A look at the top Xavier targets in the 2016 class.
The Xavier staff targeted Simpson as their man for the point guard spot in the 2016 class well over a year ago, and has put the full court press on him ever since. In terms of understanding how to run a team, he’s one of the best floor generals in the class. He’s a tremendous passer and ballhandler with good burst and long arms. He has a diverse mid-range game and is a capable shooter from distance. On the defensive end, he does a great job of pressuring opposing ballhandlers. He holds offers from Illinois, Purdue, Iowa, Butler Iowa State, Northwestern, and Xavier. In recruiting circles, most seem to think Xavier is the favorite, and Simpson has been showing a little more love to the Musketeers in recent interviews.
Fultz is a really skilled bucket-getter that could play on or off the ball as a guard. He can shoot out to the perimeter, and he’s one of the rare players who excels at shooting off the dribble. He has a tight handle and mastered a variety of moves off the bounce. He won’t wow you with his athleticism, but he’s a smooth player with enough athletic ability to get his shot off and finish at the rim. He has good size and length for a guard, though his frame is thin and underdeveloped still. He holds offers from Louisville, Arizona, Kansas, Virginia, Maryland, Texas, Georgetown, Oklahoma, NC State, Memphis, Florida State, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Seton Hall, Miami, Southern California, South Carolina, Oklahoma State, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, George Mason, Washington, Penn State, DePaul, Rhode Island, Cal State Northridge, and Xavier. Xavier is in a good spot with Fultz, but it’s still going to be tough to land him with Arizona as a top contender for his services and Kentucky recently showing interest.
Sneed is an athletic wing that can guard multiple positions, rebound and finish well above the rim. One of Xavier’s top priorities in the 2016 class is to add more athleticism and more versatility, and the two-sport (football) star at Hazelwood Central would help with both. He’s a great transition scorer who uses his speed, bounce and body control to glide to the rim. His outside shot is still a work in progress, but he’s shown improvement from last year during the spring. His handle gives him great upside as a scorer. Defensively he has the ability to not only be a talented playmaker but a lockdown defender of multiple positions. He holds offers from Illinois, Wichita State, Creighton, Cincinnati, Kansas State, Minnesota, Missouri, Saint Louis, and Xavier. Sneed is another prospect that Xavier’s staff targeted early as a priority recruit at a position of need. The staff has built a strong relationship with him, and while he doesn’t seem to be on the verge of making a decision soon Xavier should remain in the mix until that time comes.
The big-bodied center is one of the most polished post scorers in the class. Brunk combines patience and feel with tremendous footwork on the block. He has a huge arsenal of moves with great touch from various distances with a variety of releases. With a strong upper body, he holds his position well inside on the defensive end, and he’s a strong area rebounder. He holds offers from Illinois, Michigan State, Indiana, Purdue, Oklahoma, Iowa, Missouri, Ole Miss, Butler, Northwestern, New Mexico, and Xavier. X remains in constant contact with Brunk, and is one of a handful of schools still seriously in the mix for him.
Walker is a small, speedy guard with a strong frame. He flies up the court when pushing the ball in transition, and he has a special talent for finishing through contact. His tight handle and extra gear allow him to play at a breakneck pace. Defensively he has the strength, quickness and toughness to defend college point guards, He holds offers from Illinois, Iowa, Pittsburgh, Florida State, Wichita State, Memphis, Purdue, Butler, Cincinnati, Penn State, Texas A&M, La Salle, Western Illinois, Ball State, and Xavier. The staff recruited Walker some before his commitment to Purdue, and watched most of his games during the two open evaluation periods in April.
A combo-guard with great size, Huerter brings skill, feel and athleticism to the backcourt. He’s a tremendous passer that really understands how to play on the offensive end. He’s a knockdown shooter from the outside that can create shots off the bounce for himself or his teammates. Defensively he needs to add strength, but he moves well and currently makes up for his lack of muscle with his length. He holds offers from Syracuse, Notre Dame, Iowa, Baylor, Creighton, Maryland, Marquette, Miami, Penn State, Texas Tech, Davidson, George Washington, Rice, Albany, Siena, Duquesne, and Xavier. X was one of the first major schools to offer him this spring when he started blowing up. His recruitment has changed so drastically in the last month that it’s hard to have a great feel for what will happen.
Washington is another combo guard that can legitimately play the point position but he shoots it well enough to play off the ball. He’s an extremely efficient player that makes good decisions, passes well and knocks down open jump shots. He’s a smooth player off the bounce that typically chooses to pull-up for the mid-range jumper rather than drive all the way to the rim. He lacks explosion, but his IQ and skill level helps make up for his athletic shortcomings. He holds offers from Virginia, Miami, Memphis, Boston College, Wake Forest, Texas Tech, Virginia Tech, George Washington, Rhode Island, St. Bonaventure, Charlotte, Siene, Buffalo, Rice, Canisius, Boston, Pennsylvania, and Xavier.
Stevens doesn’t exactly fit in at any of the conventional basketball positions, but he’s powerful, explosive and has an incredible motor. On the offensive end, he loves to power drive opponents to the basket with quick, aggressive moves. He typically finishes above the rim or draws a foul when he attacks, though he’s shown great touch on dribble-pull-ups and short turnarounds off the dribble this spring. He rebounds really well out of area on both ends of the court, and has quick enough feet to guard a three with enough strength to guard most fours. He holds offers from Villanova, Maryland, Indiana, Iowa, Marquette, Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Saint Joseph’s, La Salle, Rhode Island, East Carolina, Temple, and Xavier. Xavier offered him and his two Team Final teammates below on this board after the first open evaluation period of the spring.
Carr is a proficient pass-first point guard that can also shoot the ball with distance. He’s streaky from the perimeter, but can really add a scoring element to a lineup when he gets going. The best part about his game is that he makes good decisions and moves the ball well, rarely forcing his own shot opportunities. His combination of IQ and ability to make shots gives him good upside as an offensive player. He’s grown a few inches over the last few years and now has good size for a point guard. He holds offers from Illinois, St. John’s, Maryland, Arizona State, Indiana, Georgetown, Wichita State, SMU, Providence, Stanford, VCU, Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech, Iowa, Florida State, Penn State, Rhode Island, George Washington Temple, and Xavier.
Painter is a center with legit size and a good frame. He’s already added strength, which has helped him become a better finisher and rebounder. He has a few different go-to post moves when working with his back to the basket, and he showed great touch this spring on everything from baby hooks in front of the rim to face-up mid-range jumpers. He’s a strong rebounder, and has good coordination as a shot blocker on the defensive end. He holds offers from Iowa, Georgia Tech, Penn State, Northwestern, Rhode Island, Duquesne, Hofstra, Rice, Lafayette, George Mason, Davidson, Saint Joseph’s, Lehigh, George Washington, La Salle, Marist, American, Holy Cross, Boston, Dayton, and Xavier.
Carter-Sheppard is a small but quick sharpshooter. He shoots the deep ball with consistency and range, and gets his shots off despite his size because of his quick release. When he does penetrate, he has good quickness, athleticism and body control that helps him as a finisher. On the defensive end, he holds his own by using his quickness and playing hard. He has offers from Cincinnati, Richmond, Miami (OH), Duquesne, Robert Morris, UNC Wilmington, East Carolina, Hampton, Mount St. Mary’s, Longwood, and Xavier. Xavier just offered him in the spring, and is the only major program other than Cincinnati to do so.
Keita is a long and strong rim-runner with rare agility for a player his size. He’s still very raw in terms of his skillset and game, but he runs the court effortlessly and plays above the rim at both ends. With his lateral mobility, he can definitely hedge ball screens the way Xavier likes to while also being a rim protector and rebounder on the defensive end. Offensively, most of his points come on dump-offs or garbage points currently, but he has showed some decent touch on the occasional face-up jumper. He holds offers from Syracuse, Villanova, Providence, VCU, Iowa State,Penn State, UNLV, South Florida, South Carolina, Auburn, Seton Hall, Mississippi State, Tennessee, Memphis, Iowa, Texas Tech, Tulsa, UMass, Temple, Rutgers, and Xavier. Despite already holding some big-time offers, Xavier extended Keita a scholarship offer after the first evaluation period of the spring.
Goodin is an ultra-athletic guard that is very difficult to guard one-on-one. He has a tight handle with a lot of shake, plus elite burst and bounce to go with it. As a scorer, he’s very similar to Semaj Christon with the way he drives and uses his physical ability to overwhelm defenders. His vision and feel as a passer is still a work in progress, as is his jump shot. He holds offers from Louisville, Butler, Miami, Indiana, Florida Minnesota, Wichita State, Marquette, Tennessee, Kansas State, Purdue, Michigan, Vanderbilt, UNLV, Western Kentucky, Tulsa, West Virginia, UAB, Murray State, Oklahoma State, and Xavier. Goodin hadn’t been mentioning the Musketeers much for a while, but he recently made a visit to campus.
Banks is a big-bodied center with legitimate size and some athleticism to go with it. He can finish above the rim, is developing his back to the basket game, and can hit a face-up mid-range jumper. He’s still raw, but showed signs this spring that the light bulb is starting to go off. He runs the floor well, rebounds out of area and can block shots. He still needs to improve his body and add some more strength, but he has a good frame. He holds offers from Syracuse, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, Georgia, Kansas State, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Miami, South Carolina, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Cincinnati, Memphis, Clemson, Wake Forest, Auburn, Baylor, Missouri, Ole Miss, Georgetown, Purdue, NC State, Tulsa, Georgia Southern, and Xavier. Banks’ recruitment blew up in a big way this spring. The staff extended an offer to him after the second evaluation period.
A big-bodied wing, Cumberland is one of the best scorers in the class. He can shoot it with range, make tough shots off the dribble and has enough athleticism that, when combined with his strength, allows him to get to the rim. He handles the ball well with plenty of shake to break opposing defenders down off the bounce. His lateral mobility and motor are still a work in progress. He holds offers from Butler, Cincinnati, Purdue, and Xavier. There seems to be increased mutual interest between X and Cumberland over the last few weeks.
The athletic wing has improved rapidly over the last year as he’s developed into his long and athletic frame. Though he doesn’t have any standout skill, he does everything fairly well. He can score a little bit from all three levels, rebounds well and can defend multiple spots. Right now, he’s a solid role player that doesn’t mind doing the small stuff. He holds offers from Akron, Toledo, and Xavier. X made a statement by being the first school to offer both Andre and his brother Kaleb in the 2017 class.
*This hotboard is strictly the opinion of the MusketeerReport.com staff and is in no way affiliated with Xavier University or its coaching staff. *