What happened: Xavier 86 - Buffalo 53
Let’s start with today’s real stars: the officials. On 74 possessions, they called 59 fouls: 38 on Buffalo, 21 on Xavier. There was a foul called ever 36 seconds in the first half. By the end of the game, two Buffalo players had fouled out and seven other players spread across both teams had four fouls each. Once again, the points of emphasis adopted at the start of the year - and likely destined to be dropped by the holidays - have made the game difficult to watch in the early going.
Turning to the fun, Xavier once again relied on JP, Tre, and Edmond to do the heavy lifting. JP and Tre both shot 4-11 from the floor, but JP posted 18/2/3 thanks to a 10-10 mark from the line while Tre had 13/3/1 and was only 3-5 from the stripe.
Ed was very efficient, shooting 5-7/1-1/2-3 and putting up 13/7/2 and blocking two shots besides. That’s a heck of a line for a point guard with NBA aspirations; Ed wasn’t afraid to get down and mix it up in the crowded parts of the floor tonight.
Tyrique Jones used his second game as a Muskie as a coming out party of sorts. People will go home talking about two monster blocks that Jones had, but his line of 6/11/1 hints at how colossal he was in the middle of the floor tonight. All of his rebounds were defensive; the future is very bright with Tyrique in the paint.
Quentin Goodin used his second game as a Muskie as a coming out party of sorts. Coach Mack called him out as playing scared on Friday; today he went right at opponents. His shooting line of 3-3/1-1/4-8 was good in two facets, and his game line was an impressive 11/4/2. He’ll have (a lot of) nights where he executes better from the line, but he looked like a different dude out there tonight.
Xavier’s veteran bigs - Sean O’Mara and RaShid Gaston - had some bright spots tonight, but the story is going to be the fact that they combined for eight fouls in 31 minutes. Setting aside for a moment the aggressive officiating, that’s a level that has to really scare Xavier fans. The Musketeers cannot absorb that level of foul trouble from their only two true post players. That has to change fairly quickly.
On the bright side, they were effective when they were out there. Gaston had 9/7/0 and looked like the guy Xavier fans were hoping for when he transferred in. O’Mara took a long time to get started thanks to foul trouble, but he dropped 4/3/2 and looked good in second-half action. If those two can come together as a Jalmes Farrnolds style monster (SeanShid O’Gaston?), the Muskies will be really hard to stop this year.
Odds and ends:
- Xavier ended up with 16 assists on 26 made baskets for an assist rate of 61.5%.
- The Muskies had just 9 turnovers tonight, including just 1 from Ed.
- Xavier dominated in bench points (31-10), points off of turnovers (17-9), and points in the paint (40-8).
- The game was tied at 0-0 for the first 2:43 before Xavier took a lead that Buffalo would never really challenge.
That’s it from me, but stay tuned tomorrow and the entire rest of your life, as we’ll have more Xavier coverage than you’ll know what to do with. Xavier is back in action at 1:30pm on Thursday against Missouri.