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The Marquette fan's (updated) guide to Xavier basketball

Several of our guys can dunk.
Several of our guys can dunk.
Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back Marquette fans! We were very impressed with your Ellensons when we came to visit, and we hope you'll find our hosting similarly entertaining, except hopefully with a home win. Here's the information you need to get yourselves caught up on Xavier.

Xavier personnel

NO. NAME YR. POS. HT. WT. PPG RPG APG FG% 3P% FT% NOTES
STARTERS
4 Edmond Sumner Fr. G 6'6" 183 10.4 3.3 3.3 .404 .320 .687 A menace in the open court; difficult to stop when attacking to either hand. Only an occasional threat from deep. His legs appear to be getting a little heavy on him, but he's making good decisions on the ball.
15 Myles Davis Jr. G 6'2" 188 11.2 3.3 3.7 .412 .385 .885 The team's best shooter and their emotional leader. When big plays need made, his teammates look to Myles. Has improved into a solid driver and distributor. Not dynamic defensively.
10 Remy Abell Sr. G 6'4" 197 6.3 1.5 1.9 .391 .340 .755 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.
5 Trevon Bluiett So. G/F 6'6" 208 15.4 6.9 2.2 .419 .388 .824 A good from anywhere on the court thanks to top-notch footwork. Sometimes hurries his release just a hair. 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 9.6 6.5 0.8 .529 .400 .608 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.
RESERVES
Larry Austin Jr. So. G 6'2" 179 2.4 1.2 1.3 .425 .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 out. A tenacious defender.
2 James Farr Sr. F/C 6'10" 244 10.6 8.7 0.6 .558 .167 .790 The best rebounder in the nation. Farr has grown from getting 42 minutes as a freshman to being a dominant big as a senior. Can score to either hand on the post. Defends the rim well.
13 Makindé London Fr. F 6'10" 220 1.8 1.3 0.5 .368 .429 .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 2.8 2.4 0.2 .357 .269 .667 Very athletic, very determined perimeter defender. Still gets lost sometimes. Shoots the ball with a ton of confidence.
54 Sean O'Mara So. F/C 6'10" 247 3.7 2.0 0.3 .622 .000 .647 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.
55 J.P. Macura So. G 6'5" 203 8.9 2.7 2.1 .450 .317 .817 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.

Xavier strategy

It can come from just about anywhere on any given night for Xavier. The Musketeers lead the conference in offensive efficiency; other than a little problem with turnovers, they do everything pretty well. The only offensive category (other than overall efficiency) they lead the Big East in is assist rate, which speaks to just how balanced and unselfish this team is. Larry Austin, Jr. went for a dozen Xavier's last time out in a win over DePaul, making him the ninth Muskie to crack double digits this season.

On defense, Coach Mack continues to call the 1-3-1 zone a curveball, but it's becoming the defense for which Xavier is known. One of the most effective zones in the nation, it concedes the odd long jumper in favor of congesting the passing lanes and packing the middle. Xavier's man defense does much the same thing, but with a slightly higher focus on clogging the paint at the expense of pressuring the perimeter. The more Xavier plays zone, the less effectively they rebound on the defensive end. Xavier's defense was elite in the non-conference season, but it has fallen off a bit in the Big East.