What happened: Georgetown 81 - Xavier 72
Trevon Bluiett once again led the team in scoring and threw in leading the team in rebounding and assists just for grins, rolling off an 18/10/5 stat line with just one turnover. His shooting line still gives pause, though, as he posted 6-16/3-8/3-3. Last season Trevon shot 88-177 (49.7%) from inside the arc; this year he's 46-107 (43.0%). Is it possible that moving to the four from the three has made life inside the arc more difficult for Trevon? That's certainly not a ridiculous theory. In the meantime, you'd like to see the team's leading scorer hitting a few more of his two-point attempts.
Speaking of theories I can throw out but not support, Xavier's performance last night furthered the idea that Myles Davis is the most irreplaceable player on the roster. With Xavier leading 25-20 with 7:05 left in the first half, he picked up his second foul. As Myles sat, Xavier managed 8 points in 7 minutes on 2-9/0-5/4-4 shooting with a turnover. In that time Georgetown dropped 19 points and was off to the races. I'm not a big fan of the compulsory sitting of a player with two fouls in the first half, and it's hard to imagine leaving Myles in ending more poorly than taking him out did. Myles picked up just one foul in 15 second-half minutes.
The man himself had a solid game under the circumstances, posting 15/3/2 on 5-9/3-5/2-4 shooting. He continues to hit big threes when the team needs him, and you get the feeling that a couple more looks from him could have turned the game late. It didn't work out today, but there's no doubt that Xavier has one of the most underrated players in the conference in Myles Davis.
This game serves as a great case study for why rebounding margin is a dumb stat. On the face of things, Georgetown beat Xavier on the boards to the tune of a 39-35 advantage. The true story is told in rebounding percentages, which measure what percentage of the balls that came off the rim a given team/player tracked down. Xavier had DReb%/OReb% of 75.9%/28.9%, superior on both ends to Georgetown's 71.1%/24.1%. Georgetown had a higher volume of rebounds simply because Xavier missed 45 times and Georgetown only missed 29. Don't let the margin fool you; it's the percent of boards that really shows what's going on.
Finishing around the rim was a huge problem for Xavier on the night, and that falls heavily on Edmond Sumner. He put up a 2-12/2-7/4-4 shooting line on his way to 10/2/4 with 3 steals. The keen-eyed of you will notice that Sumner shot 0-5 from inside the arc, which is obviously not good. Pair that with Remy's 0-3, JP's 0-2, and Kaiser's 0-1 and then throw in James's 2-6 and you're getting a big pile of missed two-point attempts, many of which the team usually makes. If the team shoots its usual 49% from inside the arc, this is a different game. Top marks to Georgetown for not allowing that to happen.
I guess we need to mention Tre Campbell, if only for the fact that the guy couldn't miss last night. He hit 5 threes in the first half - he had made four threes in Big East play and five total in his last 11 games coming into the night. If he was on the scouting report as a guy to let shoot, there's good reason for it. I guess that's why I can't get too mad about what happened last night: a Xavier team that underperformed was rocked by a guy who scored his season's average seven times over, and the game was still in the balance down the stretch. Crazy things happen in college basketball sometimes, and Xavier was on the wrong end of one against the Hoyas.
Water cooler takes:
FIRE COACH MACK!
What was he doing taking out Myles Davis? Sure the guy had two fouls in the early going, but he's old enough that his car insurance is about to get cheaper and he has the savvy to stay out of trouble. He's the heart and soul of the team; he has to be out there. And why was James Farr getting so many minutes when he was being so ineffective? Swallow your pride and put Jalen in. And get out of that stupid 1-3-1 when they're raining threes on us. What took so long getting the press on? It was so effective; we should have been doing that all game. The team needed an energy boost, and that would have done it. He may be a good basketball mind, but he's no leader.
These are all real things people have said to me.
Everyone calm down
Last year's national champ was 2-2 in conference at one point, having just gotten run off their home floor by Miami (FL), an NIT team. The national champ the year before that sported a loss to Houston. This one hurt, but let's not burn Cintas to the ground over it. Georgetown exploited Xavier's defensive strategy, shot out of their minds, and probably played their best game of the season. The Muskies had their chances but didn't execute, and that was the difference. This loss will probably cost Xavier some votes in the polls, but there's still a lot to like about this team going forward. Xavier outrebounded Georgetown at both ends, barely turned the ball over at all, and basically did pretty well in every aspect of the game that didn't involve scoring. They'll bounce back.