Basketball is always fun to play. Always. There are times, though, when it isn’t that fun to watch. Xavier knew this was going to be a walk and that was clear from the start. It was also evident that Hampton wanted to put up an effort but, ultimately, collect a check. Those things, combined with students halfway to Thanksgiving break, made for a not a terribly compelling watch.
1. Xavier isn’t dropping the easy ones this year.
Two years ago in the pre-Thanksgiving tune up Xavier somnambulated through a 12 point win over Northern Kentucky that only some volume shooting by Trevon Bluiett and a lot of angry yelling by James Farr got them through. Tonight, the Musketeers absolutely hammered Hampton in a similar game. It took a few minutes to get things clicking, but once they did, the Pirates were swamped. (Boat pun!)
2. Trevon Bluiett hasn’t been checked yet.
I had the pleasure of watching this game with the original Musketeer fan in the family. He pointed out that if there is such a thing as a quiet 25, Bluiett is the master of it. Tonight, again, Bluiett poured in 21 while missing two shots and one free throw. He never forced it, he never was running around the court looking for the ball, he just played 27 minutes, scored his points, and moved on. It looks easy now, which means come some time in Big East conference play, someone is getting torched.
3. Good games are coming.
Wisconsin was a ton of fun. That’s what we all look forward to. This game wasn’t that, but one could be coming up this week. If Xavier gets past #174 George Washington, a potential matchup with Kansas State in Las Vegas would be next on the slate. That game would be an A matchup according to Ken Pomeroy and would be well worth postponing any Black Friday shopping that you were planning on doing that afternoon.