Newswire photo by Desmond Fischer | Pictured above: forward Dontarius James and guard Keonte Kennedy.
During an offseason that saw the men’s basketball team lose 67 percent of its scoring from a year ago, the Musketeers brought in two freshmen additions for the upcoming season.
Xavier welcomes freshmen forward Dontarius James and guard Keonte Kennedy.
In addition, the men’s team has rostered three walk-on freshmen: Ramon Singh from Sydney, Australia; Zak Swetye from Darien, Conn.; and A.J. Frazier from Tucker, Ga.
Both James and Kennedy committed to Xavier before Mack announced he was leaving for Louisville.
While James affirmed his commitment after Travis Steele was named head coach, Kennedy briefly reopened his recruitment before choosing the Musketeers over SMU and Texas Tech last June.
James, a 6-7 stretch big, was ranked 222nd nationally in the 247 Sports’ Composite Rankings. Residing in Kershaw, S.C, he played at Huntington Prep in Huntington, W.V.
At Huntington Prep, James averaged 9.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.2 steals per game during his senior season.
Prior to attending Huntington Prep, James played at Andrew Jackson High School in his hometown of Kershaw, S.C., where he won All-State, All-Region IV Player of the Year and Lancaster County Player of the Year in his sophomore and junior seasons.
“Physically, (James is) ready,” Steele said. “It’s just about getting the game to slow down for him.”
Kennedy, a 6-5 wing, was ranked 241st nationally in 247 Sports’ Composite Rankings.
At Westlake High School in Westlake, Texas, he averaged 14.0 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.5 steals per game as a senior.
As a senior, Kennedy also earned 6A State All-Tournament Team honors in addition to being named First Team All-District 25, 6A Regional Defensive MVP and District 25-6A Academic All-District.
“(Kennedy) can shoot the ball,” Steele said. “…As the game slows down for him, I think he’ll earn more and more minutes.”
Kennedy missed some time this summer because of injury but is expected to be ready for the season.
With James and Kennedy officially on board, the Musketeers hope to have a secure and positive future ahead of them thanks to the youthful additions to this year’s team.
By: Joe Clark | Staff Writer