Keonte Kennedy’s commitment gives Xavier backcourt depth

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Xavier kept its commitment from three-star guard Keonte Kennedy as he pledged to the Musketeers for a second, and final, time on Friday.

The 6-foot-4 Kennedy was originally committed and signed to Xavier back in November, but he opted to open up his recruitment in late April when former head coach Chris Mack left for Louisville. Now re-committed for next season, Kennedy gives the Musketeers a badly-needed perimeter shooting threat on its perimeter to go with Quentin Goodin and Paul Scruggs.

Joining six new players on the roster next season, new head coach Travis Steele was able to keep the original three-man recruiting class that Xavier had under Mack while also successfully recruiting three grad transfers in Columbia’s Kyle Castlin, San Jose State’s Ryan Welage and Ferris State’s Zach Hankins.

Hankins and Welage are expected to receive heavy minutes in the frontcourt while Castlin provides a former double-figure scorer from the Ivy League. Considering that Xavier lost its top five players from last season’s No. 1 seed, and this is a strong recruiting effort from Steele to fill out a depleted roster in only a few months’ time.

With so many new guys stepping into starting roles, and basically an entirely new team trying to learn how to play together, Xavier is going to be one of the more fascinating teams to track in the crowded Big East race.