By: Paul Fritschner ~Staff Writer~
Another season of Xavier basketball is upon us and with it comes a plethora of new faces. Both the men’s and women’s programs are bringing in a new assistant coach, and each has a new recruit. Here is all you need to know about them.
Kate Achter – Achter is the newest member of the women’s basketball coaching staff after serving as the associate head coach at St. Bonaventure University.
As a player, she is a former All- American point guard. As a coach, she was a member of the staff at St. Bonaventure for five years and was a part of three postseason appearances, including one run to the Sweet 16.
Tierra Floyd – Ranked by ESPN as the 16th best player in the nation at her position, Floyd averaged 16.7 points per game to go along with 5.4 rebounds in her junior year of high school in Toledo, Ohio.
She will add depth to the forward position in her first year of collegiate basketball. “In my opinion, she is the best player in Ohio because she affects the game in every way imaginable with her size and ability to play really every position on the floor,” head coach Brian Neal said at her signing.
Luke Murray – Son of renowned comedian Bill Murray, Murray joins the Xavier coaching staff after leaving Rhode Island where he spent the past two seasons. Murray also has experience at Towson University, Wagner University and the University of Arizona.
Murray was part of the greatest single-season improvement in NCAA history as a staff member at Towson . He helped transform the one-win Tigers into an 18-win Colonial Athletic Association contender the following season.
“Luke is one of the top young assistant coaches in America,” head coach Chris Mack said.
Kaiser Gates – Xavier basketball fans are likely familiar with Kaiser’s cousin, Yancy Gates, who played for the team that wears red and black across town (it has been reported however that the two are not close.)
The highly touted recruit from Alpharetta, Ga., is the only true freshman for the Musketeers this season. ESPN gave him four stars and ranked him 24th at his position. The 6-foot-8 forward comes in as another post player at the already- deep position, so it will be interesting to see how much playing time he earns this season. Gates is yet another member of the recent string of strong recruits that have joined the Musketeers.
RaShid Gaston – Gaston, a 6-foot-7 transfer from Norfolk State, will be sitting out this season due to NCAA transfer rules but will practice with the team in preparation for the 2016-17 season.
He will have one year of eligibility remaining to play with the Musketeers.
Pending a productive season, Jalen Reynolds may decide to test his skills in the NBA after this year, and James Farr will be gone due to graduation, so Gaston could be a good fit to fill one of those roles.
Gaston led Norfolk State with an average of 15.5 points and 9.6 rebounds per game last season and chose Xavier in part because of how close it is to his home in Warren, Ohio.
He is looking to work on various aspects of his game such as shooting and ball handling during his sit-out season so he can be as productive as possible when he finally gets on the court in 2016-17.