The last thing that Xavier needed on the day of their season opener against Fairleigh Dickinson was to have someone else ruled out, given the fact that they have just nine scholarship players on the roster.
But that’s exactly what head coach Chris Mack will have to deal with, as freshman point guard Semaj Christon is out for tonight’s game due to an infected cut on his elbow.
The contest between the Knights and Musketeers features two shorthanded teams, as FDU will travel just seven players to Cincinnati. Lonnie Hayes, who was supposed to have a homecoming of sorts since he’s a native of the city, was dismissed from the program and four other FDU players are out for disciplinary reasons.
As for Xavier, their personnel issues have been well-documented. Dez Wells, who is now eligible at Maryland, was expelled from school and Mark Lyons is now running the point at Arizona.
There’s also two freshmen who weren’t cleared by the NCAA (Myles Davis and Jalen Reynolds) and the three-game suspension of Towson transfer Isaiah Philmore over a paperwork issue, meaning that the Musketeers will have just eight scholarship players available tonight.
Guard Brad Redford, who missed all of last season with a torn ACL, will likely slide into Christon’s spot in the starting lineup but he’s coming off of a hamstring injury suffered while running a sprint last month.
“You get tired of dealing with the injuries and spending time in the training room. You’d much rather just be on the court with your teammates and not worrying about just getting on the court,” Redford said in an interview with Shannon Russell of the Cincinnati Enquirer last Thursday. “It’s kind of something you deal with. Really you just kind of take it day-to-day, see how it feels.”
While that comment was in regards to Redford’s injury issues, it could also be applied to Xavier’s offseason. Tired of all of the personnel issues, the Musketeers are probably looking forward to just playing basketball.
Photo credit: Xavier University