The immediate past can get swallowed up by the historic past in Shootout week. It’s natural, people want to hear “number two in their own city,” the story of Kevin Frey’s wild sprint, and about David West going off as much as they can. It’s the immediate past, though, that informs this game. Xavier’s season is, unbelievably, almost a month old already. As we gear up for UC, here’s what has happened so far.
Poor Morehead was supposed to be a cupcake, but they turned out to be even less than that. Tyrique Jones showed great development from last season, but it was Trevon Bluiett’s 25 points in 22 minutes that carried the headlines.
The Broncs were part of the Las Vegas Invitational, but you can be forgiven for not knowing that. Xavier had five guys in double figures, again led by Trevon with 26 and a monstrous performance by Tyrique Jones with 19/8/2.
Xavier was finally tested, and the Musketeers passed with flying colors. Trailing by two with under three minutes to play, X had a 28.3% chance of pulling off the win. Thanks to 10 points from Trevon Bluiett in the final 1:44, they did just that. Oh, and JP did something too.
Back to the Las Vegas Invitational live from the Cintas, and back to winning yawners.
GWU never looked like winning this game, but Xavier took forever to finally put it on ice. Quentin Goodin went for 16/4/4 and Trevon had 20/7/3, but there were some definite gaps in the Musketeers armor that a 19 point win did a good job of papering over.
Leading 44-29 with three minutes to play in the first half, Xavier had a 96.3% chance of winning the game. Somehow, the Musketeers managed to not only lose, but to lose by 16 points. Allowing an unholy 73 points in the final 23 minutes will do that for you. Losses don’t come much bleaker than this when you are a top 25 team.
Coach Mack came into this game just 5-7 after 15+ point losses. He, and his team, rectified that behind a scorching hot first half from JP Macura and the three point shooting of Kaiser Gates. Both players ended with 19 points in the final tuneup before the Shootout.