Home Analysis: Is Northern Illinois transfer Xavier Amos a good fit at Virginia?

Analysis: Is Northern Illinois transfer Xavier Amos a good fit at Virginia?

Chris Graham
uva basketball
Photo: Mike Ingalls/AFP

On3Sports is predicting that Virginia will land Northern Illinois transfer Xavier Amos, a 6’8”, 210-pound sophomore forward who is a consensus four-star transfer-portal recruit.

Amos, who reportedly will make his official visit to Virginia later this week, put up impressive counting numbers in 2023-2024 at Northern Illinois, scoring 13.8 points per game, pulling down 5.8 rebounds per game, shooting 49.6 percent from the field overall, and 38.5 percent from three, on nice volume from behind the arc (4.2 attempts per game).

Per data from Synergy Sports, Amos rates “excellent” as a jump-shooter, connecting on 40.8 percent of his catch-and-shoots (42-of-103), and he was 50 percent (11-of-22) on runners.

These numbers suggest that Amos would be a great fit as a pick-and-pop guy in Tony Bennett’s version of the mover/blocker-sides offense, which has the bigs working on either side of the lane setting screens for guards, then either popping to the midrange or to the three-point line for jumpers, or cutting into the lane for rim runs.

Amos, at the rim, made 62.7 percent of his shots (64-of-102), his looks at the rim split between offensive rebounds (14-of-22, 63.6%), transition (17-of-28, 60.7%) and cuts (17-of-29, 58.6%).

The issue for Amos, who would, in effect, be replacing projected 2024 NBA Draft pick Ryan Dunn, a defensive savant, would be on the defensive end.

Per Synergy Sports data, Amos allowed opponents to shoot 44.6 percent from the floor, and score 1.019 points per possession, in the 2023-2024 season.

I’ll count as a mitigating factor there that Northern Illinois ranked 333rd nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency, according to data from KenPom, allowing 1.138 points per possession as a team.

Amos’ athleticism would seem to incline him to being able to step up his game on the defensive end if he were to get good coaching.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].