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Larry Austin, Jr. carries Xavier past DePaul in Big East play

How about that game from LAJ?

Saddle up and go, young man.
Saddle up and go, young man.

For a minute there it wasn't clear that Xavier had actually come to the game. Actually three minutes, in which DePaul established a 9-0 lead and motivated Xavier to take a timeout early. The Musketeers never led until 18 minutes had already come off the clock, but they were up nine by the half and were never challenged again en route to making a road win look pedestrian.

Larry's not dead yet

In a weekend in which news broke that Xavier had offered a scholarship to a(nother) guard named Brandon Randolph, the spectre of an underachieving and ultimately early-departing perimeter player hung over your friend and mine LAJ. With the second position on the PG depth chart increasingly occupied by Myles, Larry needed to demostrate he was still an important cog in the machine. He did so today, first sparking an 8-0 run off the bench to get Xavier to come to life in the first half, then he went on to post career highs in points and assists while coming close to doing so in boards. This was a statement game for Xavier's sophomore point.

We're a zone team now

Xavier started out in a man, and DePaul started out by hitting everything they threw up in opening the game on a 9-0 run. Perhaps not wanting to give a hot team more open looks, Coach Mack stuck with mostly man defense as Xavier slowly chipped into the lead but never quite getting over the hump. Coach Mack finally threw on the 1-3-1 for good at the four-minute mark, and Xavier responding with a crushing 17-1 run to close the half. The only reason we didn't see more 1-3-1 was that there was no need for it in the second half.

This team can bury opponents

CBSSN flashed a stat near the end of the first half that showed Xavier's best runs of the season. The Muskies went 25-0 against Wright State, 21-0 against Dayton, 21-0 against Marquette, 17-0 against USC, and 21-4 against Wake, and the 14-3 run at Providence may be more impressive than any of those. Today Xavier went on a 27-3 run straddling the half to bury the game. The Muskies played both zone and man and got scoring from just about everywhere. By the time DePaul figured out which way was up, Xavier had already planted the game and moved on.