Xavier was clearly the better team on the floor tonight, but they played at times like they had bet St. John's to cover. In the team's most placid performance since the NKU game, the Muskies needed to muster a couple of clutch plays down the stretch to hold off a surprisingly game Red Storm team led by the Mediterranean Eli Manning. Xavier moves to 2-1 in conference and will have six days to work on what we just saw before hosting DePaul next Tuesday.
Coach Mack trusts his depth
JP got his first start of the season. Kaiser, Larry, and Sean all saw the floor before Jalen Reynolds came into the game. Not only did a lot of the bench get in early, they all acquitted themselves fairly well, albeit against slightly underwhelming competition. Xavier's usual starters played fairly flat tonight; I wouldn't have minded seeing some more of someone hungry.
Trevon is starting to worry me
Bluiett still got his points by virtue of being able to get to the line, but he looked nothing like the knock down shooter that he was at the beginning of the season. The ball seemed to be coming out of his hand pretty well, but he is in the throes of a real shooting slump in terms of actually getting the ball to fall. I love his game as a general rule, but having him drop bombs adds an element to the offense that is missing when he's cold.
Myles Davis is a hero
When the chips were down and it looked like most of the team had other things on their respective minds, Myles Davis stepped up and made big plays down the stretch. All he did was shoot 4-9/2-5/9-9 on his way to 19/3/4, 16 of which came in the second half. As the game wound into winning time, it was clear that his teammates wanted the ball in Myles's hands. He made the plays that win conference games on the road.
Weird things happen on the road in conference play
Four takeaways for the price of three! The Nova game was a throwaway after the Sumner injury. This game was just weird from start to finish. Jalen's unexplained absence looked like it would be the story as X ran out to a 10-2 lead. Then St. John's came back. Then Xavier pulled away again. The teams looked like they were taking turns playing well for most of the game, as X would pull out to 10 or 12 up then St. John's would cut it back to 4 or 6 before losing steam. Rinse, repeat. Just a sloppy, strange game played by guys who looked like they were up past their bedtimes.