Xavier’s four-member recruiting class received a great deal of praise during the off-season and rightfully so. But with that class now being cut in half, the Musketeers will likely enter the 2012-13 season with just eight scholarship players (Chris Cantino?).
Just two days after it was reported that freshman guard Myles Davis was ruled ineligible by the NCAA, news came out on Friday that 6-9 forward Jalen Reynolds was also ruled ineligible.
According to Shannon Russell of the Cincinnati Enquirer, both plan to remain in school despite the fact that they won’t be able to practice with the team or receive a scholarship.
This is just the latest development for a program that underwent a great deal of change this off-season.
Guards Tu Holloway (graduation), Mark Lyons (transferred to Arizona) and Dezmine Wells (expelled) are gone, as are front court contributors Kenny Frease and Andre Walker.
Also assistant coaches Rasheen Davis (Manhattan) and Kareem Richardson (Louisville) moved on to new positions.
The leading returning scorer for the Musketeers this season is forward Travis Taylor, who averaged just 4.5 points per game in 2011-12.
Add to this the fact that Butler and VCU join the Atlantic 10 with teams expected to make a run at an NCAA tournament berth and this has the look of a rough campaign for the Musketeers.
Freshmen Semaj Christion and James Farr will have every opportunity to earn significant playing time this season, and if Xavier is to have any chance of returning to the NCAA tournament (Xavier hasn’t missed the tournament since 2005) they’ll need to.
What will Chris Mack and his staff do to account for the heavy personnel losses? That’s going to be one of the most important questions in the Atlantic 10 this season.
Raphielle is also the assistant editor at CollegeHoops.net and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.
Monmouth used a 17-2 run in the final minutes to beat Rider on Friday night, a win that will keep the Hawks within striking distance of the kind of an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament should they fall in the MAAC tourney.
The run was capped by star point guard Justin Robinson, who buried this three with three seconds left to put Monmouth up for good, 79-78:
Allonzo Trier scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half and Parker Jackson-Cartwright scored 16 points in his second career start as No. 17 Arizona knocked off UCLA, 81-75, in Tucson on Friday night.
UCLA was up by as much as 11 points in the first half and took a ten point lead into half time, but in the second half, the Bruins were eventually done in by foul trouble and the stronger front line of the Wildcats.
Ryan Anderson and Kaleb Tarczewski were dominant down the stretch. The duo combined to score 12 of the last 23 point for the Wildcats, including the bucket that put the Wildcats ahead for the first time since early in the first half. Off of a missed free throw, UCLA’s Thomas Welsh battled with Tarczewski for the rebound, but when Welsh finally seemed to gain control of the loose ball, Anderson knocked it out of his hands and bullied through Jonah Bolden for a layup.
All told, those two combined for 20 points and 27 boards, seven of which were offensive. They also managed to foul out both Welsh and Tony Parker, although some of the calls that went against UCLA down the stretch were questionable.
The win keeps Arizona within a game of first place Oregon in the Pac-12 standings and tied for second with No. 23 USC, who will be visiting the McKale Center on Sunday night.