10 thoughts on the upcoming Knights season

Standing less than two months between the start of the 2022-23 college basketball season, and in many ways, the environment around the Xavier University men’s basketball team is very different from that period last year.

New boss, which is actually Xavier’s old boss. New assistant coaches. New strength trainer. Some players graduated, many returned, and three new Scholarship players joined the roster of the team that won the National Invitational Championship six months ago.

Here are 10 ideas for the upcoming season.

The return of Shawn Miller

When Xavier split from Travis Steele in March, Miller quickly emerged as the best candidate, and it only took a few days for the two parties to agree on a deal.

Xavier men's basketball coach Shawn Miller is back with the Knights after 12 years at the University of Arizona.  Miller began his career as Xavier's head coach from 2005-09.

With Jay Wright’s retirement at Villanova, Xavier is now one of the most experienced and winning coaches at the Big East Conference, a conference held by Miller in Pittsburgh.

Miller’s 422nd career was ranked third among the active coaches in the Big East, behind Craigon Greg McDermott (556) and Butler Thad Mata (439).

Miller is a proven coach who can compete in the NCAA Championships and compete for the conference championships. He’s more than capable of getting Xavier back to where he expects it to be.

The question this season is what Miller can do with the roster that he inherited almost all of the former coaching staff.

Colby Jones’ potential

There may have been some production gaps over the past two seasons. Perhaps you can attribute it to growing pains, or order, or perhaps the surrounding pieces weren’t always perfect.

Young Xavier guard Colby Jones has opted to return to the Knights this season, and if he plays this season the way he finished last, it could be a special season for Jones.

One thing is for sure: If Colby Jones can put together an entire season the way he finished last year, and win the National Invitational Tournament MVP award, Xavier could have a superstar in the Big East and beyond.

Over the last 11 games last season, Jones averaged 14.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 3.8 assists.

Talk to The Enquirer over the summer about areas he wants to improve. Last season, Jones shot 29% from the 3-point range and 68% from the foul streak.

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