The Impact: JP Macura

Xavier landed a big commitment Monday night. Rick takes a look at what JP Macura committing means for the Musketeers and their 2014 recruiting class.

One of Xavier's top priorities in the 2014 recruiting class has been a wing for quite some time now. While the Musketeers could grab a player at each position in this class, the wing spot has been pushed to the forefront based on need. Losing Dez Wells last year hurt them for the immediate future, leaving Justin Martin as the only upper classmen ready to play at the three in 2013 on the roster, but Xavier didn't have much depth at the position long-term either. Kamall Richards in the 2013 class is the only true three behind Justin Martin, and his reputation coming to Cincinnati was of a scrappy, physical player who rebounds well and plays hard. The Musketeers added Indiana transfer Remy Abell, who will be eligible to play in 2014, but he's a versatile guy who could play all three guard/wing spots and is known as a player who does all the small things and can really defend. That made adding a big-time offensive threat on the wing a huge importance for this staff going forward.

Monday night the Musketeers landed their man, as four-star wing J.P. Macura out of Minnesota made his commitment to Chris Mack and Xavier after an in-home visit. Macura chose Xavier over Creighton and Minnesota, despite many of the recruiting experts predicting he would stay home. Newest staff addition Rick Carter was the lead recruiter for the 6-5 sharpshooter.

Macura will have to add strength and prove he can defend the way Xavier requires, but his offensive game is already well developed. He's an aggressive scorer that has a big reputation as a shooter, and he uses that to his advantage off the dribble by attacking over-aggressive closeouts. He's good at getting to the rim and using his athleticism to finish in transition, and he's got a smooth mid-range game as well. He's confident in his skills and is always looking to score, but when the defense collapses he's a capable passer.

The previously mentioned roster makeup is going to give Macura a legit chance to push for early playing time, and that was a big selling point to him when making his decision. The competitive wing is coming in with expectations to push for immediate minutes. His learning curve and effort on the defensive side, along with his commitment to the weight room, will determine how soon he's able to make an impact.

This is also a huge commitment for Rick Carter. He did a great job of building a relationship with the kid that started while he was at Missouri and continued once he got to Xavier. Once Mack really got the chance to watch him play, he quickly became a priority target, and Carter did an excellent job of turning up the heat and out-recruiting the home state school Minnesota, not to mention Creighton and others. The entire coaching staff capped it off by winning Macura over on his official visit, and the in-home visit Monday that resulted in him committing.

Carter was brought in to help enhance recruiting in some Midwest areas, particularly Illinois, but he's also going to branch out and recruit some areas Xavier hasn't been recruiting in recent years. Landing Macura gives Carter some instant credibility in this regard, proving that his time spent recruiting a state like Minnesota won't be wasted, as he's already shown he can get kids from that part of the country to come to Cincinnati and play at Xavier.

Just earlier this week fans were worried about the shape of this 2014 recruiting class when Justin Tillman popped for VCU. Now, with Macura in the fold, a class consisting of Edmond Sumner, JP Macura and at least one of Makinde London or Sean O'Mara, if not both, is a very likely scenario for Xavier.

Macura filled an important need and gave the Musketeers momentum on the recruiting trail heading into an important weekend of visits.


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