November 03, 2016

Xavier Preview-Capsule

By The Associated Press=

Xavier

Last season: 28-6, lost in second round of NCAA Tournament.

Nickname: Musketeers.

Coach: Chris Mack.

Conference: Big East.

Who's gone: F James Farr, F Jalen Reynolds, G Remy Abell, G Larry Austin Jr.

Who's back: Musketeers return four of their top six scorers. G Trevon Bluiett led the team in scoring at 15.1 points per game and has lost about 20 pounds in the offseason to gain quickness. Edmond Sumner (11 ppg, 3.6 assists) is one of the quickest players in the country and is trying to develop into a more complete point guard. G Myles Davis (10.8 ppg) is suspended indefinitely with a misdemeanor case in court. J.P. Macura (9.4 ppg) provides grit and a spark.

Who's new: Senior F RaShid Gaston sat out last season after transferring from Norfolk State. F Malcolm Bernard, a graduate student from Florida A&M, also will help make up for the loss of Farr and Reynolds on the front line. Freshman guards Tyrique Jones and Quentin Goodin will ease into playing time.

The Skinny: The Musketeers were ranked as high as No. 5 last season, a school record. They open this season at No. 7 and have enough depth - especially on offense - to have another big season. Sophomore forward Kaiser Gates will miss the first few weeks recovering from knee surgery, and Davis' status is unclear, so Xavier could have some growing pains early.

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More AP college basketball: http://collegebasketball.ap.org

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