty of time to turn things around, and numerous matchups against high-quality opponents left on the schedule.
Well, don’t look now, but there’s only three regular season games left, and one of those is against DePaul. I’m not here to hound this team or criticize. Coach Mack has done a fine job with the obstacles that have been thrown his way. Save for an 0-3 finish and a first round loss in the Big East tournament, this team will make the NCAA tournament.
I think I speak for a lot of people in saying that these games have been frustrating. BUT, everyone, it’s not time to capitulate, not time to wave the white flag, not time to look to next season. The most important games of the season are still on the horizon, and frankly, with a strong showing in March, the majority of these trials and tribulations will be lost in the wind.
Xavier redshirt sophomore point guard Edmond Sumner tore his ACL against St. John’s on Sunday, effectively ending his 2016-17 campaign. The Detroit, Mich., product was the team’s leader in assists and second on the team in points and steals. Continue reading “Sumner Tears ACL”→
Last night, after commiserating for about an hour after the heart-wrenching performance that had just been witnessed, I found myself needing some sustenance and decided on Currito. As I opened the door, the first words I heard were “life goes on” from the legendary song Jack and Diane by John Mellencamp. That caused me to stop, think, and reflect on both the game and the season as a whole. First, let’s take a look at this game. Continue reading “An Uppercut But Not a Knockout”→