CINCINNATI --- The Xavier University Musketeers were picked eighth in the 2016-17 preseason USA TODAY Sports Coaches Poll, the highest Xavier has ever been listed in the preseason coaches poll. Xavier, which finished the 2015-16 season at No. 11 in the post-tournament poll, reached as high as a school-record No. 4 during the regular season.
CBS Sports placed XU fifth in its 2016-17 preseason rankings.
?Xavier, 28-6 overall last season and second place finisher in the BIG EAST Conference at 14-4, reached the second round of the 2016 NCAA Tournament. That marked XU's 10th NCAA appearance in 11 years, something only nine schools in the country can claim. Earlier this month at BIG EAST Media Day, Xavier was picked to finish second in the BIG EAST preseason coaches poll.
Chris Mack, who won three national Coach of the Year awards including USBWA honors last season, has plenty of returning talent. Junior guard Trevon Bluiett, a 2015-16 USA Today Third Team All-American and 2015-16 BIG EAST First Team selection, led Xavier in scoring at 15.1 ppg. last season and is the team's leading returning rebounder at 6.1 ppg. Sophomore guard Edmond Sumner, a unanimous selection to the 2015-16 BIG EAST All-Freshman Team and a 2015-16 Kyle Macy Freshman All-American (collegeinsider.com), averaged 11.0 points and 3.6 assists last season. Both Bluiett and Sumner were named 2016-17 preseason First Team All-BIG EAST. Junior J.P. Macura was the 2015-16 BIG EAST Sixth Man of the Year.