This team grew up
Early in the season, lesser foes came out and got in Xavier's face and the Musketeers were unable to respond. Losses to Long Beach State, UTEP, and Auburn revealed a team short on the rquisite backbone to withstand an opponent with momentum without the Cintas Center crowd behind them. Tonight Georgia State came back again and again in the second half, trying to trigger another meltdown, but the Muskies faced them down, focused up, and hit them back harder to hold them off by 8 in the end. This was a milepost of just how far this team has come, responding with toughness on a neutral floor against a much, much better team than UTEP.
You never know who is going to step up
Jalen Reynolds was 2-12 on Thursday, and Myles Davis was in a slump that had seen one double digit game and one multi three performance in the past month, yet they were the two leading scorers for Xavier today. Reynolds was uncontainable for Georgia State's undersized back line and went for 20 and 6 with 8-9 from the floor, while Myles shot the lights out from downtown, ending 5-8, hit an absolute dagger in the middle of Georgia State's last fightback, and looked like his old swagger was back. Those two guys combined for 9 on Thursday. X has the horses to go deeper, but it is just a matter of who will step to the plate. Today it was Myles and Jalen.
Dee Davis will be missed
Dee has caught a lot of flack for his sometimes inconsistent play throughout the season,but today he logged another 40 minutes, was perfect from the field, 8-9 from the line, had 5 assists, and was a constant calming force when things threatened to go haywire for Xavier. I am sure other players will come in and fill Dee's minutes next year, but he is showing his value to X doen the stretch having now scored in double figures in 4 of his last 5 while logging at least 31 minutes in each of them and totaling 11 turnovers during the stretch. That is special stuff from a Senior point guard who got to postseason play definitely does not want to go home yet.