Abell will be a big miss
Remy Abell has probably not been the most heralded member of Xavier's back court this season, but days like today prove what he brings to the table. He played the second most minutes he has played this season, tied his season high in assists with 4, scored 15 points, and was a big part of keeping Maurice Watson to just 8 points. Remy doesn't go out on the court with the expectation of getting buckets, but a couple of the hustle plays he made today, such as his offensive rebound and 3 point play to get Xavier on the board, showed that his impact is through his toughness and intensity. Remy in attack mode makes Xavier a different team, and hopefully this is the Remy we get for the rest of his Xavier career.
James Farr is why I love being an X fan
Maybe not James Farr in specific, but in the day and age of the prepackaged, AAU All-Star, One-and-done College Basketball star, players like James Farr or the two Wooden Award frontrunners, Denzel Valentine and Buddy Hield, remind us how fun it is to watch a player develop over 4 years. Farr came to X as a pick and pop type 4, and will leave as an absolute animal on the glass at both ends and a dependable post scorer. Names like David West, Stan Burrell, Romain Sato, Tu Holloway and many more are recalled fondly by Xavier faithful who got to watch those players improve and succeed over 4 years at X. Farr is another great example of the way Xavier continues to contend with the one and done'ers of the world and it is easy to envisage Kaiser Gates or JP Macura or Sean O'Mara or any of Xavier's other young talent following those footsteps to success at Cintas Center.
In between the calls that should have been a fantastic game
Time to hang another banner
Today's tied Xavier's program record with 26 wins in a regular season. No previous Xavier team accomplished this much in the regular season in this good of a conference. Last time X actually won a title was in 2011 when they crushed the A-10. Last conference tourney win was 2006's 4 games in 4 days (Part II). This has been a season unlike any before at Cintas, but capping it with some hardware would ensure that it would be remembered as the best ever.
It is a two horse race for BE POTY
With the regular season wrapped up, Big East awards season is about to be in full swing and the race for Big East Player of the Year, a pretty open and shut case preseason, should be a two man conversation this week. Josh Hart of Villanova has been steadily exceptional all season, scoring well all over the court, rebounding incredibly well for his size, and generally being a nightmare to play against with his toughness and hustle in defense. While Hart has quietly put together a very complete resume, Isaiah Whitehead has simply been on another level in the last half of the season, leading Seton Hall to an impressive turnaround and a pretty laid back Selection Sunday. Whitehead has been a menace blocking shots and running the floor, while also starting to distribute better and take his threes in the rhythm of the offense, leading to a 43% mark from deep in conference play. It will be interesting to see who the Big East coaches give the nod to, but for my money Hart's body of work wins out over Whitehead's scorching finish.