Most casual onlookers discounted Xavier after two early losses to UTEP and Long Beach State last November, but head coach Chris Mack still led his team to the tourney and another Sweet 16 appearance, where they bowed out to Arizona after a poor offensive performance.
Losing arguably their two most important players in starting point guard Dee Davis and reliable big man Matt Stainbrook won’t be easy, but versatile 6-foot-10 forward Jalen Reynolds and guard Myles Davis appear ready to take the next step. Be sure to also keep an eye on two more 6-foot-10 frontcourt players in sophomore Sean O’Mara and redshirt freshman Makinde London.
This team shouldn’t have any trouble contending in the Big East or grabbing a mid to high NCAA Tournament seed come March.
Head Coach: Chris Mack
2014-15 Finish: 23-14 (Lost to Arizona in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament)
2014-15 Conference Finish: 9-9 (Sixth Place in the Big East Conference)
Projected 2015-16 Conference Finish: Second
*F – Tim Stainbrook – Junior
*G – Trevon Bluiett – Sophomore
*G – Remy Abell – Senior
*G – James Farr – Senior
F – Jalen Reynolds – Junior
Chris Mack’s staff opted to redshirt freshman Makinde London last season because of depth inside with Matt and Tim Stainbrook, along with Reynolds and O’Mara. The elder Stainbrook, Matt, is gone and although the Musketeers still have decent depth in the frontcourt, London could play a pivotal role in 2015-16.