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Pre-Duel Pleasantries-Providence

Crossing the line to get you ready

Before Xavier begins Big East play, we talked to our good friend Mike Hopkins over at to get you a better perspective of the opponent. Both teams enter tonight’s game with 10 wins and the hope of starting conference play strong, so let’s see what he had to say.

1.) Providence is pretty good at 10-3, but well, what exactly happened against Boston College?

On to Xavier. Xavier. Xavier. Xavier.

Ok, fine. What happened against Boston College is that Providence laid an absolute egg. Maybe they were all anxious to get home for Christmas or they were a little tired from their team dinner at Legal Sea Foods the night before the game. Whatever the reason for the lackadaisical performance it was, as Ed Cooley called it postgame, pathetic.

2.) What is the key to stopping Rodney Bullock?

Last season the key to stopping Bullock was probably to play him very physically and try to get him out of sync early. That was last season and Bullock has shown much more consistent play in his second season of playing college basketball. Sometimes Bullock gets a little too in love with his jump shot and if it isn't falling like it didn't against Maine last week Bullock can be a relative non-factor. If his jumper is falling, watch out.

3.) Which new player do Xavier fans need to be aware of before Wednesday night's game?

I'd say Emmitt Holt but he's a name that is known college basketball fans from his time at Indiana when he played 29 games as a freshman before being booted for off-court issues. The new player Xavier fans should know about is Kalif Young. Young is a 6'9, 250 lb freshman from Canada who has been very impressive in the non-conference for the Friars. He's someone that has a chance to be a real star in his time at Providence and Xavier fans might as well learn his name now.

4.) What is your opinion on the elf on the shelf craze?

I personally think it's an interesting phenomenon and I'll probably use it with my kids one day but I can take it or leave it as a "craze".

5.) Score prediction?

Xavier 72 Providence 60

There you have it. Mike predicts a Xavier win tonight. If you have time before tipoff, check out his Providence site at It’s always worth a read.