Big East conference play starts tomorrow. Finally. After a non-conference full of fits and starts and a summer full of escapades more suited to the team across town, Xavier is back into conference play. The Atlantic 10 has quickly become a distant memory. Conference play now means things like jumping in with both feet against Providence and then not facing a team outside the top 100 until early February. (Thanks, DePaul, just for being you).
Most programs would settle for that 10-2 entry to their league play, but Xavier isn’t most programs. The Musketeers missed Kaiser Gates early and still miss Myles Davis. Gates is back, but not yet in the swing thing of things, while RaShid Gaston has been here all year and is just now starting to show his ability. Edmond Sumner started shakily, Trevon Bluiett endured a shooting slump, JP had a couple of games where he completely forgot the better part of valor, and the freshman haven’t really hit anything resembling a stride.
On the other hand, Xavier dispatched a very good Clemson team, beat Utah and Wake in back to back contests, wont two games by 25+, and haven’t lost a game on a home or neutral court. Coach Mack made some good to see in game adjustments recently, and Kaiser Gates has turned into a three point threat. Add to all that the expected return of Myles Davis, and there is plenty of reason for optimism as the schedule gets tougher.
So, where do you land on the Musketeers? Do you think they’ve positioned themselves well for a run in the Big East, or does the lack of consistency worry you? Do you see a stabilizing force in the return of Myles Davis, or do you think this roster is just a bit to thin? The games are about to take on an added intensity and import, are you happy with where Xavier is?