BY JOE Laurich, Staff Writer
After back-to-back successful recruiting classes, the 2021 class was going to be a smaller class that focused on forwards and centers.
Xavier will lose guard Paul Scruggs, power forward Jason Carter and center Bryan Griffin at the end of the year if they don’t elect to use their NCAA granted extra year of eligibility.
The 2021 recruiting process was different because coaches had to do almost all of their scouting online since in-person recruiting was not allowed due to COVID-19.
This also meant a lot of players had to decide where to spend their college careers without ever stepping on a college campus.
College coaches were forced to get creative to find ways to get commits. This meant a lot of Zoom discussions and FaceTime tours of campus and athletic facilities.
Xavier’s first commit in the class of 2021 was Cesare Edwards out of Hartsville, S.C., where he attends Hartsville High School. Edwards committed to the Musketeers at the end of June.
Edwards is 6-foot-10, 205 pounds, and ranked the 91st best player overall and the 17th best center in the class. Xavier was chosen over a list of other schools, including Florida, Florida State, Clemson and many others.
Edwards has very good hands for size, and his ability to finish in the paint are traits that immediately stand out. He will also space the floor because of his ability to pull up from three point range and drive to the hoop.
During his junior year at Heartsville, Edwards averaged 15.5 points per game, 12.7 rebounds per game and 1.3 assists per game.
The second commit in Xavier’s 2021 class is Elijah Tucker. Tucker is from Canton, Ga. where he attends Cherokee high school. Tucker is 6-foot-7, 190 pounds and ranked as the 144th overall and the 25th best power forward in the class.
He chose Xavier over St. Johns, Iowa, Georgia Tech and others.
Tucker is one of the youngest kids in his class and many initially thought that he might redshirt his first year at Xavier. But with how well he played as of lately, he may be too good to sit a year.
Tucker’s strengths include a strong midrange game, developing quickness and athleticism. He averaged 18.8 points per game, 9.4 rebounds per game and 2.5 assists per game his junior year.