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The Georgetown fan's guide to Xavier basketball

I'll be honest, this is a fun rivalry for me.

"Can I please transfer out for the stretch run?"
"Can I please transfer out for the stretch run?"
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Hello again, Georgetown fans! Your team more or less ruined my week - well that's not true; Tre Campbell kind of ruined my week all by himself last time these two teams played. Since that time, Xavier has won every game except for the one that happened on a trip to Creighton, and we can forgive that. We'll gloss over what has happened with Georgetown and just jump right into getting you caught up on Xavier.

Xavier personnel

4 Edmond Sumner Fr. G 6'6" 183 10.9 3.2 3.2 .420 .345 .709 A menace in the open court; difficult to stop when attacking to either hand. Only an occasional threat from deep. Will hit the floor like he's been shot at least once a game. We're just a better, more dynamic team with him on the floor.
15 Myles Davis Jr. G 6'2" 188 10.7 3.6 4.0 .398 .376 .849 The steady counterpoint to Sumner explosive abilities. Consistent outside shooter with range well beyond the arc. Sneakily piles up assists by playing good basketball. Dropped a triple-double last time out.
10 Remy Abell Sr. G 6'4" 197 6.1 1.3 1.7 .403 .358 .750 Dynamic defensively. He'll guard the opposition's best perimeter player when Xavier goes man. At his best in transition on offense; runs the floor without the ball very well. Will cede a lot of minutes to fan favorite JP Macura.
5 Trevon Bluiett So. G/F 6'6" 208 15.3 6.6 2.3 .415 .383 .781 A threat from anywhere on the court thanks to top-notch footwork. Can be streaky, but not shy about shooting himself through a slump. Can be relied upon to guard near the bucket better than on the perimeter. Good rebounder for his size.
1 Jalen Reynolds Jr. F 6'10" 238 9.7 6.9 0.8 .500 .333 .624 Jalen has piles of physical tools but struggles to get out of his own way at times. Excels defensively in the middle of the 1-3-1 zone. Insanely athletic. Rounding into form lately. Officials hate this guy.
Larry Austin Jr. So. G 6'2" 179 2.2 1.2 1.3 .432 .000 .643 A very solid backup point. Makes about one ridiculous turnover every time out, but otherwise does well running the team when Sumner is resting. A tenacious defender. Very athletic.
2 James Farr Sr. F/C 6'10" 244 9.9 8.3 0.6 .534 .167 .781 The best rebounder in the nation. Once fancied himself a jump shooter, but has rebuilt his game around staying close to the bucket on both ends. Kind of slumping offensively. Defends the rim well.
13 Makindé London Fr. F 6'10" 220 1.9 1.3 0.4 .381 .438 .500 Whip thin and hyper athletic, but still growing into his game. Can really shoot it when he gets his feet set. If you see him while the game is still in doubt, something strange is happening.
22 Kaiser Gates Fr. F 6'8" 217 3.0 2.4 0.1 .392 .290 .593 Very athletic, very determined perimeter defender. Still gets lost sometimes. Shoots the ball with a ton of confidence. Has awesome hair.
54 Sean O'Mara So. F/C 6'10" 247 3.4 1.9 0.2 .627 .000 .611 Plays like the former offensive lineman he is. Difficult for opposing big men to move out of the paint. Has good finesse game in the post. Scores efficiently, but fouls a ton.
55 J.P. Macura So. G 6'5" 203 9.4 2.7 2.1 .473 .338 .814 Either a flaxen-haired heartthrob or the most annoying player in the Big East, depending on who you cheer for. Pokes, prods, niggles, scrambles, and talks over the entire length and width of the floor. Has some Pistol Pete in his scoring and distributing game. Flies to the offensive glass. EVERYONE HATES THIS DUDE.

Xavier strategy

Xavier's defense hit a lull partway through the Big East season, but it's more or less back now. X put the clamps on Creighton but couldn't score enough to make it work, then locked up both Butler and Providence in wins. The 1-3-1 zone is kind of the party piece, but the Muskies actually play more man than zone. Both defenses focus on packing the middle, forcing long jump shots, and cleaning up on the glass. If a Tre Campbell type gets hot, Xavier will get scorched.

On offense, Xavier's biggest strength is versatility. Trevon Bluiett is the guy who Coach Mack will turn to to try to break lulls, but scoring could come from just about anywhere on this team. As long as the ball keeps moving, it's going to end up in the hands of someone capable of scoring it. If the ball sticks, the team tends to get a little jumper happy and things get ugly.

Other things to consider

I don't have bullet points here because I only have one thing to throw out there: DSR committed to Xavier, then backed out on it so he could play in the Big East. The obvious irony is that he could have played in the Big East with Xavier. The subtle irony is that he has played for three years and the most notable postseason game he has gotten to compete in was as a freshman, when he served as the medium upon which Dunk City was introduced to the world. Now as a senior he's hoping for a miracle run to make the NIT while Xavier is yet to be eliminated from contention for a one seed. Nice upgrade, DSR.

I'm aware that the above paragraph might make me unpopular with a few of you. I've made my peace with that.