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Sunday Conversation 3/1

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It's March! Xavier loses predictably in a predictable way; why can't we shoot in the second half? Does a win at Creighton do it?

IT'S PANIC TIME
IT'S PANIC TIME
Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

Joel
Can something be disappointing and predictable at the same time? If so, that was. You had hoped that maybe we could hold that halftime advantage, but no lead is safe with this team and Nova is good at basketball, which is our defensive weakness. That missed opportunity against St. John's hurts because of how likely this loss always was.

Brad
The way it happened was predictable too. This isn't a shot at the coaching staff either, but Nova did what they do. They spread us out, moved the ball, and knocked down threes. That simple.

Bryan
While it was seemingly inevitable and utterly predictable, it was still disappointing to see how complete the collapse was in the second half. Our chances wouldn't fall, they got back half of their misses, and we were way too sloppy with the ball. This team has a lot of strengths, but all of its weaknesses were on display today.

Brad
We had good chances, too. The times we didn't turn the ball over we managed very good looks and just missed them. Bluiett and Myles both had wide open looks at threes that really stick out in my mind.

Joel
Myles shot 4-24 this week, which isn't very good. We definitely had some looks, but I felt like he and Bluiett both forced it today. Meanwhile, Stainbrook and Reynolds combined to shoot 9-9/0-0/5-6 on the day. At what point in time should we be getting post touches every time down rather than running the ball around the perimeter? I know Stainbrook and Reynolds each had some turnover problems, but I felt like the post got neglected for about the last ten minutes. We looked like we were pressing, nervous, and tight out there, which is about how I feel as a fan when this team is close/late.

Bryan
Our bigs have been pretty turnover prone lately, but our perimeter shooting did not get it done in the second half of either of the last two games. Is it just me or did we need to run two bigs out there to combat Ochefu and Pinkston? They hammered us on the boards and Stainbrook and Reynolds combined for 44 minutes, while Farr only had 4. I know going with Trevon at the four has helped us at times this year, but there might be times that a more traditional two low is our ticket.

Brad
What happened to Sean O'Mara? This seemed a situation some brawn might have helped. Reynolds was, again, hampered by a couple questionable calls.

Joel
The blown backcourt violation call and that bogus loose ball foul on Myles both cost us three points. That loose ball foul was especially ridiculous; Jalen got dragged down by the Nova guy, then Myles got call for just being in the area. Poor officiating.

Of course, that's not what cost us the game. Why does our shooting consistently go stone cold in the second half?

Brad
Are our shooters starting to lose their legs?

Joel
Our opponents' shooters sure aren't. Why would our guys be petering out if theirs aren't? St. John's isn't even a deep team and they looked fairly lively against us. Nova is another level entirely.

Bryan
I think so, but if that is the case, I don't see why we keep making our rotation shallower. We are basically 7 deep right now with the Davises, Remy, Trevon, JP, Jalen, and Stainbrook. LAJ and O'Mara have both performed at least passably if not downright well in stretches recently, Farr is still leading in rebounding rates and scored efficiently against Cincy. What gives with our bench right now?

Joel
Defense? But if that's the case, I think LAJ can at least hold his own. Farr has his issues off the ball; I frankly haven't seen enough O'Mara to have a strong feeling on his rotations, but he can defend a man well enough. Macura isn't as bad a defender as he's made out to be (which is different than saying he's a good defender). We're getting down to it now, and we cannot afford a loss at Creighton. We've gotta figure out why we're so bad in the second half.

Brad
I think if we beat Creighton, we're in. Our struggles could just be down to a young team getting weary as the season goes on. The Cavs went bowling and then won 14 straight. Maybe we should do that.

Joel
Dee Davis is apparently a heck of a bowler. Maybe that will do it for us. We need to avoid St. John's in the first round of the Big East tournament.

Brad
Yeah, they are a terrible matchup for us. Georgetown wouldn't be bad. Any way they'll just let us play Marquette?

Joel
Yeah, we crushed them by four at our place.

Brad
They've disintegrated since. We've also beaten them by 20

Joel
Honestly though, I think we can make the final if we get drawn on the other side of Nova-St. Johns. A first round match up with Georgetown to play Butler or a bottom four team is as ideal as the setup gets. We're capable of beating almost anyone in the league, which is what makes the fact that we've lost to all of them except Georgetown that much more frustrating.

Bubble watches are saying we're in if we beat Creighton. That would mean we could potentially be a 19-13 at large. Ugh.