What happened: Xavier 84 - DePaul 64
Let's start with the least obvious and work out. On a night when the team scored 84, Larry Austin, Jr. had zero. He's not going to grab a lot of headlines, but he played 16 minutes, had 3 assists against 0 turnovers, and only shot the ball once. Edmond Sumner will be a huge asset when he gets back, but his absence seems to have allowed Larry settle into the role Xavier needs him to fill.
The more obvious stat line of note belonged to Trevon Bluiett. He put up 24/6/4 with a block and 2 steals on 7-14/5-11/5-5 shooting, relegating his shooting slump to the past for now. He came out with guns blazing, posting 15 of Xavier's first 18 points before settling down a bit, but I think you'd take that final line from him every time out. Both the points and the made threes were new career highs for Trevon.
Myles Davis was in lock step with Trevon on the night, shooting 4-8/3-5/3-4 on his way to 14/1/7 with just one turnover. Myles at the point has been a bit of a revelation for Xavier, and he was in fine form distributing the ball tonight. His continually increasing willingness to put the ball on the deck and get into the middle of defenses combines with his deadly stroke from deep to make him a sneaky tough matchup for opposing defenses.
Speaking of sneaky and tough, JP had 2 points at the half but finished with 13/4/2 on 5-6/1-2/2-2 shooting. He has a turnover on a... creative pass intended for Kaiser last in the game, which was a disappointment to anyone tracking his 20%/10% potential. JP threw in 3 steals and committed just 1 foul, both of which are encouraging signs going forward.
Kaiser Gates had another good game, going for 11/4/0 on 4-6/2-3/1-3 shooting. He flashed good range (obviously) and scoring moves off the dribble with each hand. Perhaps more importantly, he played really well on defense, and Coach Mack showed faith in him both in the 1-3-1 and in man sets. His potential is through the roof, and being able to defend just about any position is a big part of what's getting him on the floor right now.
Jalmes Farrnolds had a fairly mediocre game, getting 36 minutes to post 10/12/2 with 3 turnovers on 3-12/0-1/4-5 shooting. Mack ran a couple of sets to each guy in the second half to try to get them going, but DePaul did a good job of choking out the post. Neither guy had much room to work inside, but you'd still have liked to see a little more production against one of the worse teams in the league.
That production came from Sean O'Mara, who went for 9/3/1 in just 13 minutes on 2-3/0-0/5-6. Farrnolds will be fine and O'Mara will remain more a part of the future than the present, but nights like these show off how bright the future will be as Sean continues to develop.
It was a really good team offensive night for Xavier. They shot 26-59/12-26/20-25 (.441/.462/.800) as a team and had 21 assists on those 26 made baskets. The ball was really popping around the perimeter, and Larry in particular did a good job of getting it up the floor in a hurry after makes and misses to get players in advantageous positions against a defense that was often still shuffling to get set. All in all, X looked like a top-tier team taking care of an inferior opponent at home.
That's it from me for now. Brad will be back in the morning with some more recap analysis, and we'll update the KenPom Bracketology to get the latest look at where the computers slot Xavier in the bracket right now.