That went pretty much as you would expect, with Xavier taking the lead early and Northern Arizona taking their beating and their check and heading home. I don't love that guarantee games are part of the reality of college basketball, but they are. That's a discussion for a different day though. What did we learn today?
Matt Stainbrook makes it rain
I think we all anticipated that Matt Stainbrook would be good this year. We probably all knew that he would be dominant early against some lesser opponents. I'm guessing none of us figured he would be stepping behind the arc and knocking down jumpers, but he did just that early on today. I'm not saying he's about to turn into Brad Redford, but if he can show enough of a jump shot to make defenders respect him out of the lane, that's going to open space to make him an even more effective passer.
This team is seriously deep and seriously versatile
By the time 16 minutes had come off the clock, eleven Musketeers had played. We saw three-guard lineups, we saw Bluiett at the four, we saw double posting with multiple big men in or around the paint at the same time. Five players hit three-point baskets. Dee Davis was dinged up; Randolph and Austin filled in nicely. James Farr caught some cramps; Reynolds, Bluiett, and O'Mara were all capable replacements at the four. And all of this with 6'5" guard Edmond Sumner just chilling on the bench.
Xavier defense might be back
Northern Arizona looked borderline hopeless on offense at times. They ended up with 60 points on .377/.400/.333 shooting and 16 turnovers, and most of that production came in garbage time. Xavier is supposed to dominate teams like Northern Arizona, but it was nice to see them do it on such a ridiculous level tonight. This was how you want to see the season start against a team you're supposed to beat.
Stay tuned, the Boxscore Breakdown will be along shortly.