Every game is a chance to learn something new about the team. Here are three things we took away from tonight's game.
This team can shoot
Xavier put up a shooting line of 22-36/5-11/3-4 (.611/.455/.750) in the first half in completely burying the game 20 minutes in. Just the numbers don't do justice to what Xavier did here tonight. JP Macura and Myles Davis not hitting? That's okay, Trevon Bluiett can't miss. Ending too many possessions with turnovers? That's okay, we'll rebound 10 of our 13 first-half misses to keep those possessions alive. The offense drifted a little bit in the second half as the game became a complete beating, but there's no doubt the foundation is in place for a special season on the offensive end of the floor.
The defense is coming along
Unlike the offense, the defense never flagged. They held Murray State to 12-31/3-10/5-7 (.387/.300/.714) shooting in the first half and 25-62/4-17/8-13 (.403/.235/.615) on the game. Despite all those misses, they also never game the Racers a chance on the boards. Coach Mack must have gotten in some ears regarding rebounding after the display against SFA, because there were Muskies flying to the glass at both ends of the floor today. If Xavier keeps playing defense like this and killing possessions on the glass, they're not going to have to average 80 points per game to win.
This program is special
Maybe we didn't learn that tonight, but we reaffirmed it. Not only is Xavier's sustained on-court excellence unparalleled by all but the most successful programs, but they have graduated 94 straight seniors from the program. I don't know how many schools are handing out bobbleheads of their academic advisors, but I'm proud that Xavier is (the only?) one of them. Not every Muskie is going to get paid to play basketball, but every one of them that sticks it out and works hard will leave with a degree.