National Signing Week is upon us, and it is time to take stock of the country. Here is a look at what went right, what went wrong, and what is still left to do for teams. This edition focuses on the Xavier Musketeers.
What went right?
Xavier sits in the top five of the class rankings coming into signing day, and has commitments two top 40 prospects. Neither of those things have ever happened at Xavier, so obviously a lot went right.
The two biggest things that went well were landing Paul Scruggs and Naji Marshall. Marshall is a playmaking forward who can handle the point guard some, is a tremendous passer, and should provide defensive versatility. Scruggs is a near elite athlete with length, and is as strong and tough going to the rim as any player in the class.
While those two provide the toughness and muscle, Elias Harden and Jared Ridder deliver the scoring punch. Harden is a four-star wing who can play either shooting guard or small forward. He has a good looking shooting stroke and also is a solid athlete with good length. Ridder is a three-star forward who is one of the elite shooters in the class, and will likely be used as a stretch power forward to spread the floor.
Also Xavier reeled in three-star center Kentrevious Jones out of Georgia. Jones is a massive human who has good hands and a nice touch, but might be a year or two away from being someone that can be relied upon to contribute in the rotation.
What went wrong?
Clearly not a ton went wrong for Xavier as they landed several of their top targets, but they did have a big miss at the end. Xavier was hoping to add a second big in Sterling Manley, but the Musketeers lost out on Manley to North Carolina.
Also Xavier missed out on five-star Kris Wilkes. While Wilkes was never someone who was leaning to Xavier, the Musketeers were right in the mix for him for a long time, but eventually they didn’t even make the cut.
What is left to do?
Xavier still has several scholarships to give out if they are so inclined. At this point no specific prospect is left on the board, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Musketeers investigate into some other options on the post. They’d like to add another big to next year’s roster, and will likely explore that option either via fifth year transfer or if a player re-opens his recruitment due to a coaching change.