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Saturday Conversation takes an unexpected turn

Just when it seems like things are hitting their nadir, another bomb drops.

NCAA Basketball: Eastern Washington at Xavier
Huh?
Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

Ever have one of those conversations with your friends that suddenly veers off when something happens? Well, this is that. About halfway through sorting out what we expected this team to this year, we found out that Myles Davis wouldn’t be with the team. That, obviously, changed things a bit.

Brad: So, the game is on Sunday this week. I legitimately had missed that until today. That gives us a bit of a chance to kick things around before then. Last week, we said it was important not to freak out if X lost three in a row. Then that happened, and most people freaked out. I'm not as naturally optimistic as Joel, and I share a lot of the concerns that we've seen popping up on Twitter. One thing that bothers me is that a lot of what is going on seems to be correctable, it just isn't getting corrected. The free throws leap readily to mind.

Paul: I have mixed feelings about this team. I think JP, Trevon, Sumner, and Myles are in a bit of a slump that they can and will get out of. If and when they do that, I think Xavier has the ability to win enough games down the stretch to earn a good seed in March.

On the other hand, I don’t think the rest of our team is doing quite enough offensively to bring any kind of pressure off of our scorers. From my perspective, an offense doesn't really work when half of your players are zero threat to drive. Gates, Bernard, Myles, and to a lesser extent JP and Bluiett have shown little to no ability to get past their defender. Beating a defender leads to easy twos or open threes and we havent earned nearly enough of either this season. So long as Kaiser and Bernard are content just standing around the 3 point line and chucking up the occasional 3, we are essentially running a 4 man offense and it just isn’t working currently.

Brad: I can't access the stats right now, but didn't Tre slump like this at one point last season? That he and Ed both put the ball on the floor against Creighton is, I think, the first step to combating that stagnation you talk about. What's mildly odd about Bernard is that he's basically an average finisher at the rim with a long history of being below average behind the arc. He's playing almost backward of what you would expect.

[Before I could research when Trevon’s shooting slump landed last year, the news broke on the departure of Myles].

Brad: So... This just took a turn on us. First reaction on what this means for X going forward?

Joel: At first blush it's not good at all. We now are what we have been all year, plus any development we can muster. I think the most troubling thing is that we do poorly what Myles had traditionally done well. At this point in time, who do you trust with a jump shot? We're one dimensional on offense. We have to get stops, get boards, and run. In the half court, good teams don't have to defend us away from the basket.

Paul: I think XU is still a good team, a top 25 team. I think the program is gonna need time to process this but Mack has been questioning the leadership all year and they need the leaders to step up now more than ever. I think tomorrow is a huge game. Will either be a big step back or a big step forward.

Brad: It seemed like Myles was going to provide what we needed this year. He moved the ball well and he could shoot from outside. He didn’t do that in the three games he played, and the team, whether because of him or not, was a disjointed mess. I think we need to win this game against Georgetown or risk a serious tailspin.