A week ago, Xavier was 3-0 in conference, 13-2 overall, and riding a 6-game winning streak. We knew this stretch was going to be rough, but a win or two seemed plausible. An 0-3 result wasn’t unthinkable, but it was certainly considered a remote possibility.
Fast forward to the present day and that’s exactly what we’re looking at. Xavier was almost incomprehensibly sloppy today, turning the ball over 12 times in the first half and 17 times overall. Even worse, the Muskies left 13 points at the line today with a putrid 16-29 showing on FT. For the second time in basically 48 hours, X shot itself in the butt and left a really good win on the table. Here are some takeaways or whatever.
We have to clean it up
There’s no way around this fact. A TO% of 22.5% at Butler was bad; I don’t have the number in front of me for today’s game, but 17 turnovers at home is inexcusable. Couple that with the aforementioned 16-29 from the line and you’ve got a recipe of disgust and disaster. It doesn’t matter how good you are, you’re not going to beat good teams when you give them so many empty possessions to work against.
We’re horrible from behind the arc
I know I don’t usually write in the first person about the team, but I’m disgusted. Sorry.
A 3-15 showing from deep today was a gift Creighton was only too happy to let Xavier keep offering them. The Muskies came into the day shooting 33.1% from behind the arc, good for 243rd in the country. There’s no reason a team shooting that badly should be doing anything but pounding the paint. Xavier had the advantage on the glass all day and were generally more successful when they drove at the Bluejays defense. Every time the ball went up from deep, it was a victory for Creighton.
There’s no letup
Xavier plays DePaul twice this season. Other than those two games, everything left on the schedule is going to be a war. This is a double-edged sword, of course; a hot couple of weeks would do a lot to bandage Xavier’s wounded tournament resume. There is no Charlotte-Fordham-Duquesne stretch on the schedule coming up for Xavier. If the Muskies want to get healthy, they’re going to have to earn it.