By Joseph Cotton | Staff Writer
Xavier has recruited a crop of transfers — like many other teams — during the last few seasons. This season is no different.
The Musketeers added guard Bryce Moore, who comes from Western Michigan, and forward Jason Carter from Ohio.
Both will surely make contributions and add to a team equipped with experienced players.
Moore, who was a high school teammate of former Xavier guard Trevon Bluiett, will play his last season of eligibility with the Musketeers. Carter, who played against Xavier last season with the Bobcats, still has two years of NCAA eligibility remaining.
Carter averaged 16.5 points per game off 48% field goal shooting and 34% from deep. He also contributed 6.7 rebounds per game.
He looks to improve the Musketeers’ shooting from long range. Last year, the team averaged seven 3-pointers a game at a 33% clip. Along with being able to stretch the floor, he is also a physical player who is comfortable taking defenders to the basket from the perimeter as well as playing inside.
Carter should also fit in with the rest of Team 98 with his gritty play style. Along with opening up the floor for the volume scorers such as Naji Marshall and Paul Scruggs, he can add to the tough man-to-man defense Xavier is known for.
Moore previously earned All-MAC Defensive Team honors playing at Western Michigan. He was also named one of the 30 best “in your grill” defenders by ESPN College.
Moore averaged 9.8 points per game off 38% from the field and 37% from beyond the three-point last season.
Moore should be explosive coming off the bench with his hard-nosed defense and speed in transition.
Look for Moore to come in mid-game as a fresh set of legs that will lock down opponents and provide speed and shooting in transition.
“I like (Xavier) a lot,” Moore said. “I love the culture here and just how we run things as a whole from top to bottom. Just with (head coach Travis) Steele and everyone else as far as player development … It’s been a good experience.”
Similar to Carter, Moore should help with some of the shooting depth last year’s team struggled to find.
Moore excels in both catch-and-shoot situations and shooting off the dribble. During his time as a Bronco, he showed no hesitation in pulling the trigger from well beyond the three-point line and a knack for shaking off close-out defenders.
“You are going against really talented guys (at practice),” Moore said. “In the games, you might not necessarily go against guys of their caliber … It’s prepared me for the season.”
Both of the transfers have gone through a lot of adversity in dealing with injuries. Moore tore his ACL and reportedly played on it.
Carter injured his knee after the 2016-17 season and suffered a stress fracture that sidelined him for parts of last season. He recovered quickly, however, and played heavy minutes in his last year at Ohio.
These two transfers round out the Team 98 roster well by adding more depth to an already deep squad. The added depth should make post-season runs easier while providing strong locker room leadership for the young core of Xavier’s recent Top-20 recruiting class. If Carter and Moore can continue the play they are known for, Xavier will be an even harder team to play.
These two players will be crucial to the success of this year’s team.
If these transfers can perform well early in the year, the Musketeers should be in good shape.