Yesterday Xavier polished off Marquette in a game that wasn't really as close as the 74-66 final score indicated. We've gone both inside the numbers and recapped the game and the way the keys to the game actually broke down. What we haven't done is indulged in the scorching hot takes that Twitter and sports talk radio have trained us to demand. Well have no fear, here's a breakdown of what the Xavier (and one bonus) water cooler chatter will focus on come Monday.
James Farr is better than Jalen Reynolds:
At the start of the season it was all about Jalen getting a larger role, appearing in preseason All Big East teams, and finally living up to the enormous potential of the athleticism and touch he has. Jalen has averaged 9.6/6.7/0.6 in 19.5 minutes per game so far this year. The much less heralded James Farr has semi-quietly averaged 10.3/8.9/0.4 in 21 minutes. If counting stats aren't your thing, Farr leads Reynolds in offensive efficiency, both rebounding rates, block rate, turnover rate, and field goal and free throw percentage. In short, he's just flat out better than Jalen is right now. (And Jalen isn't bad by any stretch of the imagination). Farr's domination of Marquette basically just served to further prove that point.
LAJ is running out of chances:
We asked before the game on Twitter who you all thought would lose time when Ed returned, and LAJ was the unlucky winner. After averaging over 14 minutes in Sumner's absence, LAJ got five yesterday. In that time he scored once and turned the ball over once. With Myles being his usual rock solid self when it comes to caring for the ball and neither main guard being weak defensively, Larry needs to find a way to make a positive impact or he will be relegated to the bench.
Sean O'Mara probably wishes he could jump:
There is no question that O'Mara is a great traditional post player. His offensive efficiency rating this year is 115, essentially the same as Trevon Bluiett's. Unfortunately for Sean, he plays a very ground bound version of the game. With Kaiser Gates providing a high flying, outside shooting, long armed option in the middle of the 1-3-1, O'Mara and his array of pivot moves are sliding farther down the bench. There may come a game when Xavier needs a pounder, but for now Coach Mack seems content to unleash his bevy of athletes on the world.
The NFL overtime is stupid:
This isn't a Xavier take, in case you were confused. Last night I was listening to a great game of football. It was hard to so much as switch the radio during commercials of the fourth quarter of the Packers-Cardinals for fear of missing even a second. Regulation ended with the Cardinals kicking a field goal and then a desperation Aaron Rodgers drive in which he threw for over 100 yards to tie the game. The thrilling overtime period then featured...one possession. Did no one else want to see if Rodgers could do it again? Is sudden death a good way to end a game that has no sudden death aspects about it? This was the equivalent of a basketball game being decided by which team makes the first free throw and then flipping a coin to see who gets the first two shots. It really robbed the sporting public of a potentially amazing game.