This looked like it was either a well-planned warmup game or an insidious trap game before the Crosstown Shootout. Turns out it was the warmup one. Xavier overmatched Wright State from early doors and was up through the gears before the Raiders were ready to respond. The entire second half was basically a victory lap, and now Xavier has three days to prepare for the biggest non-conference game contested anywhere in the nation.
The defense is locked in
When Wright State center Michael Karena hit a jump hook with 15:18 left to play in the first half, Xavier was up just 8-6. By the time Wright State scored its 7th point, Xavier had slapped together a 25-0 run and ended the game as a contest. Nearly ten minutes came off the clock, during which Xavier forced Wright State into a 0-12/0-7/0-0 shooting line to go with 5 turnovers. That looks a lot like zipping a team up.
Coach Mack is a mad genius on baseline outs
We all know that the Xavier head man can draw up plays to get open shots when X has the ball under the basket, but he flashed something else entirely on the defensive end tonight. When Xavier had two of Makinde, James, and Jalen on the floor, Coach Mack doubled the inbounder, basically forcing a long pass all the way into the back court. Anything tossed short to the corner was immediately trapped by the two bigs. I'm not sure what Mack saw on the tape from Wright State, but doubling the inbounder took them right out of it.
Xavier's ready for the Shootout
With about 28 minutes left in the game, the goal was to escape without an injury. The outcome of the game was in hand and the end of the bench was about to get emptied. You wouldn't want to see Xavier walk through a game like they did against NKU, and they certainly did not do that tonight. Instead they came out ready to go from the tip and sent a clear message that UC is going to need to bring its A game to keep from getting run off the court on Saturday.