Forward Kaiser Gates leaves Xavier for pro basketball

CINCINNATI -- Forward Kaiser Gates has decided to forgo his senior season at Xavier and enter professional basketball, leaving the Musketeers without five top players from the team that won the Big East Conference regular-season title last season.

Gates tweeted his decision Saturday. He averaged 7.2 points and 4.6 rebounds as a junior, when he started 18 games.

The Musketeers also lost guards Trevon Bluiett and J.P. Macura along with forwards Sean O'Mara and Kerem Kanter to graduation.

The Musketeers earned the first No. 1 NCAA tournament seed in school history, but Xavier lost to Florida State in the second round.

Coach Chris Mack left for Louisville after the season. Top assistant Travis Steele was promoted to head coach.