Are you stuck in traffic right now? Worse, are you stuck somewhere you don’t want to be? Maybe with in-laws who are Bearcats fans or who, possibly just as bad, want to talk about current events? We aren’t interested in either of those things, so load this up and be that guy (or gal) staring at his phone. Remember it’s only rude if people actually wanted to hear you talk. [From before Hampton]
Bryan: Who get all the headlines, who has impressed you the most of the supporting cast in the first three games? Obviously JP and Tre have been massive, but which other guy showed you guys something that bodes well for this season?
Brad: It has to be Tyrique for me. I was concerned that he would remain just a monstrous physical specimen, which he has, but he’s currently 112th in the nation in offensive efficiency. 11/6/1 with only three fouls in 24 minutes against Wisconsin is an incredible line.
Paul: It has to be Tyrique. Hes clearly taken a big step forward and although its early, looks to be the most impressive big man Xavier has had since DWest. Jones aside, I’ll say Marshall. I expected Scruggs to be the stand out freshman in this class but Marshall is a D1 ready recruit physically and mentally. It sounds like hes been a bit limited due to back issues, but I think hes ready to be a contributor already. Really excited to see his progression this year and beyond.
Bryan: I was actually going to say Kaiser, because of the matchup nightmare he presents for most anyone in the nation. In a big game, a situation he struggled in last year outside the tournament, he was good for 11 and 6 despite hacking like the second coming of Jalen. When he is aggressive on offense, taking care of the ball, and killing almost a quarter of the opposition possessions with boards, he goes from a nice piece to have to a game plan breaker in a hurry. He looks confident and locked in and if he keeps that up, X becomes hard to guard.
Also, Tyrique is such an animal down low that it always bears mentioning, if for no other reason than that he scares me.
Joel: It's definitely Q! It's not Q, though I do love him. I think it has to be Kaiser. He's a knockdown shooter who can crush the glass and defend pretty much every spot on the floor. We don't need him to make his own shot or be a go-to guy, we just need him to hit the ones that come to him. So far, he's doing exactly that. Tre is a matchup nightmare as a big three or a small four; Kaiser at his best gives Xavier the flexibility to use Tre either way.
Paul: I’ve been a little frustrated with Kaiser over the years. Ideally I'd like a 6'8 forward to do a little more offensively than shoot 3s, but hes turned into a 3 and D guy and he's doing it very well so far. Speaking of Q, I thought he had a bit of an underrated game with 6 assists and 1 turnover. He didn’t make much noise, but with this team I think that’s a good thing. Didn’t turn the ball over, didn’t get beat. He'll have his chance to shine next year, but for now we just need consistent PG play and that’s exactly what he gave us Thursday.
Bryan: Q does not look like he has made the same leap as Tyrique, albeit from the evidence of three games, and he doesn't seem any more confident in his shot than he did last year. It hasn't been a big deal so far, but Tre and JP might not be good for 45 a night once we hit the grind of the Big East so any indication that Q is capable of picking up the slack would be nice. All that being said, 1 turnover in 30 minutes in a hostile environment is nothing to shake a stick at, so maybe I don't know anything.
Paul: Another thing I wanted to mention about this team is that free throw shooting seems to be improved from last year. You can clearly tell that OMara and Tyrique put in work in the off season and both of their strokes look pretty good. On the road you have to take the freebies and those two going a combined 7/8 was a difference maker and will continue to be in close games. I’m glad we have a coach who listens to the fans, because all of those tweets last year asking him to practice more seem to have been taken to heart.