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With no identity and no pathos, Xavier capitulates on the road against Missouri

Whatever you hoped this team might be, it isn't.

Xavier v Cincinnati
"Why are we so bad!?"
Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

With 14:28 to play in the first half, Xavier led 9-3. By the time it had taken them 19 minutes to score their next 20 points, the patient was non-responsive. A Missouri team that is going nowhere this year steamrolled a Xavier group that looked like it took this game to fund its athletic department.

More troublingly than the boat race that come out of it was Xavier's approach to it. If you can tell me what this team's plan or identity is at this point in the year, more power to you. The defense was shredded by Jeremiah Tilmon, a big man whose ORtg coming in was well below 100. It goes almost without saying that they surrendered the usual barrage of open threes.

On the offensive end, a team that can't shoot threes took 11 of its 26 first half shots from behind the arc. The 27 turnovers against EKU were followed by 11 more in the first half against Missouri. Opponents don't have to respect anyone on Xavier's jumper, which leaves the paint pretty dang crowded for what X ostensibly does well.

Ryan Welage came into the game shooting 43% from behind the arc. He barely saw the floor. Elias Harden was 7-9 from deep in 30 minutes of play in the last 2 games in Maui. He has gotten 33 total minutes in 6 games since.

Aside from the speed with which Xavier disappeared from this game, the most disappointing thing was how little they appeared to care. Paul Scruggs grabbed some teammates and yelled at them a couple of times. Beyond that, the black jerseys seemed to be occupied by guys who were calculating how much they were saving by not graduating with college debt.

This was as total a collapse as you'll see from an ostensibly decent team. There was no fire, no fight, no plan. Missouri got whatever they wanted and Xavier offered only token resistance.

If this is what this team is, the end of this season will be a mercy.