Shootaround: Dec 4

As things pick up in the season the need for a daily link wrap up becomes less and less. The Shootaround makes its triumphant return today with a rundown of Xavier news, some national links, and a look at where Xavier stands in the sabermetric polls.

Xavier beating Indiana teams at own game, with own players: Dee Davis, Justin Martin, and Jeff Robinson all returned to their home state when they traveled to Purdue on Saturday. Coach Mack and the Musketeers have now beaten two Indiana teams with a starting lineup comprised mostly of Indiana players.

Xavier's Christon earns A-10 honors again: Semaj Christon just keeps pulling in all A10 honors. the way Christon is currently playing, he's in the running for conference player of the year, not just rookie of the year.

Xavier's Christon repaying Mack's effort: Part of the reason Christon is even at Xavier is because of the relentless recruiting by Chris Mack and his staff. This is a nice piece on how to get a hometown kid to resist the siren song of the big names.

Men’s basketball: Frustrations boiling over for young Purdue squad: On the other end of Xavier's big Saturday win is a Purdue team that is reeling right now. Xavier's tenacious exterior defense is a large part of what is so frustrating the Boilermakers.

Rick Majerus gave his heart and help: Saint Louis coach Rick Majerus passed away last week. Majerus was a basketball genius whose inability to control his eating habits took him before it seemed it was his time. While the John Calipari's of the world win with dirty recruiting and using college kids like trading chips, Majerus won by being a brilliant tactician.

Poll Thoughts: The Lexington plummet: In somewhat related news. The best team money can buy plunged down the polls this week as the performances failed to live up the hype. Eamon Brennan addresses that, and the absurdity of the coaches poll, in his poll thoughts column.

For those of you less interested in what a handful of media members or panel of extremely biased coaches think (2-4 Vanderbilt's coach voted them 16th), there are a lot of new ways to rank teams. Xavier isn't exactly setting the world aflame in those more sabermetrically inclined polls either, but the rankings there are probably far more indicative of where the team stands. This early in the season the numbers can be skewed a bit, but here they are:

KenPom: 74th
ESPNRPI: 68th
Massey: 44th

Those numbers are far lower than what Xavier fans are used to, but they actually represent a good thing. This team, picked to finish in the bottom half of the Atlantic 10, has already played its way onto the bubble.

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