Mar 28, 2014, 8:00 PM EDT
Xavier guard Semaj Christon significantly improved his game during this past offseason. Known as the sophomore leap, Christon became a better finisher around the rim, and started to develop his perimeter skills, unveiling a burgeoning jumpshot. According to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman, coach Chris Mack received just two years to refine Christon’s skillset: the guard will declare for the 2014 NBA draft.
Mack and Company have the requisite depth to handle Christon’s absence; Dee Davis should return for his final season, and should the incoming roster remain stagnant, the extra minutes will benefit Brandon Randolph and Edmond Sumner. What Xavier will miss without Christon is the element of aggressiveness that the sophomore imbued on the squad; Christon was one of the nation’s best at getting into the lane and drawing fouls.
The loss of Christon, though, has consequences that extend well past Cincinnati — the Big East simply continues to take hits. Buzz Williams left Marquette for Virginia Tech, Mack’s name has been whispered for the opening at Wake Forest, JaKarr Sampson similarly declared for the professional ranks, and now Christon’s announcement. The conference might be entering the realm where it is high major only in the eyes of those who still remember the sweater game and Rip Hamilton. It has endured knocks that have severely diminished its reputation as a premier league.
- Re-ranking the recruiting classes: Who are the 25 best players in the Class of 2008? 1
- Re-ranking the recruiting classes: Who are the 25 best players in the Class of 2007? 0
- Re-ranking the recruiting classes: Who are the 25 best players from the Class of 2006? 0
- Re-ranking recruiting classes: Who are the 25 best players from the Class of 2005? 1
- Re-ranking recruiting classes: Who are the 25 best players from the Class of 2004? 2
- Bo Ryan to retire from Wisconsin after next season 4
- Who are the names to watch for the 2016 NBA Draft? 2
- Bo Ryan to retire from Wisconsin after next season (4)
- South Carolina coach Frank Martin releases statement, asks for confederate flag removal (3)
- UCLA lands four-star center, second 2017 commitment (3)
- So what happened to the chair Bobby Knight threw in 1985? (3)
- Flooding from storm damages Denver’s practice floor (PHOTOS) (3)