After Xavier's run to the Elite Eight ended, the focus for XU fans immediately turned to what was next for star players Edmond Sumner and Trevon Bluiett. Fans received an answer to one of those questions Tuesday afternoon.
Sumner has decided to enter the upcoming 2017 NBA draft. He announced the decision on his social media profiles.
Sumner later confirmed to MusketeerReport that his decision is final and he will hire an agent.
"I want to thank Edmond for his efforts over the past three years," Xavier coach Chris Mack said. "He will forever be a part of the Xavier family. We wish him all the success in the world throughout his rehabilitation and comeback as he prepares for a pro career."
According to a follow-up tweet by Sumner, the decision really came down to the uncertainty of when he'd be able to play again. Returning for another year wouldn't be all that beneficial if he wasn't actually able to get out on the court and prove himself to NBA scouts.
He's not currently on any of the major NBA Draft outlet's 2017 mock drafts. He was projected to go in the mid-20s of the first round before his injury. DraftExpress.com, widely considered the best site covering draft prospects, now has him projected as the 29th pick in the 2018 mock draft. It will be interesting to see if he ends up back in any of
Sumner came to Xavier as part of the Musketeers' heralded 2014 class that included Bluiett, JP Macura, Sean O'Mara, Makinde London, and Larry Austin. He redshirted his first year on campus before exploding onto the scene as a redshirt freshman during the 2015-16 season in which he averaged 11.0 points, 3.6 assists, and 3.4 rebounds. He also became well known for making dazzling acrobatic plays, most notable of which was his tomahawk dunk from the middle of the lane in the Crosstown Shootout against Cincinnati's Octavius Ellis. He earned freshman All-American honors from CollegeInsider.com in addition to being a unanimous selection by the league coaches to the Big East Conference All-Freshman Team.
He bumped up his production to 15 points (47.9% FG, 27.3% 3PT), 5.0 assists, and 4.3 rebounds per game this past season before his career at Xavier was cut short on Jan. 29 when he tore his ACL at Madison Square Garden in a win over St. John's.
The Detroit-native finishes his time in Cincinnati with 664 career points, 223 assists, and 203 rebounds in 59 games.
Due to Sumner's rapid improvement and impressive athleticism displayed between his redshirt and his freshman years, Xavier's coaching staff was prepared for this situation. Chris Mack and his staff prioritized finding athletic point guards to replace Sumner, and they did so by landing Quentin Goodin in the 2016 class and Paul Scruggs in the 2017 class. Naji Marshall is also a 2017 wing with the handle and passing ability to potentially help at the point guard position.