Xavier came into this game on a one game losing streak, one short of their longest on the season, and needing a win to stay in the conversation for at least a share of the Big East regular season title and a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Xavier joined the Big East for chances like this, and grabbed it with both hands, overcoming a 2 point performance from Trevon Bluiett to outscore the Hoyas by 14 in the second half on their way to their biggest road win of the season.
Xavier’s depth makes this team special
Trevon was up all night studying for a big test, and it showed on the floor tonight. He never really got his jumper going, but JP, Naj, and the rest of the Muskies picked up the slack. Marshall was effervescent in transition and had a couple of nice slashes, and JP brought his jumper with him to DC. If it hadn’t been those two, Big Sean was eating on the post, Q was scoring really efficiently, and Kaiser drilled a couple of threes. X might need Tre to make a deep run, but they’ve proven time and again that they have the resources to gets points from other places on Bluiett’s rare off games.
Xavier has a backup point guard
There was a scary moment in the first half where Quentin Goodin got his knee rolled up on by Paul Scruggs going for a loose ball. Q hobbled off and was sitting down the hall from the Xavier bench with ice and a wrap on his knee. Paul ran the point in Q’s absence and was suitable. He didn’t light the world on fire, but he got the ball to the right places and let the offense run without mucking things all up. JP was Xavier’s second option at point last year; having Scruggernuts is a big step up from that.
Everyone should want to play for Coach Mack
If you fancy yourself a quality offensive player, I don’t know how you wouldn’t give the Muskies a serious look. Every game it seems like X is running new actions and wrinkles off their old actions to get open buckets for guys. The team has guys who can get their own buckets, but when points are coming from all over like they are tonight, that speaks to how well-coached this team is on offense. Can you imagine how joyless it must be to cheer for a team that only plays defense?
Georgetown is (finally) trending up
Speaking of joyless, Hoya fans were pretty much over the JTIII era, and it appeared that the team was, too. Georgetown has had some hiccups this year, but it’s clear that they’re heading the right direction. They played 85 minutes this year against Xavier with great energy, and there’s a lot of good, young talent on that roster. The future is bright in DC; pretty soon we’ll be back to hating those guys instead of just feeling sorry for them.