Let's start with about the only negative: 29-53/6-16/10-13. That was Long Beach State's shooting line for the game. Xavier forced a boatload of turnovers - 15, leading to 25 points - and that was the only thing that kept them from giving up even more points. If Long Beach State had been able to get any stops, they could have kept themselves in this game. They couldn't, though, and that allowed Xavier to come away with the win.
Xavier went bananas on offense. The team shot 35-66/13-31/14-18 - or .530/.419/.778 if you prefer - on its way to 97 points. There were also 24 assists on the team's 35 made buckets, which is a great sign if you like to watch effective team offense rather than one ball-stopper trying to get his shot against a packed defense. Xavier has a couple of guys who can probably get their own baskets if need be, but it's a lot prettier to watch the ball whip around the floor and the defense fight to keep up.
Leading the way (again) was freshman Trevon Bluiett, who followed up his 18-point debut with 20/8/5 on 7-12/2-6/4-5 shooting. He had a couple of really nice finishes on slashes through the lane, hit tough jumpers, and generally looked like the guy he was supposed to be when he signed with the Musketeers. It's two games into the season, but we might have a good one on our hands here.
The best freshman in America that nobody's talking about? It may be Xavier's Trevon Blueitt. Had 20, 8, + 5 assists in win vs Long Beach St.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) November 19, 2014
Speaking of which, JP Macura knows neither fear nor failure. He plays offense like a guy who isn't convinced he's not still the best player on the floor, working his way to 17/2/1 on 5-9/3-7/4-5 shooting tonight. He didn't look the slightest bit timid with the ball in his hands, and his scoring acumen goes well beyond just hitting catch-and-shoot threes. His defense - this massive block notwithstanding - is still a work in progress, but he looks like a potential monster on the offensive end.
Dee Davis only scored 6 points, but he kicked in 9 assists with only 2 TO and kept the ball moving like you would expect from a senior point guard. His 2-6/2-3/0-0 shooting line reveals an ongoing weakness in his game (i.e., can't score inside the arc), but if he keeps banging open threes and setting up his teammates, Xavier doesn't need him to be driving into the middle and finishing.
Jalen Reynolds was limited by foul trouble and only had 4/6/0 on 2-3/0-0/0-0 shooting, but 2 of those points came on one of the most massive dunks you're ever likely to see. He generally had his way on the glass when he was in the game and probably could have established a better offensive rhythm against LBSU's big men if he hadn't been in constant foul trouble. His ability to stay on the floor is something to monitor going forward.
Odds and ends:
-Remy Abell tied for the team lead in FGA, going for 13 points on 6-12/1-6(!)/0-1 shooting.
-James Farr was 2-3 from deep and 0-6 from inside the arc.
-Matt Stainbrook had a quiet but efficient 11/7/2 on 4-5/0-0/3-3 shooting.
-Myles Davis shot 5-9/3-6/2-2; 12 of his 15 came in the first half, but it's good to see him hitting shots.
-The team shot 14-18 from the line and only turned the ball over 7 times; those are both encouraging numbers.
-Ugh, that defense...
That's it for now. I'll be back with the highlights as soon as I have them.