How Did We Do? A Review of Norwood Hardwood’s First Year

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.

Hopefully you learned a little bit about the greatest one-and-done in Xavier history, or the Musketeers’ newest rivalry.

What were some of our best performing tweets?

We hope you had as much fun as we did and we can’t wait to bring you more #content next season.

Plz @ us on Twitter or leave a comment below and tell us what you liked, didn’t like, want to see more of, how we can improve, all that good stuff.

Thanks for everything, and here’s to the future. Let’s Go X.

Senior Seminar: Another Crack at Ranking the Players

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.”

  1. Kamall Richards

  • Airballed three, steal, missed dunk, torn ACL, transfer. #TellAStoryInEightWords
  1. Andrew Mitchell

  • Highly questionable if he really had any business walking on at a DII university, but what do I know.
  1. Landon Amos

  • Honestly don’t ever remember him playing.
Chris Mack, Landen Amos
Proof.
  1. Alex Bergen

  • 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.
  1. Ashanti Burgess

  • I guess he gets to say he was a D1 athlete for one season.
  1. 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.

  1. Cullen Barr

  • Dunked on me multiple times in intramurals, co-ed edition, so he gets knocked down the list for that.
  1. Tim Stainbrook

  • Tim is the second best Stainbrook to ever play for Xavier, so he’s got that going for him.

stainbrook2

  1. Tim Whelan

  • 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.”
  1. Kevin Coker

  • Unlike Landon, I remember him playing, but what I don’t remember is him every putting up a shot.
  1. Erik Stenger

  • Lock-down defensively but the offense would probably have been more effective playing 4-on-5 with him on the court.
  1. Makinde London

  • 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.
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Dude was just long as all hell
  1. Brandon Randolph

  • 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.
  1. 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:

laj

  1. RaShid Gaston

  • 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).
  1. Quentin Goodin

  • 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.”
  1. Justin Martin

  • Boy, could he score. That’s about it though.
  1. Isaiah Philmore

  • 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.
  1. Tyrique Jones

  • 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.

TyriqueJones2

  1. Sean O’Mara

  • 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.
  1. Remy Abell

  • Lockdown ‘D’ with the occasion miracle 3. Can’t ask for too much more than that. #GIG
  1. Malcolm Bernard

  • 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.

NCAA Basketball: Marquette at Xavier

  1. Kaiser Gates

  • 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.
  1. Jalen Reynolds

  • Left one year too soon. Take advice from your fellow Jalen: Keep getting’ dem check and techs, young man.

checks

  1. Myles Davis

  • Great, clutch teammate; below average person. Win some. Lose some.
  1. 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.

farr

  1. Darwin “Dee” Davis, Jr.

  1. J.P. Macura

  • 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.
  1. Semaj Christon

  • 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.
THUNDER DENVER PRESEASON
Jokes on me, I guess.
  1. Trevon Blueitt

  • 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.
  1. Matt Stainbrook

  • 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.
  1. Edmond Sumner

  • 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.

usa_today_9013716.0

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. Continue reading “Senior Seminar: Ranking Every Player in My Four Years”

What is the Skip Prosser Classic?

Some of you are Xavier students that had no idea the school existed three years ago, but when you applied and they gave you great money, you accepted. Some of you knew about Xavier, but only started following the team since you’ve been here. Then others of you reading this are life-long Xavier supporters; those that bleed navy and white. Whoever you are and however you ended up a part of the Musketeer community, you have been thrust into the culture of winning basketball, and that culture was entrenched during the Skip Prosser era. So who was he? Why do Xavier and Wake Forest play a game honoring him every year? Continue reading “What is the Skip Prosser Classic?”

Cullen Barr: Regular Student Turned Walk-On

A mascot is one of, if not the most, recognizable cornerstones of any sports organization. However, just like walk-ons on a college basketball team, those that hold the position, those veiled by the mask, are often unknown. Their work shines, yet they rarely, if ever, receive the credit they deserve for what they produce. Continue reading “Cullen Barr: Regular Student Turned Walk-On”

Introducing Norwood Hardwood

Norwood, Ohio. What a place right? It’s been around for centuries. Wikipedia even says the earliest humans that settled here were from the Pre-Columbian era, way before even our homeboy St. Francis Xavier was doing his thing.

Norwood means one thing to Xavier though: home. There’s one place in particular that feels a little more special five months of the year, and that’s the hardwood within the confines of the Cintas Center.

You can get info about Xavier basketball from all over (the team is pretty good if you haven’t heard), but where can you get that info brought to you by students? Look no further because that appetite you didn’t even know you had has now been filled.

We’re going to bring you LOTS of #content. Some serious stuff, some jokes, some podcasts, and hopefully some knowledge along the way. We love the Musketeers as much as you do, and we’re going to share some of that with you.

Paul Fritschner is a sophomore, Kyle Tooley and Ben Baumeister are seniors. With this season underway, we’re ready to bring all of you, students, alumni, families, and diehard fans alike, our thoughts about what happens on the hardwood in Norwood.

So follow us on Twitter @NorwoodHardwood and like us on Facebook.

Buckle up everyone and let’s enjoy the ride.