Unlike Flamengo, Macae is a relatively new club, having been founded in 1998. Also unlike Flamengo - unless I'm missing something in the various sites Google has translated from Portuguese for me - Macae does not have an under-22 team. If that is the case and Xavier is playing the senior side, this will be a big step up in competition for the Muskies.
Macae finished second in the Super Copa Brasil de Basquete (Brazil's national basketball tournament) last year, beating Flamengo's senior team along the way. As far as the team itself goes, they are led by 6'4" guard Eduardo "Duda" Machado, who led the team in points and assists in the 2013-2014 season and posted a .507/.373/.823 shooting line. Other notable players are '08 University of New Mexico grad Jamaal Smith, a 5'9" guard who posted a .621/.490/.914 shooting line last year and averaged 13.6 points per game, and 6'5" wing Marcio Dornelles, who was 54-103 from behind the arc last year despite being born in 1975. If he is indeed back this year and not in a retirement home, he will be a good early challenge for a Xavier defense that had trouble checking the arc last year.
Macae has six players 6'7" or over on the roster. It's hard to say for certain if they're any good, but they should put up a tougher fight on the boards than Flamengo's U-22s did. Despite the fact that I'm scouting this game on translated sites while having seen none of these guys play in real life, there are a few things I'd like to see from X this game:
- Clean up the play a bit; fewer turnovers, more assists, less general sloppiness in the box score.
- Check the arc; Macae has some guys who can score it from deep, and I hope we at least make it hard on them.
- Keep killing the glass; these are basically extra tune up games that mean even less than the usual ones at the start of the year, but effort is something that plays no matter who you're facing.
With all the cavaets that come with a game on a different continent against an unknown opponent, what would you consider a success tonight?