So... That Villanova game didn't go so well. Once Edmond Sumner hit the floor, Xavier had essentially no chance. The players didn't recover from watching their friend and teammate stretchered off, and even the coaching staff admitted to being shaken after the injury. Butler represents the second ranked team in the last three days for Xavier, and they need an answer quickly. Villanova challenged a great deal of what Xavier had been doing this year. Here's what the Musketeers need to answer before this game.
1. Who plays point guard?
LAJ spent the Villanova game putting the lie to the idea that he is a legitimate backup to Edmond. His offensive rating was 15, he was 0-3 from the floor, he turned the ball over for every assist he had, and he generally just seemed over matched. The other option, Myles Davis, made only one shot from the floor and turned the ball over five times. We can't report definitively that Sumner isn't playing, but it seems irresponsible to assume that he'll be able to go at all. Xavier needs a point guard for the Butler game. Who will it be?
2. Can Xavier go man to man?
It seems like it. Roosevelt Jones plays a point forward, but Trevon Bluiett should be able to stay with him. and Remy Abell can match up with Kellen Dunham. Tyler Lewis goes to whoever plays the point. So how does Xavier stay with Chrabascz and Wideman? Start Jalems Farrnolds? Move Bluiett low and let Abell handle Jones? If Xavier does that, who plays Dunham? Xavier has the players to go man to man even without Sumner, but they'll need to tweak something defensively to do it. The other option is the 1-3-1, and Nova torched that from deep.
3. Is it time for the double post?
Jalems Farrnolds has been a one man wrecking crew comprised of two people so far this year. This game, with Butler playing two posts and rebounding fairly well, might be the time to do it. Wideman and Chrabascz are effective post players, but they aren't high on Butler's possession usage list. Farr and Reynolds may be able to avoid foul trouble, and Sean O'Mara has been effective in his time off the bench recently. Down Sumner, Xavier may need to run the double pivot.