It was another ugly first half followed by just enough closing in the second half to make the game look like we had it the whole time. After being up by just one at the half, Xavier just slowly pulled away in the second period. There is plenty of work to still be done, but 2-0 is the best you can be at this point in the season.
This team has a long way to go
That first half especially was painful to watch. Xavier's offense stagnated way too easily, leading to too many turnovers, too many forced shots, and way too little scoring. Xavier came out of the half looking a little sharper and more committed to moving the ball and themselves. This Musketeers offense has enough weapons that they don't need to get caught up in one-on-one attacking. They need to continue to learn what makes them tick and commit to doing just that.
James Farr is doing what he needs to do
Farr got all over the middle of the floor today. Missouri had zero answer for him on the glass at either end, and he got some scrappy buckets from just being around the rim at the right time. He worked especially well in the pick and roll with whomever was on the ball; it all added up to Farr's third career double-double. With Jalen Reynolds neutralized by post doubles and foul trouble, James was huge tonight. Fun thing to consider: he'd have another year of eligibility, but Xavier burnt his freshman year playing him 42 minutes instead of redshirting him.
The officials are in midseason form
It was another ref show tonight, as the zebras called a foul every 46 seconds in the first half. They loosened it up a tiny bit in the second half, but every sneeze and cross-eyed glance resulted in a stoppage of play. I'm told this will eventually result in basketball that's more fun to watch. It hard darn well better, because it's currently killing the flow of every game.