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Rosterbating: Xavier v. North Dakota State

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The weather is mediocre at best, but the basketball couldn’t be better in Norwood. With a top-ten matchup looming on the weekend, how do you set up the team Tuesday?

NCAA Basketball: Northern Iowa at Xavier
“These guys and their self-abusive wordplay.”
Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

If our complete lack of subtlety in the title doesn’t run us afoul of the Hays Code, let’s start talking roster issues for Xavier. The Muskies will be taking on someone other than Northern Iowa for the first time in almost two weeks; does that mean it’s time for Coach Mack to freshen up the ol’ rotation? If you’re in charge, do you...

...start Kaiser Gates or give him short run?

No doubt the 6’8” sophomore forward is going to be a big part of Xavier this season, but he has all of 11 minutes under his belt right now. Coming back off of knee surgery is no joke, but Xavier has a big matchup against Baylor on the weekend. Coach Mack is going to want as much of Kaiser in Texas as he can get; how he goes about accomplishing that is going to be evident on Tuesday.

...favor finesse or power on the post?

Sean O’Mara has been one of Xavier’s most efficient offensive players this year, but he is third among Xavier’s three post players in offensive and defensive rebounding percentage and block percentage. Baylor rebounds like heathens, and North Dakota State isn’t exactly Lipscomb (or whomever) in terms of being a pushover. Is Sean O’Mara’s post scoring a luxury Xavier can abide in the lineup?

...move Trevon closer to the bucket on offense?

Xavier’s biggest returning offensive weapon is Trevon Bluiett’s jump shot, but it has been something less than we hoped for on the young season. Tre is shooting 12-32 (37.5%) on two-point jumpers and 10-39 (25.6%) on three-point attempts this year. You feel like at some point he’s going to have his eye in again. In the meantime, maybe it would behoove him to be a little closer to the tin while waiting for his game to heat up.