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Xavier v. USC: Preview

The Battle4Atlantis has turn to the Battle4Seventh.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

One question:
-Did Brad get Joel sick?
Yes, yes he did. This is going to be brief, and for that I apologize. On the other hand, maybe your tolerance for Xavier content has been lowered by the abject misery they have inflicted on the holiday season. Anyway...

USC wants to run. They have the 77th fastest tempo and 20th quickest offensive possessions. They play fairly good defense but don't rebound very well and don't force turnovers. On offense, they can't shoot the three very well and don't shoot it very often. They want to get into the paint and score, and the more quickly they do that, the happier they are. Their defensive fingerprint on KenPom is zone, but I haven't seen them play enough to confirm it. They are deep, tall, and young, and they're also a team that Xavier should be able to beat.

Guard Pe'Shon Howard runs the show. Wing Byron Wesley is their most effective scorer, though he is a miserable jump shooter. He also rebounds really well Big man Omar Oraby is 7'2", 270 and is a very efficient offensive player. He's also a borderline dominant rebounder. Stainbrook et al are going to have their collective work cut out for them.