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Xavier v. DePaul recap and takeaways

A slow start doesn’t scuttle Xavier as Tre gets hot enough in the second half to put it away.

NCAA Basketball: Xavier at DePaul Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

This one didn’t start well at all for Xavier. The Muskies were down 17-6 nine and a half minutes into the game and looking totally lost on offense. Then Tre, JP, Mal, Kaiser, and Q hit threes in consecutive possessions, and the team was off and running.

Except it wasn’t. X kept chucking threes and kept missing them. DePaul kept trying to take advantage before being submarined by their own offensive incompetence. The Musketeers finally did enough committing to the paint on offense to open up a bit of a lead, and couldn’t answer.

Xavier didn’t always look convincing, but they got it done. There was one last kick on the way out the door though, as Tyrique took a hard fall and had his head hit the floor. He was helped off and will ultimately have to go through concussion protocol. We’ll update as we can.

Trevon isn’t right

God bless him for trying, but Trevon Bluiett has been playing on a leg and a half since he came back. He doesn’t exactly have athleticism to burn anyway, and when he’s missing the lift on his jumper, he’s in trouble. He wasn’t able to get free the way he can when he’s healthy, and he probably won’t be able to until next year. Whether or not he can drag this team somewhere in the meantime - his 24 and 10 today indicates that maybe he can - is the question.

Xavier has to pound the ball inside

Xavier started the game 0-6 from deep. After hitting 5 straight, they ripped off 11 straight misses. This did not dissuade the Muskies from continuing to lift from deep. Xavier came into the game sitting at 215th in the country in 3P%; it seems reasonable that a team with that sort of success rate from deep might want to try something else instead.

This is a zone team

Xavier can’t man for anything right now. Ed was a fair on-ball defender who could use length and athleticism to erase a lot of mistakes; he’s gone. Tre is limping. JP loves to gamble. Q defends like a freshman at times. The bigs foul too much. Kaiser has taken a step back on defense. Coach Mack showed a lot of 2-3 and 1-3-1 today against DePaul, and it worked (enough). I’m afraid Xavier is too limited to try too much else right now.