clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Christmas Eve Conversation

New, 1 comment

To class or not to class? That is the question as basketball takes a backseat to discussions about when to dunk.

NCAA Basketball: Xavier at Northern Iowa
“And then I put just a liiiittle rum in. Boom, perfect nog”
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Brad: I’ve not spent so much time talking about class since I was in college. What on earth is going here around the program? Is Xavier doing something that gratuitous that it merits this outcry, or is this just part of being an elite program?

[True personal anecdote: In a high school game in which the team Joel and I played for was getting drilled, someone tried a runout dunk and a kid on our team simply caught up to him mid-jump and deposited him in a trash can. That’s one way of handling it, though likely not the most constructive.]

Joel: I love it. Tre has rich boy swagger; he just walks in like he knows he's better than you. I love the way he celebrates big shots. JP is JP. Tyrique is the meanest dude in any given gym.

Naji's development has been a revelation. I'm not talking about producing, I'm talking about attitude. That dunk was so awesome in its needlessness. His response was the clincher though. He was just going to preen a bit, then he decided to go ahead and shush the crowd. Perfect.

We've embraced our role. Villanova takes wins like they expected to win and then retire to the sitting room for respectful banter with the opponent. Xavier wins, lets everyone in the gym know it, and then winks at your girl on the way out. We're here to win games, not hearts and minds.

Brad: And the way we are winning recently probably isn’t winning many hearts and minds. [SEGUE!] I’m hoping a lot of guys get some of their mom’s cooking, maybe catch the new Star Wars, and get some serious recuperation in over the break. The relative lack of sharpness recently looks a lot like dead legs to me. I don’t know if that’s down to injuries combined with more time for the guys who aren’t injured, or if Coach Mack went hard in the non-conference with the intent of backing off. Either way, the offense is sputtering.

Well, kind of. The last three games were offensive dog dirt, right? Our offensive efficiency ratings went 103, 99, 111. That 99 isn’t good, no ducking that. Last year though, we posted an efficiency under 111 20 times in 38 games. This year it happens twice and we’re freaking out. This team is so good on offense that even when it’s bad, it’s still really good.

Joel: Tre is just 9-23 from deep in the last three games, for a downright serviceable 39% from deep. Obviously, that's actually not that concerning, but it has given our non-Tre guys a chance to flex a bit. Naji had 15 against ETSU, four dudes had 14 or more against Marshall, and Kaiser, JP, and Kerem went 8-13 from beyond the arc against UNI.

We've got serious depth. The difference between a good offense and maybe the best offense in the nation is Tre clicking like he was early on. My feeling is that, despite starting the year with ten scholarship guys and being a rolling infirmary for the last couple of weeks, this team is still a slight knock on Tre from being a buzz saw.

Tre is just 9-23 from deep in the last three games, for a downright serviceable 39% from deep. Obviously, that's actually not that concerning, but it has given our non-Tre guys a chance to flex a bit. Naji had 15 against ETSU, four dudes had 14 or more against Marshall, and Kaiser, JP, and Kerem went 8-13 from beyond the arc against UNI. We've got serious depth. The difference between a good offense and maybe the best offense in the nation is Tre clicking like he was early on. My feeling is that, despite starting the year with ten scholarship guys and being a rolling infirmary for the last couple of weeks, this team is still a slight knock on Tre from being a buzz saw.