#23 Xavier Men's Basketball 2019-2020 Preview

Xavier Musketeers
2019-2020 Overall Rank: #23
Conference Rank: #3 Big East
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Year one without Chris Mack resulted in the first missed NCAA Tournament since 2013 for Xavier. Travis Steele didn’t do a poor job in his first year as head coach by any means, winning 19 games and going .500 in a competitive Big East. The Musketeers won six of their last seven regular season games before earning a trip to the NIT. This year, Xavier should be a top team in the Big East as they return their top four scorers and bring in a promising recruiting class.
2018-19 Record: 19-16, 9-9
2018-19 Postseason: NIT
Coach: Travis Steele
Coach Record: 19-16 at Xavier, 19-16 overall
Key Departed Players:
Zach Hankins, Center, 10.6 ppg
Ryan Welage, Forward, 6.7 ppg

Kyle Castlin, Guard, 4.3 ppg
Elias Harden, Guard, 2.9 ppg
Keonte Kennedy, Guard, 2.0 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Naji Marshall, Junior, Forward, 14.7 ppg
Paul Scruggs, Junior, Guard, 12.3 ppg
Tyrique Jones, Senior, Forward, 11.3 ppg
Quentin Goodin, Senior, Guard, 11.0 ppg
Dontarius James, Sophomore, Forward, 0.3 ppg
Key New Players:
Dahmir Bishop, Freshman, Guard
Jason Carter, Junior, Forward, Transfer from Ohio
Zach Freemantle, Freshman, Center
Dieonte Miles, Freshman, Center
Bryce Moore, Senior, Guard, Transfer from Western Michigan
Daniel Ramsey, Freshman, Forward
KyKy Tandy, Freshman, Guard
Xavier has one of the top returning cores in the NCAA with their top four scorers back, all of which averaged double-digit points last season. Naji Marshall is blooming into one of the best players in the conference after earning All-Big East Second Team honors as a sophomore. Marshall led the team in scoring (14.7 per game) and was second in rebounds (7.2) and assists (3.4). Marshall is an excellent defender as well who has made himself into an NBA prospect. Paul Scruggs joins Marshall as a blossoming junior for the Musketeers. Scruggs averaged 12.3 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.2 steals as a sophomore. Scruggs had a phenomenal Big East Tournament including a 28-point performance against Villanova and will look to carry that production over to this season. Tyrique Jones and Quentin Goodin will be a steady senior presences for Xavier this season. Jones had ten double-doubles as a junior and averaged 11.3 points and 7.7 rebounds. Goodin is a reliable point guard who is currently eighth in assists in Xavier history. Goodin averaged 11.0 points, 4.8 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 1.2 steals as a junior. Xavier also welcomes in two experienced transfers and five freshmen this season. Jason Carter is a grad transfer from Ohio who has two years of eligibility remaining. Carter earned All-MAC Third Team honors last season behind 16.5 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.0 assists. Bryce Moore sat out last season and will have just one year of eligibility with Xavier. Two years ago, Moore started 32 games at Western Michigan and averaged 9.8 points, 2.6 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.2 steals and shot 39% from three. Xavier also has a strong recruiting class with all five members ranking in the top-200 of the 247sports.com composite. The lone four-star recruit of the group is KyKy Tandy, a 6-foot-2 guard that can score in bunches. All of the freshmen are capable of playing right away and their development could determine just how good Xavier can be this season. In any event, the Musketeers should compete for a Big East title and be back in the NCAA Tournament in 2020.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 72.2 (184th in nation, 8th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 70.6 (155, 4)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.6 (56, 3)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.2 (132, 3)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.0 (249, 8)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 33.1 (244, 8)
Free-Throw Percentage: 67.9 (279, 10)
Rebound Margin: 4.6 (40, 2)
Assists Per Game: 14.8 (64, 3)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.3 (208, 6)
Madness 2019 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#87 Dekeyvan Tandy
#103 Dahmir Bishop
#147 Zach Freemantle
#148 Daniel Ramsey