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Xavier is secret scrimmaging Illinois today

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Let's go Muskies, I guess.

Mike Granse-USA TODAY Sports

One of the truly bizarre charades in college basketball is the secret scrimmage. Teams are allowed to get together and play each other with uniforms and refs and everything, except... no media, no cheerleaders, no fans, and no talking about it. They can comment on it in general terms, but official stats aren't kept.

I have no idea what the purpose of all this pretend secrecy may be - especially in this age of social media - but Xavier is taking on Illinois in Indianapolis today.

Illinois was a pretty solid team last year, with wins over Baylor, Maryland, and Purdue to their credit. Rayvonte Rice was their best player, but he has graduated. They'll be a good test for Xavier though.

There are two basic purposes for secret scrimmages. The first is for the team to get out and get some run against a team other than their own. Coaches get a chance to manipulate game situations and see their guys go up against an unfamiliar opponent. It's better practice than practice and everyone goes home happy, or at least knowing a little bit more about where they stand.

The second reason is that it gets players off campus for the Halloween weekend. As JT Barrett was sweet enough to demonstrate here in Columbus, bad things can happen.