Xavier head coach Chris Mack and his coaching staff put together a very good recruiting class in advance of the 2014-15 season, with a six-member group led by wing Trevon Bluiett joining a program looking to make another trip to the NCAA tournament. With four seniors, a junior in Justin Martin who would eventually transfer to SMU and early departure Semaj Christon, the 2014 class had to be a large one for the Musketeers from a sheer numbers standpoint.
That isn’t necessarily the case for Xavier with regards to the Class of 2015, with guard Dee Davis and center Matt Stainbrook being the team’s lone seniors. Thursday afternoon Xavier received its first commitment in the class, with 6-foot-8 three-star forward Kaiser Gates deciding to join the Big East program next year.
Gates attends St. Francis School in Alpharetta, Georgia, where he plays alongside Florida State commit Malik Beasley, and this past spring/summer Gates played for the Atlanta Celtics AAU program. Another interesting note about Gates: his older cousin is former Cincinnati forward Yancy Gates, so there’s some familiarity with one of the better rivalries in college basketball.
Justin Young of Hoopseen.com wrote the following about Gates’ skill set, with the Xavier commitment making note of where he’s expected to fit into the Xavier system when he arrives on campus:
Xavier is getting a talented offensive player in Gates and an undervalued rebounder. The No. 7 overall senior in Georgia said he likes the vision Mack has for him moving forward.
“He sees me playing the three and a stretch four. I’ll play either one. That doesn’t bother me,” Gates said. “I think I can fit in because they get the ball and push. That’s how our high school plays. I still have to see how I fit in their offense some more but I think I’ll fit in really well.”
Among the other programs to offer Gates were Auburn, Cincinnati, Georgia, LSU, Missouri, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech.