Andy Mac: Team 100 Update - The Summer Ahead
By Andy Mac Williams, 5/17/2021

Talked with Travis Steele on Thursday evening, May 13th regarding Summer 2021 Plans and Goals. XU graduation is this weekend so Spring Classes are over. The 10 veteran scholarship players are headed home for a brief break (Super Seniors Paul Scruggs and Nate Johnson plus Juniors Zach Freemantle, Ben Stanley, Adam Kunkel and Jack Nunge plus Sophomores Colby Jones, Dwon Odom, Kyky Tandy and Dieonte Miles). They will be joined by Frosh Cesare Edwards and Elijah Tucker on campus in early June.

All 12 will take Summer School Classes in either Session 1 or 2 or in some cases both. Most guys will be looking to gain 6 credits. NCAA allows 8 weeks of Summer basketball activity(8 hours/week-4 conditioning/weights-2 individual skills-2 full team). Players not taking class can lift and shoot on their own without coaches supervision. Travis anticipates a full normal Summer program with no COVID restrictions.

GOAL #1 is to improve team strength. XU was pushed around especially late last season by Georgetown, UConn and Marquette. A full off-season lifting program is priority ONE.

Size has been added. Iowa transfer Jack Nunge is 6-11, 245. Travis recruited him in high school and considers him a strong fit in skill, character and potential leadership. He's the Muskies' addition via the transfer portal.

6-10 Frosh Cesare Edwards from South Carolina has already added 20 pounds (up to 225). He's not just a dunker and stickback BIG. He comes w/ ball skills and shooting range. A healthy Ben Stanley adds inside grit and scoring. His knee rehab is well ahead of schedule. Nunge is also doing well physically as is guard Nate Johnson.

Travis has learned lessons from the COVID restrictions. ZOOM is here to stay in both team preparation and recruiting. He expects to use a variety of team building techniques cutting down a bit on the sheer grind of practice.

A normal recruiting calendar resumes June 1st. Potential recruits will be allowed both official and unofficial campus visits. Coaches will be allowed to scout NCAA sanctioned High School camps for two weekends in late June. One and maybe two weeks of July Scouting for AAU events in Las Vegas, Augusta, Georgia etc will be permitted. Home visits take place in September. Xavier has 5 scholarships available for the 2022 Class. Steele expects to use 3 of those.

He has hired a third assistant coach, Danny Peters, last week; he and all three assistants will fan out in June and July to evaluate talent pointing toward the November 2022 signing date.

Travis expects the Muskies' Big Ten Gavitt Games opponent to be announced soon. It will be a Xavier home game at Cintas. XU will travel for their BIG EAST-Big 12 Challenge game. That opponent is soon to be revealed. The same preseason format is expected.

When Fall classes resume, 8 hours/week of basketball activities are allowed. 42 days before the opener full practice begins (30 practices in that 42 day period) with the secret scrimmage and a D-2 Exhibition Game.

When the players return to campus, we will provide information as available. BIG EAST rosters are being completed. We'll evaluate them all. The non-conference schedule looks challenging w/ a Big Ten, a Big 12, Wake Forest, possible Virginia Tech and Memphis games at Barclay Center over Thanksgiving and the Crosstown Shootout at Cintas in December. I'm bullish!!

I'll be out of town until early June. Check here and at http://musketeermadness.com for frequent updates thru the Summer.




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