Xavier is heading into this season without fan favorite Matt Stainbrook or the grinding play of Dee Davis, but that should not be a cause of concern for the team that calls Cincinnati home.
Instead, the Musketeers have cause for hope and promise heading into this season as the roster on paper is poised to be one that will be able to score and stretch the floor with pace, especially at the power forward and small forward positions which will be feature Jalen Reynolds and Trevon Bluiett, both of whom have a touch for scoring.
Behind Reynolds and Bluiett comes extra depth in the name of newcomer Kaiser Gates.
The 6-foot-8 Gates is coming into a Xavier squad with a versatile ability to play at the 3 and 4 spots. As a player, the most notable facet of his game is his ability to shoot from mid- to long-range, especially for his touch from beyond the arc. Gates has an ability to find his spots on the floor off of the ball and can hit threes in catch-and-shoot situations. He has been known for his smooth scoring abilities, but Kaiser can run the floor as well and move past small defenders.
The only areas where he needs work on is his build as it is a detriment on the boards and in the paint, then again he has time to mature and work on this as he is only coming into his freshman season.
Prior to joining Xavier, Gates who is from Alpharetta, Georgia, played his high school ball at St. Francis High School. In the season prior to his announcement of committing, he led St. Francis the the state championships while averaging 14.4 points, 10 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 1.2 steals per game.
He was listed as a four-star prospect by ESPN at the time as well. 247Sports Composite rankings has him listed as a three-star and 10th in the state of Georgia.
He was also in the eye of a number of schools as well. The most notable of which were Florida State, Georgia, Missouri, and Vanderbilt, but his final three were Texas Tech, Xavier, and the University of Central Florida. Eventually his list was cut down to Texas Tech and Xavier as they would be the only two schools that he would visit with a visit to Xavier coming in September and to Texas Tech in October.
Eventually he would find his home with Xavier. Part of the reasoning for coming to Xavier had to the with the fact that his father was from Ohio and he has a lot of family in the Middletown, Ohio area. His cousin, Yancy Gates, also played basketball for crosstown rival Cincinnati. Aside from familial connects, his visit to Xavier proved fruitful early on as Gates struck up quick bonds with J.P. Macura and Trevon Bluiett and walked away with liking everything about his future teammates and the academics at Xavier as well.
For Kaiser Gates and his talents he is walking into Xavier program that will do wonders for his game and likewise for the team. He'll be one to watch heading into this season and going forward.