Xavier moved to 2-0 today in a complete barnburner against Long Beach State. There was plenty to draw from 40 minutes of basketball, so let's get right to it.
This team can shoot
The Muskies shot 19-35/8-18/5-6 in the first half on the way to 35-65/13-31/14-18 for the game. Six players hit threes and almost every lineup Mack ran out there was dangerous behind the arc. From freshman JP Macura to the ghost of James Farr, the roster was just overstocked with guys who were looking to bury jumpers when given even a hair of space. Even better, the ball rarely stopped, with Xavier putting up assists on two thirds of their made baskets. This team has the makings of an offensive juggernaut, which is good because...
This team defends like a bunch of shooters
Either Long Beach State is the Loyola Marymount of old reincarnated or Xavier wasn't defending very well tonight. After holding Northern Arizona in check until garbage time, Xavier looked really content to let Long Beach State score almost at will as long as they could more than match at the other end. I'm not sure what is going to happen when Xavier faces a team that can get stops, but it's going to have to look different than this on defense if the Muskies want to compete.
These freshmen are for real
Trevon Bluiett has come as advertised as a scorer. JP Macura is always, always ready on the offensive end; the kid just knows how to score the basketball. He put up 17 on 5-9/3-7/4-5 shooting and electrified the building every time he touched the basketball. Sean O'Mara gave the team good minutes in the middle while Jalen Reynolds struggled with early foul trouble. Even with London redshirting, Sumner still resting his knees, and Larry Austin getting zero minutes until the game was in hand, the freshman class came up big for Xavier today.