With James Farr and Jalen Reynolds at the helm, the Xavier Musketeers were not only one of the best rebounding teams in the Big East, but throughout the country as well. The two 6-foot-10 hoopers helped the Musketeers on both ends as they ranked amongst the best in Offensive and Defensive Rebounding%. Though not superb contributors on offense, they were both good in spurts and were both very vital to X's string of success in the 2015-16 season, which was emphasized after the likes of Matt Stainbrook graduated from the university.
Going forward to 2016-17, we knew that Farr would no longer be at Xavier after finishing up his tenure at the Cincinnati-based university. Now, on Sunday, we've now learned that the Musketeers will be without their other towering presence in the paint. Shams Charnia of The Vertical brought the news that Jalen Reynolds has officially hired representation, thus making him officially eligible for the 2016 NBA Draft.
Xavier junior Jalen Reynolds makes decision on hiring representation to enter the 2016 NBA draft: https://t.co/5hkf5IlGDP— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) April 17, 2016
DraftExpress currently has Reynolds ranked No. 21 on their list of juniors, hovering around the pack of V.J. Beachem (Notre Dame), Malcolm Hill (Illinois), and Luke Fischer (Marquette) as well. It also might be worth noting that, currently, DX does not have Reynolds listed in their Top 100 overall prospects list, but whatever the case, it's clear that Reynolds' value might be higher than we may think given the decision to jump to the pros. And hey, playing ball and making money is a lot better than playing ball and not making money.
As far as how this impacts Xavier going forward, it might ... a lot. With Makinde London transferring, Farr graduating, and Reynolds now officially declaring the Musketeers will be without three players who stand at 6-foot-10. The lone big man for Xavier is Sean O'Mara, who has been a solid role player for the Musketeers through his first two seasons. They will have 6-foot-9 Eddie Ekiyor coming in next season, as well as 6-foot-9 transfer RaShid Gaston, formerly of Norfolk State. They will still have some big bodies, but whether they have the presence that Reynolds and Farr possessed during their time in Cincy is still left to be decided.
Above all, best of luck to Jalen going forward in the pros, wherever he may land.