The decade just passed has been the first in which we’ve been providing Xavier content. From a humble start on Blogspot to our still humble site now, we’ve been happy to be bringing you content for these ten years. In that time quite a bit has happened. Xavier made the Elite Eight, danced into four Sweet Sixteens, moved to the Big East, and went through a coaching change. Based on your clicks, here’s the biggest stories of that decade.
Coach Mack moves on
It was to be expected that the departure of the most successful coach in Xavier history would be a big story. It started with the recognition that his leaving would be a setback, moved into some bargaining, and ended with acceptance. Louisville now sits fourth in the KenPom as Mack demonstrates he’s one of the best coaches in the nation. Not everyone has taken that well.
Big East Expansion
Right now the Big East plays a nearly perfect 18 game round robin in conference play. Each team plays the other in a home and home that also leaves plenty of time for good non-conference play. The editorial staff was decidedly against expansion, even you UConn, before coming around as the Big East announced that it would become an 11 team league.
Travis Steele moves in
With Mack gone, Xavier needed someone in. After an exhaustive search, Xavier maintained the Xavier Way and promoted from within. Steele hung on to the guy who is the beating heart of Xavier basketball, Mario Mercurio, and immediately got to work on his roster.
You can’t have Xavier this decade without talking about the guys who have come in from elsewhere and had an impact. There was the DII player of the year who instantly won hearts with his one year on the biggest stage. a guy who this year’s team could desperately use, and of course Matt Stainbrook.
There is nothing as important in basketball as class. Not winning, not losing, not making the tournament. Nothing matters as much as making sure that your opponent knows that you are a gentleman. No one embodied Xavier’s commitment to winning with class as much as JP Macura, and nowhere did he personify that class as much as at Wisconsin.
Or maybe here.
Seriously though, “class” is largely the construct of old white guys. I want to win, and so, as Mick Cronin learned, does Xavier.
The Sean Miller ASM mess at Arizona brushed Xavier for a moment, but never landed. Edmond Sumner and Semaj Christon were named in the report, but nothing came of it. No college basketball program is squeaky clean, but after a fraught couple of days the Musketeers stayed far away from this one
Based on the clicks of the readers, those were the biggest stories of the decade. Yes, that means the Elite Eight run wasn’t in there. Measuring clicks isn’t always the best way to do it, though. Coming soon will be a look at the stories that felt the biggest from 2010-2019.