This week saw Xavier continue its winning streak, defeating Miami (OH) and Oakland.
One game was Xavier’s most complete performance of the season. The other was more inline with what we have seen from Xavier so far, taking the foot off the gas when up big and having to battle until the end.
Xavier dominated Miami (OH), 82-55, in a game that featured very little to critique for the Musketeers. The game against Oakland was a little different, as Oakland only trailed 55-52 with 10:08 left in the game after Xavier led 50-39 with 16:07 left.
One flashed potential, one showed where this team right now. Let’s dive into the stats to see what the key differences were.
This was about the only thing that could be criticized from Xavier’s game against Miami (OH). They were outrebounded 41-33 and allowed 17 offensive rebounds. This led to 16 Miami (OH) second chance points, compared to only eight for Xavier.
Xavier won every other facet of the game. They out shot Miami (OH) 54.1% to 33.3% from the field, 31.8% to 24.1% from the three-point line, and 75.0% to 54.5% from the free throw line. They had 15 assists compared to three for Miami (OH), and only turned the ball over three times compared to 14 for Miami (OH).
They dominated the paint, outscoring Miami (OH) 46-24 down low. They also shut out Miami (OH) in points off turnovers and fast break points, winning those categories 28-0 and 13-0 respectively.
I could go on, but I think the point has been made. Xavier put together their best performance of the year against Miami (OH), without a doubt.
Xavier shot 19-23 from the foul line against Oakland, good for 82.6%. Overall this week, they shot 28-35 on free throws, which is 80%.
Continuing to take advantage of these free opportunities in order to make up for the cold stretches that will hit the offense. Against Oakland, Xavier went on a 6-0 run from 9:50 left in the game to 7:46 left despite not making a shot in that time. It pushed the lead back to nine points and was critical to Xavier’s win.
Xavier’s current offensive efficiency according to kenpom.com is 112.9, which is 24th in the country. Given that most people expected the offense to struggle this year with the numerous departures, this number is a pleasant surprise .
This is Xavier’s current defensive efficiency according to kenpom.com , which ranks 134th in the nation. This type of defense was not expected by many, as this was touted as possibly being Xavier’s best defensive team ever. They have flashed the potential, but they haven’t been able to consistently lock teams up. Fixing this will be critical moving forward in order to be more consistent.
Xavier opponents are shooting 39.3% on three-point shots against them this year, which ranks 321st in the country according to kenpom.com.
Tyirque Jones posted two double-doubles this past week, scoring 13 points and grabbing 13 rebounds against Miami (OH) and scoring 11 points and grabbing 11 rebounds against Oakland while averaging just 22.5 minutes a game over the two.
Jones currently ranks second in the country in offensive rebounds percentage at 23.2%, while the leader is at 23.3%. He’s arguably been Xavier’s best player this season, leading the team in a number of categories: offensive box plus/minus, defensive box plus/minus, box plus/minus, net rating, defensive rating, win shares, win shares per 40 minutes, offensive rebounds and total rebounds.