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Three Quick Takeaways: That sucked

Xavier got comprehensively destroyed by a superior team tonight.

NCAA Basketball: Xavier at Villanova
One of Xavier’s six shots in the paint this game.
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

So do you guys prefer the term dumpster fire or diaper fire? On a night that was supposed to feature Myles slowly returning to the team and the two best squads in the Big East duking it out, Xavier got obliterated instead. I’m sure there were positives (no one died?), but they were few and far between.

Xavier isn’t on Villanova’s level:

The Musketeers jumped to an eight point lead and then promptly completely forgot how to play basketball. When Xavier went to a 1-3-1, Nova savaged it. When X forgot that Sean O’Mara existed and decided that chucking 4,000 three pointers was the way to go, Nova forced them into more. There was no facet of the game tonight in which the Musketeers were even close to a match for the Wildcats. To illustrate that, Xavier found their way at the line and shot 82%. Villanova shot 83%. It was only one game, on the road, against arguably the best team in the nation, but this was a total hiding. The Musketeers are just not a team that is, right now, capable of beating Villanova.

The Musketeers didn’t weather the storm:

After that early eight point lead, Xavier surrendered a 23-4 that essentially decided the game. In that horrendous span Xavier went over nine minutes without a field goal, shot 0-6 from behind the arc, and turned the ball over four times. That’s folding, not standing up to a run. The Musketeers had zero answers and mostly looked to standing around the perimeter and chucking jumpers to try and stanch the flow. It was terrible basketball being played terribly.

This is not a three point shooting team:

After tonight the Musketeers are shooting 33.2% from behind the arc after tonight’s 6-32 effort, good for 237th in the nation. 16 games in, the hope that regression to the mean will set in and the team will get better is fading fast. There’s simply no two ways around it, these guys are not good three point shooters. Trevon Bluiett is shooting 50% inside the arc but has taken 18 more shots from deep, where he’s sitting at 33%. JP is shooting 33%, Kaiser Gates is shooting 36%, Quentin Goodin is shooting 23%, Edmond Sumner is shooting 26%. Only Malcolm Bernard is acquitting himself well at 40%.

On a shockingly related note, Sean O’Mara has the highest effective field goal percentage on the team, has an offensive efficiency of 112 (131 in conference play including tonight), grabs offensive boards at a top 50 in the nation clip, and has an assist rate of 16% in conference play. I only mention that because during tonight’s exhibition of three point acumen, O’Mara got exactly zero field goal attempts that didn’t come off stickbacks. In a game where it was evident coming in that Sean would be an effective option, perhaps the effective option, he had to grab four offensive rebounds to get his points. That could be poor coaching, poor offense, or poor guard play, but it was just infuriating to watch. The sooner this garbage is in the past, the better.