clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Water Cooler Hot Takes: Much Better

One big adjustment carried the day for Xavier, but was it a big step forward for the team?

NCAA Basketball: Eastern Washington at Xavier Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve officially hit the day where some git around the office is going to start making a big deal about the fact that he’s waiting until tomorrow to do his Christmas shopping. He’s going to be unbearable about it, too, because for some reason he thinks it makes him the modern day James Dean. Rather than listen to him puff out his chest about how little he cares for the people in his life, put him on the defensive with a series of scorching takes about the best college basketball team in Ohio.

Coach Mack made a great in game adjustment

In the post game interview on FS1 Coach Mack said that he had been the one who caused the defensive breakdown that led to Xavier’s early 22-11 deficit. You may not remember the coach getting run by out there, but he told the reporter after the game “this one is on me.” Xavier had gone into an aggressive deny to keep the ball out of the hands of EWU’s forwards. This left the floor too spaced and gave any ballhandler lanes galore. Coach Mack didn’t go apoplectic, he just switched back to the normal defense. In the 31 minutes after that, the Eagles scored 31 points.

This wasn’t a big step forward for Kaiser Gates

In one sense it was, because Kaiser did play 23 minutes. Other than that, though, there was not a great difference between this game and the one in which Coach Mack compared him to an amputee. Kaiser corralled only three rebounds and still took seven of his eight shots from deep. It’s possible that he is going to be a freakishly athletic 6-8 spot up shooter, but it’s clear the coaching staff thinks he can be much more than that. His 12 points look good and, don’t get me wrong, it’s good that someone was making threes, but Kaiser is still not getting the best out of himself.

Quentin Goodin is catching up

This was Eastern Washington, not Baylor, but Goodin looks like he’s starting to adjust. While Edmond Sumner will rightfully take headlines with his nine assists and no turnovers, Q aloso had six assists and only two turnovers. His three fouls could have been spread out a bit better over his 18 minutes, but he looked much more calm last night. The offense will come, right now it’s just important to have someone that can give Ed a break.

You can’t ignore JP Macura

The Xavier player that everyone loves to hate was at it again yesterday. JP picked up both of his fouls for, essentially, slapping someone. When a ball comes off the rime, JP is always circling his man and looking for a way to get to it. Sometimes that means hit cracks Bogdan Bliznyuk somewhere up around the face, sometimes it means that JP leads the team in rebounding, like he did last night. Macura played the most minutes last night, led the team in boards, had 12 points, threw in two assists, and grabbed a steal. JP also went a perfect 8-8 from the line. He’ll still never get the headlines, but X needs their jack of all trades like that in the Big East.