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Xavier guard Elias Harden suspended for crucial game at St. John's

Xavier's already questionable bench just got a lot

NCAA Basketball: Villanova at Xavier Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports


Those of you who follow us on Twitter know that Xavier is 8-2 when Harden gets at least 15 minutes. He figures to get 0 minutes against St. John's, what with being suspended and all.

That stat is a little bit of a red herring, but what isn't is that Harden has been ascendant of late. He sparked Xavier's rally against Nova with a career-high 26 minutes. He provides fresh legs and solid on-ball defense off the bench to relieve a starting perimeter unit that has logged a ton of minutes.

Without Harden, it's going to be an even tougher ask for the guards to slow down Shamorie Ponds and protect the ball against a swarming St. John's defense. Travis Steele and the staff obviously knew that when they decided to suspend him. Whatever he has done, you hope it's something he can put behind him in a hurry.