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The Auburn fan's guide to Xavier basketball

Everything you needed to know about X but were afraid to ask.

This guy works out.
This guy works out.
Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

Hello Auburn fans! It's our little tradition here to give the opposing fanbase a little bit of insight about Xavier, just in case you've been distracted by football or just haven't been keeping up with the Muskies. Unless you're a UC supporter, we're more than happy to do this for you all as a service.

Xavier personnel:

4 Edmond Sumner Fr. G 6-6 183 10.6 2.6 3.3 .435 .350 .684 Very explosive attacking the basket. Draws fouls like nobody's business. Still growing into his game. Will dunk on your center if the opportunity arises.
10 Remy Abell Sr. G 6-4 197 7.2 1.5 2.3 .356 .296 .880 At his most effective when he lets open shots come to him. Doesn't need to score much to help the team. Very good on-ball defender.
15 Myles Davis Jr. G 6-2 188 11.7 3.5 2.8 .450 .419 .931 Can bring the ball up under pressure. Best shooter on the team and their emotional leader.
5 Trevon Bluiett So. G/F 6-6 208 14.6 7.9 2.1 .442 .455 .700 Versatile scorer who can get a lot of baskets without forcing his way into the game. Great at using one dribble to set his feet and make space for his jumper. Has worked hard to improve defense and rebounding.
1 Jalen Reynolds Jr. F 6-10 238 10.1 6.6 0.9 .487 .500 .706 Has the skills to go for 18 and 12 at any point in time, but has trouble getting out of his own way. Disruptive defensive forces in the middle of the 1-3-1 zone.
Larry Austin Jr. So. G 6-2 179 1.8 1.3 1.1 .400 .000 .600 Has some turnover issues to work through. The less he tries to score, the more effective he becomes.
2 James Farr Sr. F/C 6-10 244 10.0 8.4 0.4 .548 .000 .741 The best rebounder in college basketball. Loves working onto his left hand in the post. Good rim protector.
13 Makindé London Fr. F 6-10 220 1.4 1.6 0.8 .231 .250 .500 Athletic but whip thin. Good shot blocker as help defender.
22 Kaiser Gates Fr. F 6-8 217 2.1 2.6 0.1 .231 .222 .700 Stretch four. Not afraid to shoot. Very active on defense.
54 Sean O'Mara So. F/C 6-10 247 3.0 1.9 0.2 .600 .000 .529 Back-to-the-basket big man. Plays below the rim but with exceptional feel. Bully on the defensive glass.
55 J.P. Macura So. G 6-5 203 10.1 2.8 2.2 .455 .323 .795 Always gives huge effort. Supremely confident. Not afraid to tell opponents about the good work he just did. Sneakily maybe the team's best distributer.

Xavier strategy:

The Muskies have always been able to score it under Coach Mack, but this year they have really taken off on defense. Part of it is just personnel, but a good deal of the credit goes down to his growth as a coach. He still prefers to start most games in a man defense, but he installed a 1-3-1 about midway through last year and has gotten less bashful about implementing it.

On offense, Xavier tries to keep the ball moving and play inside out. Farr and Reynolds can both score with their backs to the basket, but the real strength of this team is on the perimeter. When the ball gets moving quickly enough to open up cracks in the defense, there are usually more threats on the floor than the opponent can account for.

Other things to keep in mind:

  • Only one team has kept it within double digits against Xavier this year, and that was Miami (OH) in the season opener.
  • Xavier's defensive weakness is three-point shooting, so your shooters will get some looks at the rim.
  • This is Xavier's last home game of the year, but the students will not be in attendance.
  • Not sure what the team thinks, but the fan base is still pretty sore about how last year's game turned out.