Now that the Indiana Hoosiers men’s basketball team is searching for a new head coach, it is pertinent to take a look at some of the key names and how they have fared on the recruiting trail. The series continues with Xavier Head Coach Chris Mack.
Mack is currently finishing up his eighth season as the leader of the Xavier program, and he is about to coach is in his fourth Sweet 16. Mack has reached the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament as many times as all other Xavier coaches combined.
From a recruiting perspective Mack has made a living off of top 100 recruits, while also dipping just below that level to land very solid role players. He has also landed a few transfers, though he is more apt to go after a grad transfer than he is a traditional sit out guy.
Mack began his coaching career with Xavier in the Atlantic 10, and has since moved to the Big East. Even in the Atlantic 10 Mack was able to land highly rated players to the Musketeers.
Probably the best get for him in that regard was Dezmine Wells. Mack dipped into North Carolina to land Wells, a top 50 prospect, over schools such as NC State, Virginia Tech, Maryland, and many others.
Mack’s highest rated recruit has been five-star prospect Semaj Christon. Christon, a Cincinnati native, chose Xavier over Georgetown, Florida State, Illinois, and Providence. Christon is now playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA.
One aspect that will be especially interesting to Indiana fans is the job that Mack has done in the state of Indiana. In his time at Xavier he has landed four-star prospects from all over the Hoosier State.
Justin Martin, Dee Davis, Trevon Bluiett, and most recently Paul Scruggs have all picked Xavier in recent years, the latter two coming in recruiting battles against Indiana and many other high-profile programs.
Also Mack has shown he likes to go to the East Coast for kids. As an assistant he recruited the prep schools in New England, landing Mark Lyons, while also focusing there with current starter Tyrique Jones, who was also a four-star prospect.
Beyond that Mack has spent a lot of time recruiting in Georgia and the Washington D.C. area as well.
Overall Mack has a pretty complete track record on the recruiting trail. His 2014 class ranked in the top 15 nationally while his current 2017 class is in the top 10 in the country.
In general Mack has recruited well in the Midwest with some ties to the East Coast and the state of Georgia.
While he has never landed a McDonald’s All-American, which would be the expectation if he becomes the coach of the Hoosiers, he does have a track record of winning big time recruiting battles, and has familiarity within the state of Indiana.