Hello, USC fans. I'll be honest, most of the week I was looking ahead to a potential matchup against Wichita State here. No matter though; your guys took care of business, and now we're here playing one another for a chance to play for the illustrious AdvoCare Invitational championship.
Do you know much about Xavier basketball this year? Here's some info to get you started.
|4||Edmond Sumner||Fr.||G||6-6||183||13.0||3.5||2.3||.483||.444||.667||Dynamic young PG learning on the job. Explosive to the rim, but falls in love with the dribble sometimes.|
|10||Remy Abell||Sr.||G||6-4||197||9.0||1.0||2.3||.423||.286||.909||Best defender on the team; can score, but doesn't hunt shots|
|15||Myles Davis||Jr.||G||6-2||188||10.3||3.0||2.5||.344||.267||.938||Best shooter on the team, and is warming up after a cold start; has old-man game. The team's emotional leader.|
|5||Trevon Bluiett||So.||G/F||6-6||208||14.3||9.5||2.8||.400||.476||.778||Scores at all three levels; has a nose for the ball|
|1||Jalen Reynolds||Jr.||F||6-10||238||10.3||8.7||1.3||.429||.500||.773||Absolute monster in the middle; prone to mental mistakes|
|0||Larry Austin Jr.||So.||G||6-2||179||2.0||0.8||0.5||.571||.000||.000||Will push on offense and work hard on defense; better at ball security than Sumner.|
|2||James Farr||Sr.||F/C||6-10||244||10.0||10.8||0.8||.469||.000||.909||Maybe the best rebounder in the nation right now|
|13||Makindé London||Fr.||F||6-10||220||0.0||0.7||0.0||.000||.000||.000||Struggling to get in the rotation; athletic but whip thin|
|22||Kaiser Gates||Fr.||F||6-8||217||2.0||2.5||0.0||.000||.000||.667||Stretch four; not afraid to shoot|
|54||Sean O'Mara||So.||F/C||6-10||247||0.0||0.3||0.0||.000||.000||.000||Back-to-the-basket big man; could be getting more minutes this week|
|55||J.P. Macura||So.||G||6-5||203||10.8||2.0||1.8||.407||.357||.859||Always gives huge effort; Pistol Pete game. Sneakily our best offensive player.
The first thing you need to know is that Xavier flies to the offensive glass. Reynolds, Farr, and Macura are all perennially in there, and Trevon Bluiett can find spaces when he's so inclined. Xavier's entire offense inside the arc has been based on stickbacks right now. When Macura comes off the bench, the whole tenor of the attack changes.
On defense, Xavier plays a man and a 1-3-1, both of which have the same problem: three-point defense. X has spent the entire Chris Mack era giving up way too many threes, and this year has been no different. Xavier has been forcing turnovers pretty well and dominating the glass; if they're going to be beaten, it's going to be from beyond the arc.
Other things to consider
- Xavier usually sucks on Thanksgiving. The win over Alabama was a pleasant surprise.
- We have seven guys who have gone for double figures this year. This team is deep in scoring threats.
- Xavier has a troubling tendency to start games really slowly; how that will play out in our second game in 26.5 hours is anyone's guess.
- Coach Mack got the bottom of the bench into play against Alabama, which kept some miles off the odometers of the main members of the rotation.